Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) Solutions for Businesses – The Expert Take
Over the last few years, there has been a huge increase in the number of organizations that are moving to the cloud. A report published by Research and Markets revealed the global market for cloud computing solutions is likely to register a Cumulative Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.1% between 2021 and 2028, reaching a value of more than 1.25 trillion USD at the end of the seven-year period.
One of the most popular cloud-based solutions is Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS). DBaaS products help organizations build and host their databases in the cloud in a simple, secure and affordable manner. But with hundreds of DBaaS providers flooding the market, how can you zero-in on the right firm that can meet your unique data management needs? What are the aspects you must consider before inking a deal with a DBaaS company? To find the answers, I talked to Dilip Singh, Director (Solutions) of Solunus. Solunus is the marketing and implementation partner of Workbox, a popular data management solutions provider for the cloud. Here’re the excerpts of the interview.
Businesses want DBaaS solutions that are easy to use, and all DBaaS organizations claim their solutions are simple and intuitive. How can companies evaluate the user-friendliness of a DBaaS offering?
Dilip: You need to check whether your business users can fully utilize the features of the DBaaS product without coding; most DBaaS firms offer products that are rich in features, but only a few can be used effectively by people without programming skills. Many companies make tall claims that their products have a simple point-and-click interface and people can use them with a few clicks of their mouse. You need to make sure you verify these claims, and the best way to do this is to test out the trial versions of the vendors’ products.
Another major aspect you must consider is the ability to add business context to the information in a database. This will go a long way in making the lives of DBaaS users simpler and enhance their productivity.
Dilip: When a DBaaS user attempts to retrieve the information in a database, he has problems identifying the data stored in each of the columns; this is because a column is named for the type of data it holds and not after the business purpose it serves. For example, a column containing the e-mails of customers is identified as VARCHAR and not as CUSTOMER CONTACT E-MAIL, and this may result in confusion. At Workbox, we help resolve this problem by enabling users to name columns based on business context, making them more meaningful.
A major concern of DBaaS users is security of their data in the cloud. How can users evaluate the security features offered by cloud-based database vendors?
Dilip: You need to make sure the cloud-based database is fully protected against cyberthreats such as SQL injections. Also, ensure only the right, authorized persons are able to access the data – it is very important DBaaS providers use OAuth technologies and enable multi-factor authentication to protect data from falling into wrong hands.
Data storage is governed by different laws in different countries and regions. What are the aspects companies need to look for in this regard?
Dilip: Many organizations make the mistake of considering only their present compliance needs. Let me explain this more clearly with an example – a company currently operates only in the US; so, it teams up with an American DBaaS provider, who ensures full compliance only with US data regulations. Later, the company decides to expand its business to Europe, where it must adhere to the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As their DBaaS vendor does not support the GDPR, the company will be compelled to switch to a new provider. This would involve considerable effort and expenditure. So, it’s highly advisable to keep in mind the compliance requirements that may arise as a result of their future business operations.
Agility and flexibility in using data is key to the success of a business in the 21st century. How can companies make sure their DBaaS provider can help meet their dynamic needs?
Dilip: Good question. You must choose a DBaaS solution that enables a multi-cloud approach to prevent vendor lock-in and ensure high levels of flexibility to operate on multiple cloud platforms to leverage the best-in-class features and be able to respond to changing requirements with high levels of efficacy.
Another key element you need to focus on is the support provided to various data models. The DBaaS vendor should allow you to store and use all data varieties, in the format of your choice. You must be able to access the data through any data model that meets your needs. The cloud database provider must provide a smart, performance-oriented and highly scalable database that can provide data at any time, without hassles.
How do you look at the future of DBaaS solutions?
Dilip: DBaaS solutions are becoming more powerful and user-friendly, and I believe this trend will continue over the coming years. An increasing number of companies are building cloud-native applications, and this is giving rise to the need to build very robust databases with high performance. Businesses are looking for a comprehensive array of cloud-based capabilities that would allow them to build databases and applications in the cloud with a wide variety of functionality.
This is what the IT veteran has to say. Hope you liked the interview. What are your experiences with DBaaS solutions? We’d love to know.