What Is DBaaS?
DBaaS provides centralized database services to several business units within an organization, from on-premises infrastructure or over the cloud. The provider in this scenario manages the entire database that users will access and use. DBaaS is a managed service, which means that the provider will control and administer physical hardware and software. The customer can opt for varying levels of control over the data, or different levels of compute resources, uptime, and database availability, through a service level agreement (SLA).
Most cloud service providers (CSPs), including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM, Oracle, and Rackspace, offer DBaaS, along with small-tier companies such as Couchbase and Cloudera. Businesses with a robust private cloud infrastructure can also benefit from developing and providing their own DBaaS as an internally packaged service. Businesses that are plotting out their DBaaS strategy should start by asking what their goals are, how much control they want, and whether or not their departments are ready for the cloud.
Benefits of DBaaS
All industries use databases, and all databases incur costs to configure, manage, and administrate. A centralized DBaaS provider, whether internal to the organization or third party, can help consolidate infrastructure needs and open up new cost efficiencies. On the customers’ end, users spend less time worrying about infrastructure, and more time getting results from their data.
In a DBaaS model, the provider takes on the burden of deploying infrastructure, keeping it up to date, and managing database software and services. Businesses that subscribe to DBaaS offerings or instances from a CSP can do so using their operational budget, rather than making large up-front capital investments in new infrastructure. Even in a private cloud model, businesses can benefit from consolidating their disparate infrastructure into a centralized data center. This consolidation can help reduce the number of software licenses required and help ease management burdens by giving one team the responsibility to keep the platform upgraded and updated.
Centralization and Data Lakes
In legacy data management models, each business unit might manage their own database in what is colloquially known as a data pool or data silo. Because this data is managed separately by different stakeholders at uncoordinated intervals, data may not always be the most current or up to date across different business units. DBaaS is a centralized service, meaning that all of a business’s data is combined into a singular data lake. Every business unit draws upon the same data set for production or insights, ensuring that all departments are using the most-up-to-date information. A business needs only to update or change data in a centralized database once to ensure that changes flow to all business units.
CSPs that offer DBaaS provide world-class security to help protect platforms and data from unauthorized access and digital threats like malware. CSPs can often be more specialized in security than a typical enterprise or small business because they’re managing the infrastructure and therefore the risk for any number of clients. Alternatively, some businesses may want to retain total control over their own data and opt for on-premises solutions. In these scenarios, a DBaaS infrastructure can pair more closely with information security (InfoSec) operations. For example, IT at Intel showcased how developing a custom cybersecurity intelligence platform with centralized data lakes helped empower their threat detection capabilities.
Yet another concern is the notion of data sovereignty, which explains how certain nations or geographical regions apply laws and regulations on data storage and access, consumer privacy, and security requirements by industry. For example, countries may differ in how they permit access to private data from public sector institutions such as law enforcement. This concern impacts how a business approaches DBaaS, whether through internal technology investments or through a CSP, so they can have more control over where data is physically stored.
DBaaS is a facet of cloud computing, as many DBaaS services are hosted over private, hybrid, or public clouds. A key benefit to cloud computing as a service delivery model is the principle of elastic scale. Databases in the cloud can scale compute and storage resources up or down depending on the user’s need and depending on the provider’s available infrastructure. Customers don’t have to invest in new infrastructure to support a growing database; they can simply use operating budget to increase their rental of various DBaaS cloud services.
Enable DevOps with DBaaS
The purpose of data is to support analysis, services delivery, or app creation. Within a business, developers play a key role in building applications to support business operations and provide services to internal business units or to external customers, a practice commonly known as DevOps. DBaaS supports developers by making data more readily available and centralized. In building applications, developers can create APIs to interact with the DBaaS and push or pull information as needed.
As mentioned previously, because DBaaS is centralized, any changes made to stored data will update and flow to all other business units without requiring individual stakeholders to process manual updates. Centralization is particularly useful for organizations with established InfoSec or customer relationship management (CRM) services, where multiple business units coordinate their efforts based on shared information.
Intel and DBaaS
Database performance is directly linked to compute core, networking, and storage performance. When it comes to CSP-delivered DBaaS, Intel works closely with key vendors to ensure that DBaaS runs optimally on Intel® architecture. End customers benefit from this relationship in using services that offer the best of both hardware and software, enabling a turnkey solution. As Intel rolls out new generations of technology, database performance scales with enhancements to speed, capacity, and security.
- 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, also known as Ice Lake, offer increased core count and memory bandwidth compared to previous generations. Core count directly impacts database performance, while memory capacity contributes to data availability, especially when processing large data sets.
- Key innovations in 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors include Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX) and Intel® Total Memory Encryption (Intel® TME). These technologies help protect data in flight, in use, and at rest from unauthorized access or advanced attacks like memory snooping.
- Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel® AVX-512) is a unique competitive feature in Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors that includes new SIMD instructions to accelerate data processing.
- Intel® Optane™ DC SSDs offer high-capacity data storage with exceptional read/write speeds and PCIe interface options to position data closer to the CPU. With Intel® Optane™ persistent memory, data in memory persists through system shutdowns and reboots.