If you have finally made up your mind to shift business applications and workloads to cloud, then you must be busy short listing various alternatives. One of the most vital aspects of a cloud migration strategy is deciding whether to continue relying on conventional databases or adopt a database related cloud service such as DBaaS or Database as a Service.

Migrating from conventional databases

If you are running traditional databases, then you need to plan all resources as well as underlying infrastructures to facilitate seamless database management with cloud environment. This is essential to enable clients to operate with cloud technology without any hassles. Another popular option would be to use Database as a Service for easy transformation to cloud from a traditional database environment.

With Database as a Service, organizations are in a better position to embrace cloud for leveraging advanced solutions that are available in a cloud based infrastructure. With cloud computing technology to back your databases, you can easily achieve your organization’s growth objectives. Cloud is known to support on-demand scalability for catering to your organization’s prime time requirements.

Another significant benefit of running cloud hosting database is freedom from concerns regarding availability and security of operations. Replicating databases can be a very simple task in cloud environment even if you need to cover a large number of geographically dispersed locations. Needless to mention, customers of DBaaS are entitled to a large array of options as far as data recovery and data backup is concerned.

Concerns of highly available workloads

High availability is the most important advantage of a cloud based service as it supports on-demand scalability with seamless availability in contrast to legacy environments that are always prone to errors. However, these advantages of cloud cannot be easily extended to relational databases that were not originally meant to be operated in a scalable environment.

As you have rightly guessed, databases do pose issues even if these are run in a cloud environment. This may because these are monolithic applications and cannot be easily operated in a cloud ecosystem if one is looking forward to enjoy scalability and high availability.

Since the integration of cloud with traditional database infrastructures is in a limited manner, there is also a limited concentration on exploiting the muscle of distributed systems as the current level of focus continues to be on data localization. The reason for this is deployment of traditional databases to support distributed infrastructures is usually done with an aim to query multiple instances of databases in a unified manner. The result is data sprawl, thanks to the generation of innumerable copies of databases in the background for supporting test/dev workloads.

High-availability as a default feature

One can also explore another alternative of using database options that are designed to offer availability as a default feature such as some of the NoSQL options including MongoDB as well as Cassandra. These are capable of creating replicas of data consistently, for enabling fault tolerant workloads of databases.

However, this approach may not be ideal for majority of users because relational database management systems in conventional environments significantly lack in competence. Secondly, the option of using a multi-cloud architecture is usually not an ideal alternative in these cases.

In order to support analytics and test/dev initiatives, database cloning is the usual prerequisite. Copies of production database must run continuously in an individual infrastructure with additional copies made to support QA, backups and analytics.

Physical cloning with snapshot

The approach is ideal in order to upload a copy of a given database to another cloud or a different site, since it involves taking a database snapshot and cloning the same to a pre-conceived location.

Periodic or scheduled snapshots can be planned for such an activity by leveraging a special solution that keeps track of changes between two snapshots. These applications including Oracle RMAN can also help you recover and consistently backup the data for you. However, this solution cannot be extended over a broader perspective. Similarly, such clones cannot be created by making use of clouds or remote secondary data centers due to complexity of the process.  

Isolation for empowering availability

Abstraction of a database layer from that of storage can be considered as a better alternative for ensuring high availability storage in cloud environment. Data protection can be achieved by leveraging software defined storage for the prevention of issues that could arise due to failures of applications.

Additionally, a software defined storage application allows freedom to select any kind of hardware for storage such as on-site server and even a virtual cloud instance among others.

Takeaway

In order to achieve high availability for databases in a cloud environment, one needs to deal with a wide spectrum of issues. Thankfully, one can easily adopt a DBaaS for spinning databases in the cloud ecosystem for a guaranteed efficiency without spending a fortune for purchasing hardware or hiring experts.

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