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Running Databases In The Cloud Era

Error-prone IT architectures are being consigned to history as most businesses are now moving to the advanced and efficient public and private clouds that offer high availability. Cloud environments make it easy for businesses to manage their applications better and in a cost-effective manner.

Database applications play a key role in all enterprise infrastructures. However, these applications are not up to the mark when it comes to using cloud power and this is specifically more applicable to relational databases. They are used as monolithic applications and pose a huge challenge when you attempt to run them in a scalable manner.

Traditional databases are usually deployed as multiple isolated database instances, especially for distributed environments. Data spread is created when multiple physical copies of the production database are created in the background for test/development environments. It is difficult to achieve full cloud integration with these solutions. The focus is on the locality of data. The use of distributed systems features takes a backseat.

How these databases can be used for solving these problems for various types of databases?

Highly Available Databases

These types of databases are designed to be compatible with both private and public cloud and are also highly scalable. In this system, any hardware or network failure will not affect business continuity. The core design of the system helps remove single points of failure and delivers a seamless experience to users.

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Database Replica Pair (Both Active and Passive)

With the view to ensure that a unit master server can serve all database requests, the database is deployed in replica architecture. It helps copy data from the main server by utilizing the replication feature of the vendor or by using a third-party replication tool. When and if the master server fails, the replica server takes over simultaneously and seamlessly. It makes use of the replicated data to restart the database precisely from where it was at the time of the failure. However, if you use a third-party replication tool, there are chances that there could be some amount of inconsistency after the failover.

Database with Built-In High Availability

The other option is to choose a database that has high availability. Databases with built-on availability such as MongoDB and Cassandra are in demand because of their ability to create data replicas from the database layer consistently. It must be noted that this arrangement might not work for some types of enterprises as they lack the capability.

Test/Dev Databases

For these types of databases, cloning is a common need. They generally run in an isolated infrastructure. Multiple copies of the database are created to support backup and quality assurance.

Snapshot and Cloning

This feature enables users to copy the database to a different site. This is done by taking a snapshot of the database and cloning it to a remote location. A solution such as Oracle RMAN can be used for tracking the changes between snapshots and taking backups and carrying out recovery on a regular basis.

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Storage for Private, Hybrid and Multi-Cloud

The best solution is to delink the database from the storage layer and allow the storage solution deal with high availability for the application. An SDS or Software defined storage comes with such capacities. It offers data protection from all types of software and hardware failures. It also offers flexibility and is compatible with any kind of storage hardware.

Such a solution can be used with private or public cloud and should also work smoothly regardless of whether it is an on-premises or public-cloud location.

Entire database systems in the cloud best suits applications such as social media, gaming, investment and the like. Using DBaaS or Database as a service is the best way to spin databases in the cloud and reduce the time needed to buy servers and create the appropriate infrastructure. You will also have to build a fairly large team to manage these databases.

The following problems must be first set right before considering any cloud-based database installation:

Choosing Vendor:

Each provider offers their unique orchestration framework. This can make moving from one provider to another quite a challenge for consumers.

Synchronization of Data:

You will need am an efficient external tool to copy data from one location to another in a consistent manner. It is seen that these tools and not only complex in nature but expensive as well. If you are building an environment across multiple locations, there are chances that you will run into a bottleneck situation.

Cloud Cost Analysis:

It is imperative that you do a careful and comprehensive cost analysis before you shortlist the applications to be placed on the cloud and premises. A wrong move can prove costly and can send your budget on a toss. Focus on simplicity and flexibility when you choose applications.

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While databases have survived more than 50 years of competition, if you want to gain a competitive edge for your business, using cloud hosting solutions for running modern databases is highly recommended.

About Harpreet Kaur (29 Posts)

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