When looking at what it takes to find a job in your career of choice or to move to the next step in your discipline, we often think predominantly of technical skills — also known as hard skills. As in, what specific competencies do you need to complete the core duties of a role?
In today’s IT market, almost everything is moving to cloud, and that includes databases and data management systems. Cloud modernization allows for more distributed architectures, and as such, database structures and data management solutions must follow. Gartner reports that 68 percent of database management system (DBMS) vendor revenue growth is now in the cloud, and by 2023, 75 percent of all databases will be on a cloud platform.
While nearly all future-proofed data architecture strategies make use of cloud in some way, it is essential to understand the difference between a database in the cloud and a cloud-native database. If you are a data architect or analytics leader, chances are you’re already shifting to a cloud strategy. By understanding your options, the benefits they provide and the training your team needs, you’ll be better equipped to select a cloud database to support your future development strategies.
Your Industry on Cloud
IT and business leaders choose cloud solutions for various reasons, including greater flexibility in resources and pricing, access to leading-edge technologies, better business continuity and simplified connectivity with business partners. While the banking/finance, manufacturing and services industries are currently leading in database-platform-as-a-service (dbPaaS) inquiries, traditional interest in cloud database technology is gaining traction in nearly every market.
When inquiring about dbPaaS solutions, there are key indicators that can help you determine if the solution you’re evaluating is truly a cloud DBMS. Native cloud DBMS platforms make use of all the benefits of cloud. A DBMS that is simply ported to a cloud environment — but left to function like a traditional database — cannot compete in terms of scalability, elasticity and availability. A cloud-native DBMS may also come with game-changing, built-in data analytics capabilities. By understanding the benefits of a cloud-native DBMS, you can align your data management and access strategies — including analytics goals — with the inherent capabilities of your DBMS solution of choice.
The Benefits of a True Cloud DBMS
Cloud DBMS solutions behave quite differently from their non-cloud-native counterparts. Use the following checklist to determine whether or not your proposed cloud DBMS or dbPaaS is a true cloud-native solution or a migrated ‘pretender.’
One of the most significant benefits of cloud is the ability to expand and contract resources based on usage and demand. Unlike a traditional DBMS, you shouldn’t have to manually manage compute, storage or memory once your cloud database is up and running. A cloud-native DBMS takes care of that elasticity for you in real time, based on load.
Whether your database needs one terabyte or many petabytes, and whether you have a thousand users or millions, cloud database elasticity should include seamless scalability that is only restricted by the terms you agree to in your contract.
A cloud-native DBMS should fully exploit different regions, availability zones and even different clouds to guarantee zero downtime and no loss of data access. With the right cloud system, 100 percent availability is possible.
Simplified data distribution
Whenever possible, your users should have access to the replicated data store closest to them, geographically speaking. With cloud data distribution, your users experience lower latency and higher availability at all times.
After initial setup and migration, the traditional database administrator tasks (like backup, provisioning and tuning) should be automated and hands-free. Your database administrators should receive regular reports or have a simplified dashboard to keep track of usage and issues.
Data protection should be applied in a consistent and configurable manner across all access controls, including workloads, data models, other clouds and on-premises and external actors.
The underlying data architecture’s foundation is fundamental in evaluating whether or not a cloud DBMS is native. A masterless, shared-nothing design allows for all of the above requirements to be fulfilled, either within the database itself or through a simple integration exercise with connected cloud platform vendors.
Choosing the Right Solution
There is a lot to be said for industry leaders. Vendors make their way to the top for many reasons, including innovation, flexibility, pricing and ease of use. Over the last decade, maturing cloud DBMS solutions have been part of the shifting market positions of the most prominent cloud service providers. Yet even with mounting competition, providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP continue to dominate the database and cloud markets in the enterprise space. Leading cloud infrastructures and the services that run on them are becoming the new standard in enterprise data management. Not only do they support infrastructure as a service (IaaS), but they also provide data management fabric that seamlessly connects on-premises, private cloud and multi-cloud data stores, along with analytics capabilities that provide a wealth of business insight. Data management services offered by leading cloud providers don’t just “lift and shift” your database — they transform your entire enterprise and give you new ways of managing and making use of your data.
Get the Right Training for Your Data Science Teams
One of the best ways to keep up with transforming technologies is through training. At ExitCertified, our vendor-certified expert instructors stay ahead of industry changes and teach the latest vendor technologies. Whether you’re evaluating a leading cloud provider like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft or Google, or you want to see what’s next with traditional database vendors like Oracle, SAP or IBM, your team can take the high-quality, vendor-approved courses they need to make informed decisions and accelerate your transformation.