A cloud database is a database service built and accessed through a cloud computing platform. It serves many of the same functions as a traditional database with the added flexibility of cloud computing. Users install software on a cloud infrastructure to implement the database.
Managing engagement and application data for massive networks of mobile users or remote devices can be a scalability and availability challenge. The problem is that most databases require updates to occur in a central “master” database. This can result in performance bottlenecks and prevent applications from running if the connection to the master database is unavailable.
A cloud database enables organizations to push database access to the farthest edge of the network for mobile devices, remote facilities, sensors and Internet-enabled goods. This helps to improve scalability and enable applications to continue running while offline.
Cloud databases collect, deliver, replicate and push to the edge all of an organization’s data using the hybrid cloud concept. Users no longer have to deploy the dependent middleware to deliver database requests anywhere in the world. They can connect applications directly to their database.
Hybrid databases create a distributed hybrid data cloud for increased performance, reach, uptime mobility and cost savings so organizations can:
For example, financial organizations are embracing the hybrid concept by using the database as a central repository for all their disparate data sources, and then delivering this financial data in JSON format. This data is then distributed to the database as a service and replicated to geographic regions across the world.
If a customer in Singapore has to wait more than 4 seconds for their mobile application data to be retrieved from a database in New Jersey, that customer is not likely to use that application again. Database-as-a-service (DBaaS) can replicate and distribute immediately and offer near real-time access to data worldwide.
Users can access cloud databases from virtually anywhere, using a vendor’s API or web interface.
Cloud databases can expand their storage capacities on run-time to accommodate changing needs. Organizations pay only for what they use.
In the event of a natural disaster, equipment failure or power outage, data is kept secure through backups on remote servers.
A cloud database can accommodate growing data management needs. Organizations can continuously optimize the data layer for cost, performance, security and reach. They can break up their data, distribute it, and move it closer to their users. Considerations for a cloud database include:
Control options: Users can opt for a virtual machine image managed like a traditional database or a provider’s DBaaS.
Database technology: SQL databases are difficult to scale but very common. NoSQL databases scale more easily but do not work with some applications.
Security: Most cloud database providers encrypt data and provide other security measure.
Maintenance: When using a virtual machine image, IT staffers should understand how to maintain the underlying infrastructure.
Rely on a dedicated operations team, PITR and high-availability disaster recovery (HADR) with multizone region support and independent scaling.
Use this fully managed, distributed database for heavy workloads and fast-growing web and mobile apps. Cloudant is available as an IBM Cloud® service.
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