A Look Beyond The Basics Of Cloud Database Services: What’s Next? Part 2

Ken Tsai

Part 2 in a 2-part series. Read Part 1.

When Amazon Web Services (AWS) began, it started by providing massive computing resources from an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) standpoint. As other vendors followed, the first approach (and easiest thing to do) was to take existing software and put it into the cloud. But very quickly, database management system (DBMS) providers realized this was an opportunity to rethink the architecture of their products. Database systems can run faster, easier, and cheaper if you re-architect the software for cloud operation – database-as-a-service (DBaaS) – versus on-premises.

DBaaS opportunities and emerging trends

It is obvious that DBaaS adoption until now has come only from migrating an existing DBMS workload. Yes, DB in the cloud with portabilities for popular open source or best-of-breed options, such MySQL, Cassandra, and Mongo, have been no-brainers for both users and public cloud providers. I call this the GEN-1 cloud DB. I eagerly anticipate a much faster convergence of the multitude of data processing techniques within a re-factored DBaaS, such as a DBaaS that also has query and process data stored in the cloud object store.

I look forward to the development of an improved unified data computing framework that expands directly from DBaaS to query data in shared storage, such as cloud object store. This is already happening in some DB-as-a-service offers, which I refer to as GEN-2 cloud DB. This generation promises to strike the right balance between value, performance, and ease of access.

The promise of hybrid cloud environments and the apps we have yet to invent

One of the hypotheses I’ve been testing is the possibility of a new class of application scenarios that can naturally take advantage of the distributed nature of data and workload between on-premises and cloud. I see ample evidence in both enterprise and consumer companies dealing with distributed data everywhere.

I see first-hand examples of many of these application scenarios, ranging from marketing automation, service and support, customer service and sales, or even in a business-to-business or a business-to-network collaboration.

For example, Google Photos was originally built to automatically sync our photos to the cloud, but it rapidly evolved to use machine learning and AI to search, detect, and display a photo when you search for a keyword. It also creates a montage of photos, with background music to share as a video or a memory/timeline. This is all possible based on the understanding of where the data is and what it must be used for.

Opportunities in security, data privacy, and data anonymization

Security offers another area of opportunity for DBaaS. Increased data privacy regulations in the European Union are bringing even more pressure to bear on companies that handle consumer data. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect May 25th, 2018, guarantees new levels of data privacy for customers by requiring companies who utilize any type of customer information to inform (explain why, where, and what their information is used for) and receive explicit consent.

This is good news for consumers, but it poses some challenges for companies who want to gain business insights from data. Innovative companies are responding by heavily investing in new technology called data anonymization. This technology enables businesses to completely anonymize the data itself so that you can’t tell where or whom the data is attributed to.

Eventually, I see that the rise of data privacy and security regulation will become global. (For further information, here’s a Webinar that dives deeper into security, data privacy, and anonymization.)

Cloud-based databases have a role to play in digital transformation

For many companies, when digital transformation becomes the goal of the C-suite, adoption of DBaaS naturally follows. Digital transformation in its simplest terms is about the digitization of assets, relationships, and engagements in the context of bringing together customers, partners, and employees. Decisions – about them and the company – must be highly data driven. To this end, databases become the critical component of facilitating the successful digital transformation of a company.

I’d like to hear what you think. What do you see as the challenges for DBaaS? What are you most excited about? Leave a comment or connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Learn more

To learn how your organization can benefit from a hosted data management platform in multi-clouds and cloud/on-premises deployments, visit sap.com/HANA.

If you’re missing the live launch at SAPPHIRE NOW, register for our webcast June 21, 11 a.m. EDT/5 p.m. CET to get the latest information.

This article originally appeared on Hackernoon.com and is republished by permission. Special thanks to David Fletcher and CloudTweaks.com for the use of their cartoons. You can follow them on Twitter at @CloudTweaks


Ken Tsai

About Ken Tsai

Ken Tsai is the global VP and head of database and data management at SAP, and leads the global product marketing efforts for SAP’s flagship SAP HANA platform and the portfolio of SAP data management solutions. Ken has more than 20 years of experiences in the IT industry, responsible for application development, services, presales, business development, and marketing. Ken is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.