The concept of cloud computing has been around for decades, but the reality of having data and IT resources available anywhere and anytime is relatively recent.
Advancements such as cloud computing have had significant impact on the business world and so many mission-critical industries like healthcare. Cloud technology has been essential for business continuity and remote work as the world grappled with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and is helping businesses to create flexible work for employees.
Data and technology drive businesses forward, regardless of the industry sector they situated in. Database systems are integral to how business information is stored, managed and accessed.
Traditional databases are on an on-premises physical server running a database management system like SQL Server. For some organizations, the traditional methods of database management may no longer be up to the task.
Cloud technology has changed data management
Cloud technology has changed the landscape of database technology and the options available to businesses. Cloud technology allows businesses to do away with on-premises commodity hardware and software. They can cost-effectively run a virtual database on a public cloud, using cloud providers like Microsoft, Amazon, or Google cloud platform.
The possibilities of cloud database are endless in terms of the services available, such as:
Entire IT infrastructure and environments can be run on the cloud, and it can all be fully managed through software such as Microsoft Azure. For those businesses that want to maintain more control over sensitive data, there are also private and hybrid cloud options.
Cloud database management can be completely outsourced and managed by a Managed Service Provider (MSP).
Cloud databases vs traditional databases
One of the major cost advantages of having a cloud database is that cloud services are billed monthly based on the resources consumed. Therefore, costs shift away from being a capital expenditure and are instead categorized as monthly operational expenditure. With an on-premises SQL license, a business is charged per CPU core in a cluster, which can get expensive very quickly in comparison to cloud options.
Cloud technology is scalable, allowing resources to be added with a few clicks. You can increase a database size easily to handle large volumes, while a traditional database manager may have to purchase hardware, memory, and CPU to cater for larger SQL databases.
A traditional type of database setup allows for more internal control over the data and the IT environment. Cloud providers have the responsibility of hardware and maintenance, freeing up internal database staff resources so they can focus on more important tasks.
With PaaS, the operating system and software are also managed by the cloud provider. With IaaS, the management of the operating system and software sits with the business. Updates released by the cloud provider may have an impact on your database, so this also needs to be planned for. Managed service providers can help with this and other considerations like compliance.
Traditional databases are accessed within an internal network, but within the cloud, data can be accessed anywhere through any device, and managed remotely if necessary. However, cloud databases require an internet connection, which always brings with it security and compliance concerns. This is where a MSP can help with configuring cybersecurity and disaster recovery strategies, such as a backup ISP connection, especially for mission critical systems.
Cloud providers host their cloud service with powerful servers which offer high performance to connected users regardless of the speed of their device. Purchasing such expensive servers, storage, and networking can be out of reach for many businesses.
The computing power of the cloud gives businesses access to what is known as Big Data. Traditional databases had to be structured, but the power of the cloud allows for the use of NoSQL database, which don’t rely on structured data formats. Vast amounts of semi-structured, structured and unstructured data can be collected in real-time.
A big data platform takes this type of data and uses big data analytics, which is a cloud service, to process massive volumes of data to produce reports and predictions using machine learning capabilities. Relational databases are still available on the cloud, such as Azure SQL.
Cloud technology has changed the face of database technology. The limitations on data volume that existed with traditional databases are no longer an issue.
With data processing and analytics, cloud computing is taking database technology to the next level. Talk to the database experts at Everconnect to find out more about how they can help you to assess your database needs and leverage this exciting technology.