To be, or not to be…. “In the Cloud”
By Ramesh Chitor, Senior Director, Business Development at Tegile Systems
Mission-critical databases for enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), analytics, business intelligence, data warehousing and enterprise applications enable an enterprise to maintain a competitive edge. Enterprise Databases underlie most other applications, so it’s no surprise that DBaaS (database-as-a-service) options are becoming more common. If you’re thinking of rolling out databases in a cloud environment or consuming them as a service, there are some important caveats to bear in mind. In a session today with of our database partners, we discussed some of the challenges involved with creating and managing cloud database systems. My own experience largely derives from enterprise database Sybase ASE (now SAP), Oracle, MySQL (now owned by Oracle), and emerging NoSQL databases. The core principles of moving into cloud would apply with any database platform.
There is more than one approach. There are a few potential ways of implementing databases. The first is to run a virtual machine on an existing cloud provider and then install database software on top of it. Another way is to access a true database-as-a-server system, where you directly connect into a database service via a port rather than using SSH or other means.
While both of these approaches are not mutually exclusive, given what some leading public cloud providers do today, you do not want to put your applications on an unknown cloud platform with inconsistent performance. As you data lives and grows in the cloud, pricing does not remain linear and performance can vary. If you have worked closely with databases, you know that the database engines are CPU hogs. Their usage has to be monitored closely, even with all the automation sold by cloud providers. If you do not monitor your usage closely, in a pay-as-you-go model, you can easily end up spending way more than you expected. With extremely high CPU usage, storage bottlenecks can kick-in without timely backup/restores. Competition for disk is always an issue. If you have to wait for a disk to sync, that latency can spike. Data loss prevention is top of mind when it comes to running your storage device in the cloud.
Enterprise Application Software, relational databases, mobile applications all have different security thresholds while running on the cloud. As an example, web/mobile/social applications can be moved to a virtual server without the same degree of security concerns as a mission critical database workload. When deciding on whether an application. Product, or service belongs to a cloud environment or not, CIOs must consider SLA, Security Environments, and type of applications supported. The decision to move to the cloud, especially the public cloud, should depend on the sensitivity of the data and the level of security offered by the cloud provider. The final question should be whether the business value offsets the risk.
For most applications and mission critical databases, an on-prem model supplemental by a modern all flash technology supporting a wide range of storage protocols would be a better fit with a better longer term ROI and stability.
You’ll rarely get everything when you want, in today’s public cloud. It’s usually a lot of tweaks in expectations (Price/Performace/SLAs/Compliance to name a few), and a whole bunch of things you need to moderate and configure.
To deliver mission-critical database services, converged platforms have emerged as the platform of choice. Comprising servers, storage, networking and associated management software, these tightly integrated systems eliminate lengthy integration of disparate hardware.
Our Converged platform, Intellistack with Cisco Systems enables IT environments to become highly responsive to business requirements. IT can rapidly deploy new databases and applications, and meet mission-critical database service level agreements (SLAs), while maintaining operational efficiencies for system administration. At Tegile Systems, we offer flexibility to our customers and technology partners. Whether you want an All Flash Array or a Hybrid System, NAS or SAN protocols, we have one Primary Data Storage solution that allows you to meet your end goals and business outcomes without having a need to compromise on your KPIs.