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Wanting to Migrate to Cloud Computing? You’re Going to Want a DBA
November 18, 2013
More and more, companies are migrating toward cloud computing. Cloud services makes business sense for some organizations since cloud computing offloads and simplifies many business processes. If you think the cloud is where your company needs to migrate to in order to grow and compete, there are some important tasks that need to be done first.
Do a Database Assessment
Before you decide to take the leap into cloud computing, you’re going to want to have a professional database assessment performed. Why is this necessary? For one, you might discover that you don’t want all of your data on the cloud. Some data may be deemed as “too sensitive” for cloud services. Even if you move forward with cloud computing it is important to note that there is no requirement that you go “all in.” Sometimes, it makes better business sense to have a hybrid business environment. Why would you want some of your data to remain off the cloud? For one, if the data is only being used by users that are in one location (data that is specific to one office, for example), it makes more business sense to have that localized data stored in the same location - on premise. Full cloud solutions makes more sense when you have end-users utilizing web enterprise applications located in multiple locations accessing the same data. This means that when deciding whether to put data on the cloud or not, you may want to use a case-by-case basis for your applications and information. A holistic database analysis and assessment would be necessary in order to understand what data should be where and how you plan to migrate and integrate with the cloud. After your database assessment, you will need to determine what type of cloud service makes sense for your business environment. Again,
Determine the Type of Cloud Service You Want
There are two key ways to look at having your database in the cloud. Depending on the level of operational requirements that you decide to offload, you either want to maintain as much data control as possible, or you can tolerate less data control over your cloud databases. Let’s take a look at the three standard cloud service level models: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
IaaS is the most basic of the three models. In other words, IaaS gives you the most control over your cloud database. With an IaaS, the service provider offers either virtual or physical machines which store your data. Your IaaS provider may, of course, offer other components beyond the virtual or physical machine that houses your data. They can also offer services such as virtual local area networks (VLANS), load balancing, and firewalls. Regardless of these other services, essentially, with an IaaS, you are outsourcing the infrastructure that is necessary for your IT services, operations and data.
With PaaS, you are essentially leasing an entire computing platform from the service provider. Whereas IaaS offers you the infrastructure, PaaS gives you the infrastructure and the application development platform as well. With PaaS, you maintain control over the environment, but the service provider creates, maintains, and updates that environment for you. In other words, with PaaS, you give up control over the infrastructure and the platform, but you still manage the applications.
SaaS gives you the least control over your database. With SaaS, the service provider supplies the infrastructure, the platform, and the web applications. The provider installs any and all software that is to be used by you and your users. Some of the primary benefits and purposes for using SaaS include ensured compatibility among all users because everyone is using the exact same version of the software, and reduced IT operational costs because the hardware and software maintenance and support are outsourced. However, your functional business processes must be integrated into the SaaS model for a successful cloud solution.
Each of the above cloud service models has their advantages. Sometimes, the service you think you need is not the solution that is most beneficial to your company’s strategic requirements. An experienced DBA can perform your database assessment and help you to determine which cloud service model is best for you.