Having worked almost for a decade in databases, especially, object databases, I have seen how object database, or NoSQL databases have meta-morphed for cloud. I have talked about that here in the past.
Database systems, as system of records, have been there since very early age of information technology, as one of the essential ingredients for enterprises and business to run. Much before advent of cloud, enterprises managed their own application ecosystem in a ubiquitous and mysterious “server room”. As advancements in information technology progressed and also dawn of outsourcing, companies providing various kinds of managed services to enterprises were spawned. Typical characteristics of these companies includes, for example, for a company providing managed database services, data center with virtual machines running database systems such as Oracle. The integrated monitoring system to monitor and generate alarms on issues with infrastructure. The ticketing systems through which customers can generate requests for their database operations, which are handled by army of database administrators. These are also managing backup, restores and other proactive database administration activity depending on various SLA factors, including patching. The whole setup is largely manual, and customers would enter into multi-year contracts with such vendors.
With the advent of cloud, “everything” as a Service is getting proliferation. We see IaaS, PaaS, SaaS services by various vendors. Many cloud service providers/vendors are also now offering something called Database as a Service(DBaaS).
How are these different to traditional Managed Services for Databases? The basic tenet of cloud is as we understand is self-service, which is typically achieved via automation and pay only for actual usage.
DBaaS is very attractive for dev/test kind of environments where cost-benefit is selling point, especially, in self-managed cloud environment. For production workloads or enterprise workloads, depending on your needs, you may want to bring in ability to have availability, security, backups, scale, performance etc. Many of these needs can be met via adding other related services to basic DBaaS. For example, managed backup feature can be availed to add backup to your databases in cloud. One can choose, various recovery solutions available for availability purposes. In fact, one can think of having entire slew of managed database services for their databases in cloud availed under DBaaS.
So both these services are complimentary to each other. Different situations need different services to be used.