What is a cloud database?
A cloud database is a collection of information that lives on a cloud infrastructure platform. A cloud database is functionally no different than an on-site database; the only difference is its location(s).
Why do organisations move to a cloud database?
The data in a cloud database is spread across numerous servers and locations, where it can be accessed, queried or modified from anywhere. When leveraging the cloud, Big Data operations are able to take advantage of the increased speed and flexibility that cloud architecture provides.
How does a cloud database change data access?
To the user or application, the information appears identical to an on-prem or locally hosted database. However, the speed with which data can be used, queried or interpolated becomes apparent – especially with the enterprise-size amounts of data used in businesses today.
What are the benefits of migrating to a cloud database?
Cloud databases have several advantages over traditional on-site databases. With a cloud database, organisations can accommodate rising data management needs without increasing infrastructure. They can also manipulate the data quickly – efficiently dividing, delivering and moving their data closer to their users. The following benefits also make cloud databases a powerful solution.
Traffic speed: Massive networks of mobile users and remote devices create huge volumes of engagement and application data. This can make scaling and availability management difficult and time-consuming for a traditional database, as traditional databases require updates to run through a central “master” database. By forcing all activity through this bottleneck, performance suffers and can even stop if the connection to the master database becomes compromised.
Easy access: Like any other asset on the cloud, users can access the database from anywhere, at any time, using any device. This simple connectivity sends data queries more efficiently than traditional LAN access, which requires a limited number of options.
Elasticity: When the volume of data rises quickly, a cloud database can expand capacity on an as-needed basis. This kind of scalability is not possible in a traditional database, which requires monitoring and adjustments to be made by an internal staff member.
Recovery: No matter the disruption – weather, equipment failure, power outage – cloud databases back up hosted information through remote servers. This keeps the information secure and available as soon as users regain internet access.
Reach: Cloud databases can manage your data and send requests anywhere in the world without deploying dependent middleware. A hybrid cloud-based database essentially collects, replicates, delivers and pushes your data to the edge without any user intervention. Moreover, the hybrid cloud database can connect applications directly to your database.
Security: With a cloud database, you gain a more secure environment for your data because the cloud servers are in heavily guarded warehouses off-site, isolated from both internal and external users. Additionally, the data itself is encrypted, making it more difficult for criminals to hack.
What are the types of cloud database?
The latest market reports indicate that the US cloud database and DBaaS markets are expected to rise significantly by 2026. The growing demand for automated cloud database management comes from sectors such as BFSI and healthcare – and the secure, sophisticated technological IT infrastructure existing in the country.
Yet there are still just two models for cloud database deployment that dominate the market: independent and database as a service (DBaaS).
An independent database is one which a user directly runs themselves via a virtual machine image located on the cloud. This is the model of choice for organisations that have a robust IT staff with the bandwidth to maintain the underlying infrastructure, data integrity and security. Running your own cloud database allows you to reduce operational costs while still maintaining complete control of managing the data.
DBaaS, on the other hand, is run by a third-party provider who handles all the management, maintenance and security tasks. That includes managing scalability and availability to users who access the database concurrently.
With DBaaS, the provider manages the data-intensive needs of application developers, data scientists, IT architects and analysts who need immediate and consistent performance. In addition, users hand over the tasks of end-to-end encryption and access control, as well as fulfilling privacy requirements for compliance with regulations such as the GDPR.
Cloud database solutions
There are essentially two different solutions for maintaining a database in a cloud – the structured query language (SQL) “relational” models and the NoSQL “non-relational” models, each with their respective strengths.
The SQL model is chosen by developers and administrators for quickly accessing, querying and writing to the database. Virtually every function – whether it’s sending and receiving or manipulating databases – can be done in the SQL programming language. Lastly, the SQL model provides advantages for data manipulation and as a business intelligence tool.
Alternatively, the NoSQL non-relational model can store both structured and unstructured data. A NoSQL database is able to handle large volumes of data with high velocity and takes full advantage of the cloud structure, delivering near-zero downtime. The goal in creating this solution is to be scalable and easier to work with for administrators.
How do you migrate your database to the cloud?
As with any cloud migration, bringing your databases into the cloud will ultimately be best positioned for success with smart, iterative planning ahead of time. Assess your current data environment, its risks and challenges, and what obstacles might be in the way. Additionally, ensure that databases that need to remain on premises for security or compliance purposes are not being migrated. Creating a proof of concept will help demonstrate potential challenges and risks as you tackle the migration process.
There are ETL (extract, transform, load) tools available for your team that can automate the redundant tasks that slow down the migration process. These can also remove personally identifiable information (PII) and detect errors as data is loaded to the cloud environment. Reviewing and cleansing the data before loading it to the cloud is the perfect opportunity to provide a clean slate to work from. It can be a lengthy process, but it’s important that, once transferred to the new environment, all data is compliant with your IT governance.
Depending on the amount and size of an organisation’s database, the initial load time to the cloud can take days to finalise. After that, it must be checked again for being valid, accurate and complete. One of the last steps is to migrate your privileges and security preferences. While the cloud provider is responsible for the security of the environment, the organisation is responsible for the integrity of the data within it.
Cloud migration is a long and occasionally trying process. But with smart planning, preparation and frequent checkpoints along the journey, maintaining the integrity of your data and your organisation doesn’t need to be difficult.
HPE cloud database solutions
In many enterprises, high-performance databases are supported by traditional infrastructure. However, siloed data centre operations create major challenges for your IT team’s database management. Managing segregated workloads results in burdensome manual processes, high maintenance costs, database sprawl and increased security risk. The HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform offers several options to alleviate these issues.
HPE GreenLake with Nutanix Era for databases delivers simplified database operations on premises, making the deployment and management of databases as easy as a single click. Based on your choice of HPE reference technology, consolidate your segregated workloads into a single, simplified management platform that enables you to provision, clone, patch, refresh and back up your database in just a few minutes.
HPE GreenLake for SAP HANA offers an SAP®-certified infrastructure with your choice of configurations – appliance or TDI, operating system and included services – to meet your workload, performance and availability objectives. You can also leverage cloud capabilities while keeping your SAP landscape on premises, facilitating the move to SAP S/4HANA®, with the customer edition of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud delivered with HPE GreenLake.
With HPE GreenLake, you can also simplify your experience with an open-source database platform with EDB Postgres, substantially reducing your total cost of ownership. The EDB Postgres platform offers the necessary enterprise capabilities to manage structured and unstructured multi-model data, connect with existing systems and deploy rapidly across multiple environments. It’s also the first integrated open-source-based operational data management platform that brings together all of the components required for managing structured and unstructured data in a federated model.
HPE GreenLake for Microsoft SQL Server is a workload-optimised, platform-as-a-service solution that offers a faster time to value with a turnkey cloud experience on premises. The solutions, in pre-sized configurations, have been developed to deliver levels of availability, performance, functionality and cost to meet a range of needs.