Cloud computing is basically the commodification of data storage and computing time with the help of standardized technologies. Cloud databases are databases that run on cloud computing platforms such as Salesforce, GoGrid, Rackspace, and Amazon EC2. Users can independently run cloud databases on the cloud with either of the two deployment models - virtual-machine image or by purchasing access to database services that are maintained by cloud database providers.
Although cloud databases provide significant benefits over traditional deployments, sometimes traditional architectures should be integrated with cloud platforms. However, cloud databases have been providing a comprehensive solution for every customer who demands custom-built, high-performance infrastructure for a relational database supported and backed by MySQL-specialized engineers. Cloud databases are best suited for customers who are focused on getting their applications developed without getting hassled with infrastructure-related issues.
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Here are the top 7 most beneficial cloud databases that are offering scalability for the customers to grow, based on their application needs:
What is a Cloud Database?
With the amount of information and data that businesses require these days to be successful, the major challenge is storing this data and information. Usually, any data or information is stored in databases, but again, these have limited capacities. This is where a cloud database comes in. A cloud database is a database that is created, maintained, stored and accessed in a cloud environment. These databases can be accessed through a web interface and offer functionality similar to traditional databases.
Why Use a Cloud Database?
For most companies, managing their own databases can be quite a costly affair and therefore these companies look for alternatives that can ease out the process of managing and storing data. Cloud databases offer several benefits to the users that include:
- Reduced overall costs in terms of maintaining and expanding the database as per the data and information storage requirements.
- Flexibility in storing, managing, and accessing data.
- Easy scalability.
- Easy access as cloud databases can also be accessed using mobile devices.
- Cloud databases offer easy and quick recovery of data in case of a disaster or theft of data.
- Greater security as cloud databases has enhanced security features that keep the data safe and sound.
Different Types of Cloud Database Management Systems
Cloud database management systems are those comprehensive systems that manage the cloud database for storing, maintaining, and accessing the data in the cloud environment. These management systems can be categorized into:
- Relational cloud database management systems: These systems make use of tables that store data in a predefined relational manner. These systems make use of structured query languages to manipulate the data in the databases. The benefit of these systems is that they are highly reliable and offer great consistency when dealing with large amounts of data. Examples of these systems are: Spanner, Cloud SQL, and Oracle.
- Non-relational cloud database management systems: These systems do not store data in a specific format, relation, or structure. The aim of using these systems is to store unstructured data like text messages, survey results, or media files. Examples of these systems include MongoDB, Redis, and Hbase.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Database Management Systems
The increased need for cloud databases has brought to the marketplace several players and vendors who offer these cloud services to various companies and making the right choice for the cloud database provider is a tough task. Gartner Magic Quadrant is a tool that enables users to find the best vendors and providers by providing a competitive analysis of all the major players.
Using this tool, the various providers are divided into leaders, visionaries, niche players and challengers enabling the users to make the right decisions.
Advantages of Working with Cloud Databases
Today, in the competitive and dynamic environment, most companies are shifting to cloud databases because of the several advantages that are offered. Some of the advantages of working with cloud databases are:
- With the help of cloud databases, companies can become more agile and innovative. This is because cloud databases allow companies to set up, validate and test new projects very easily and quickly without incurring a lot of costs.
- Cloud databases reduce the overall costs of maintaining and storing large amounts of data.
- The ability to work with cloud databases enables companies to focus on other aspects of the business rather than just working on managing the data in the right form and to ensure it stays secure.
- Cloud databases offer many security features and have in place procedures that reduce chances of error as well as theft of data. This reduces the risk element associated with using and accessing data.
Considerations for Cloud Databases
Whenever a company moves to a cloud database to start working on it, there are several factors that need to be considered. Some of these are:
- The architecture of the cloud database and its elements, including their validation.
- Networking and connectivity to ensure high-speed and reliable access to data as and when required.
- Ease of availability and access
- Disaster recovery mechanisms
- Security features
- Access management protocols
- Cost of the services
- Migration and expandability
- Ease of deployment
Top Cloud Database
1. Amazon Web Services
Amazon offers a wide array of cloud database services, which includes NoSQL as well as relational databases. Amazon RDS – Relational Database Service runs on either Oracle, SQL, or MySQL server instances whereas Amazon SimpleDB is primarily a schema-less database that is meant to handle smaller workloads. Amazon DynamoDB falls on the NoSQL databases, which is a Solid State Drive – SSD - that is capable of automatically replicating workloads across three different availability zones. According to AWS CTO Werner Vogels, DynamoDB is the fastest growing database service in the history of AWS. Furthermore, Amazon offers supplementary data-management services such as Redshift – a data warehouse and Data Pipeline – a data integrating service for easier data management.
SAP, the giant in offering enterprise software, now offers a cloud database platform called HANA for complementing the on-premise database-related tools of an organization. One of the major database tools complemented by SAP HANA includes Sybase, and this tool is available in the AWS cloud.
Although EnterpriseDB was designed to focus on open-source PostgreSQL databases, its true claim-to-fame was its capability to work on Oracle database applications. The Postgres Plus, Advanced Server of EnterpriseDB, enables businesses to use applications that are designed for Oracle on-premise databases, which run in cloud from HP and AWS. It comprises of scheduled backups as well as binary replications.
4. Garantia Data
Garantia Data has been offering gateway service for customers who prefer running Memcached (in-memory NoSQL) databases as well as open-source Redis in the public cloud of AWS. The software of Garantia enables easy configuration of open-source data platforms with the help of clusters.
5. Cloud SQL by Google
This database service comprises of two main products - Cloud SQL that describes a relational database and BigQuery analysis tool, which can run queries on vast sets of data stored in the cloud.
