Selecting the Best Database for Your Organization, Part 1

Franco Rizzo is Senior Pre-sales Architect at TmaxSoft.

The term “cloud” is so ubiquitous that it means different things to everyone. For these purposes, we will define it in relation to infrastructure: the cloud is the ability to auto-provision a subset of available compute/network/storage to meet a specific business need via virtualization (IaaS).

As far as applications, the cloud is browser-based access to an application (SaaS); and, importantly, the utility-based consumption model of paying for these services that has caused a major disruption in the traditional models of technology.

This has led to a paradigm shift in client-server technology. Just as the mainframe morphed into mini-computing, which led to the client-server model, cloud-computing and Amazon Web Services (AWS), the ubiquity of the cloud is the next phase in the evolution of IT. In this phase, applications, data and services are being moved to the edge of the enterprise data center.

A CIO wanting to lower IT spend and mitigate risk has many options:

  • Move budget and functionality directly to the business (shadow IT) and empower the use of public cloud options
  • Move to a managed service – private cloud for the skittish
  • Create a private cloud with the ability to burst to a public cloud (i.e., hybrid cloud)
  • Move 100 percent to a public cloud provider managed by a smaller IT department

Each one of the options listed above comes with pros and cons. With all the available database options, it can be difficult to determine which one is the best solution for an enterprise.

The three key issues most central to an organization’s database needs are performance, security and compliance. So what are best practices for database management strategies for each deployment option to manage those priorities?

Let’s briefly examine two use cases for deploying your enterprise database strategy: on-premise/private cloud and hybrid cloud. Part 2 of this article will address public cloud; appliance-based; and virtualized environments.

On-premise/Private Cloud

One of the main pros of this type of database deployment scenario is that an enterprise will have control over its own environment, which can be customized to its specific business needs and use cases. This boosts trust in the security of the solution, as IT and CIOs own and control it.

Where a customer is located relative to where data is located can impact legacy applications. Latency can be an issue if users located in a different part of the globe than the company are accessing data via mobile device, resulting in overall poor user experience.

Another con is Capex. Traditionally, the break-even ROI for on-premise deployment – between hardware, software and all required components – is about 24 and 36 months, which can be too long for some organizations. Storage costs also can get expensive.

A feature that could be a pro or con, depending on how one looks at it, is that IT will have a greater involvement. This sometimes can impact an enterprise’s ability to go to market quickly.

Before moving to an on premise/private cloud database, it’s important to examine expected ROI – if the ROI timeline is more than two or three years into the future, then this option can be justified, but this timeline may not apply for all organizations.

Perceived security and compliance are other considerations. Some industries have security regulations that require strict compliance, such as financial services and healthcare. Countries like Canada, Germany and Russia are drafting stricter data residency and sovereignty laws that require data to remain in the country to protect their citizens’ personal information. Doing business in those countries, while housing data in another, would be in violation of those laws.

Security measures and disaster recovery both must be architected into a solution as well.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is flexible and customizable, allowing managers to pick and choose elements of either public or private cloud as needs arise. The biggest advantage of hybrid cloud is the ability to do “cloud bursting.” A business running an application on premise may experience a spike in data volume during a given time of month or year. With hybrid, it can “burst” to the cloud to access more capacity only when needed, without purchasing extra capacity that would normally sit unused.

A hybrid cloud lets an enterprise self-manage an environment without relying too much on IT and it gives the flexibility to deploy workloads depending on business demands.

More importantly, disaster recovery is built into a hybrid solution and thus removes a key concern. An organization can mitigate some restraints of data sovereignty and security laws with a hybrid cloud; some data can stay local and some can go into the cloud.

The cons in a hybrid cloud is that integration is complicated; trying to integrate an on-premise option into a public cloud adds complexity that may lead to security issues. Hybrid cloud also can lead to sprawl, where growth of computing resources underlying IT services is uncontrolled and exceeds the resources required for the number of users.

While hybrid gives the flexibility to leverage the current data center environment with some best-of-breed SaaS offerings, it’s important to have a way to govern and manage sprawl. Equally as important is having a data migration strategy architected into a hybrid cloud. This helps reduce complexity while enhancing security.

Check back tomorrow to read Part 2.

Opinions expressed in the article above do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Data Center Knowledge and Informa.

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.

 

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