As vendors such as Microsoft and Amazon.com push databases into the cloud, enterprises should consider database-as-a-service as part of a DBMS strategy, according to a new Forrester Research report. However, a number of challenges remain before cloud databases can be widely adopted by enterprises.
It's no secret vendors such as Microsoft and Amazon.com have
placed a bet on providing databases in the cloud. Still, a number of
challenges remain before enterprises can begin adopting database-as-a-service
offerings in a big way-notably concerns over security, vendor pricing models and
performance in the case of large application workloads.
Despite these concerns, given the potential for cost savings in the right
situation and the reduction of IT administrative burdens, cloud databases
should have a place in enterprise DBMS strategies, according to a new report by
The report, entitled "Database-as-a-Service Explodes on the
Scene," advises businesses to take a slow, steady approach to DAAS (database
as a service) offerings. Enterprises should start with small, new, non-mission-critical
Web applications with structured data that can use the SOAP (Simple Object
Access Protocol) and REST protocols. From there, Forrester recommends moving on
to mashups that support Web 2.0 applications and mobile applications before
ultimately moving on to existing applications that require customization.
"DAAS offers a great opportunity to move some of the non-mission-critical,
new Web 2.0 applications, departmental applications and for [small and midsize
businesses], focusing on saving money," said Noel Yuhanna, the author of
the report, in an interview with eWEEK.
Already, a number of vendors have begun to push databases into the cloud,
notably Microsoft with its SQL
Server Data Services
offering, but also companies such as EnterpriseDB and Amazon.com
with its SimpleDB service. Still, there has been a healthy dose
about whether or not DAAS will make sense for enterprises
dealing with large amounts of data and heavy application workloads.
During the next two to three years, Yuhanna predicts there will be
improvements around data security, performance and availability that will allow
DAAS providers to support more mission-critical and complex applications.
In the report, he recommends that enterprises avoid integration between DAAS and on-premises data for now, as that requires opening
special ports, instituting additional security measures and ensuring metadata
integration. He also advises businesses to initially store nonprivate data in
the DAAS platform and insist on data-at-rest encryption, auditing and secure
"When database technology first came on the scene
some 40 years ago, no one wanted to take their mission-critical applications to
such a technology-COBOL, files and paper records were the trusted and reliable
approach, but over time that changed," Yuhanna said. "Similarly, DAAS
adoption will take time, becoming mainstream in about three to four years when
it can support complex and mission-critical applications."