6. Azure by Microsoft
Azure cloud-computing platform offered by Microsoft offers a relational database that enables users to access SQL databases either on Microsoft cloud or on hosted servers on virtual machines.
Databases offered by Rackspace come in managed or hosted cloud databases. Rackspace provides high performance and incorporates a SAN storage network based on the OpenStack platform.
8. Oracle Database
It is a relational database that is best used to quickly store and retrieve data from the cloud. This cloud database can be used to store data related to online transaction processing, however, a great challenge is to restore all data and maintain the security of data.
9. Google Cloud Platform
This cloud database is highly scalable and secure and offers all the required support needed to access and store data.
10. IBM DB2
IBM DB2 offers easy operations and maintenance of data on the cloud. This cloud database also offers great security features but connecting the database to the SQL server may sometimes take time.
11. MongoDB Atlas
It allows companies to work with data in the cloud easily and effortlessly. The deployment of this database may sometimes take a lot of time.
OpenStack is an easy-to-use cloud database that is scalable and allows for high performance. However, there are often many updates to the cloud database and this makes operating with this database a little tough.
13. Amazon DynamoDB
DynamoDB offers great advantages in terms of reliability and consistency. However, there are limited querying options, as well as the deployment costs, can always not be predicted, making it difficult for companies to choose this cloud database over others.
14. Google BigQuery
This is a serverless cloud database that is easily scalable and enables easy management of data. It also has in-built queries but again this becomes a drawback for this cloud database. This is because the queries may become redundant and require frequent updating.
15. Azure Cosmos DB
This cloud database is best used to manage unstructured data in a very effective manner. Its high speed is a big advantage but this database is costly.
16. Amazon Redshift
It is the most popular cloud database that is easy to administer and offers great performance, security, and scalability features. This cloud database is however expensive, especially when the required performance is of greater standards.
17. Amazon Relational Database Service
The Amazon relational database service offers great security, especially when it comes to the recovery of data from a disaster. However, this database does not assure zero data loss and the maintenance of this database is not easy.
18. DataStax Astra
The cloud database offers easy data storage, maintenance as well as scalability at low prices. However, regular maintenance for its operation is a big challenge.
19. Redis Enterprise Cloud
This is a very reliable cloud database that offers data management in the cloud environment at a low cost. In addition, it is easy to scale but it is not very user friendly.
20. EDB Postgres Advanced Server
This is one of the best and the most secure and reliable cloud databases that companies can use for managing any amount of data. The cloud database is offered at a cost-effective price and also uses the best practices to ensure data security.
21. SAP HANA Cloud
The SAP HANA cloud allows for parallel processing on the data it has stored in it. This enhances the performance of this cloud database to a great extent and the data can be accessed at a great speed. However, the downside of this cloud database is that it is costly and the integration process also takes a lot of time.
22. Alibaba Cloud
This is a fairly new player in the cloud market and therefore its acceptance may take some time. However, it offers great reliability and performance when it comes to managing data in the cloud environment.
This is one of the best data structuring platforms that can be used. This cloud database offers great speed and security and can offer solutions to complicated data management issues.
24. Cockroach Labs
As compared to other cloud databases, Cockroach is still a new one and therefore cannot guarantee robustness. It offers great customer support and may develop to be one of the best cloud database platforms eventually.
This easily available cloud database is scalable as well as efficient. It is easy to deploy and meets the needs of business-critical applications. However, it is not easy to troubleshoot or debug this database and this is a major cause of the database not being very popular.
Databricks is very secure and reliable and also offers a lot of features. However, it is highly technical in nature and therefore may not be very easy to use.
Exasol is a low-maintenance cloud database that is suitable for applications requiring small and large queries. However, there are performance issues associated with the implementation of this cloud database.
28. Huawei Cloud
This cloud database offers great performance and flexibility in terms of storing, managing and accessing data from the cloud environment. However, performance is an issue for this cloud database.
Data can be easily stored in different ways using this cloud database. This database is easy to deploy and use. However, this platform is not very easy to use.
It is an open-source and performance-based cloud database. This is simple to use and the data can be managed easily. But the downside to this cloud database is the lack of advanced features and its slow speed.
This feature-loaded cloud database is an effective means of managing data. It can easily manage even unstructured data and offers greater agility. MarkLogic is not very flexible and so may not be suitable for a lot of applications.
This cloud database allows for storing huge amounts of data in the cloud environment. Its high speed adds to its high-performance abilities. However, query processing in this cloud database is not very fast.
Snowflake is easy to use, flexible, scalable, and highly suitable to the data-driven businesses of today. However, this cloud database cannot be deployed across all available cloud platforms and so is not very popular in use.
How to Choose the Right Cloud Database?
From the large number of cloud databases available, it is not always easy to make the right choice. However, if the following are considered, it becomes fairly easy to make the right choice.
- Understand the various available cloud databases.
- Evaluate the pros and cons of each.
- Weigh the various trade-off options available.
- Identify the need to shift to a cloud database.
- Consider the business and its need for a cloud database.
Making the Most of It All
Cloud databases are simple and easy to use and fit a variety of business needs and purposes. Working with cloud databases also offers several benefits and using any of the above-mentioned cloud databases or a combination of these can enable companies to store, organize and manage large amounts of data essential for an organization and its operations.
Post Graduate Program in Cloud Computing databases are extremely popular for reducing IT complexities and operational costs. They prevent the hassle of licensing, traditional procurement, maintenance, and installation involving a huge number of IT staff. With the rapid increase in the business pace, cloud databases enable organizations to cut down on the in-house IT resources required to manage huge sets of data.