Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk . Microsoft Data Platform MVP

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Wednesday 9 November 2011

Managing Database as a Service

Before looking at Database-as-a-Service there are 3 concepts that cloud computing traditionally utilize within the ecosystem, virtualization, standardisation and automation. The essential concepts being:
  • Elasticity
  • Rapid provisioning
  • On demand self service
  • Resource pooling
  • Measurable service
  • Standardised reporting
Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) is in its infancy and conceptually sits within the hierarchy of service layers Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). DBaaS utilizes on premise software such as SQL Server to deliver a managed database service.  The service layers are

Table: Examples of Service Offerings

IaaS- Infrastructure as a Service
PaaS – Platform as a Service
DBaaS - Database as a Service

Management of database services has now broaden with multiple owners. It is managed in the private cloud by database administrators. In the public cloud, the public create databases and provision the resources they require for scalability using services such as SQL Azure. This service framework aims to reduce total cost of ownership by reducing the hardware footprint.  This reduced number of SQL Server instances, reduces the number of servers requiring management and maintenance within the database landscape. Consolidation of database services on a shared platform reduces what was known as database server sprawl. 

DBaaS is agile as it has inbuilt processes for the quick provisioning of database services.  The elasticity of the service is provided by instantly being able to expand and collapse capacity.

In the SQL Server MVP Deep Dives (2011) chapter by Peter Ward he discusses further what he calls SQL Service as a service. There he mentions that the SQL Server topology satisfies the following: 
  • Provides self-service functionality to allow end-users to request new, expand, or shrink the resources they’ve been allocated
  • Proactively monitors server and database utilization and reallocates resources as required 
  • Provides expand or collapse capacity, with no downtime 
  • Provides self-service provisioning of new resources 
  • Meters resource utilization for chargeback – a key tenet

PaaS allows SQL Server to run physical or virtual servers to provide Relational Database Management Systems or Business Intelligence systems. Database-as-a-Service is a cloud service which instigates a new model for providing database services that is a deviation from the core managed database service.

In conclusion cloud computing and Database-as-a-Service are just a new way of presenting and managing services which provide the industry with reductions in total cost of ownership. However organizations will continue to need managed database services whether they are provided through traditional, cloud or hybrid managed services.

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