Keeping Up with the Evolving Needs of Databases and Applications in the Cloud

The advancing world of cloud and automation is inciting a transitory period for many enterprises working to adapt; these changes are sparking a domino effect within enterprise tech stacks. Database capabilities are being reevaluated in their effectiveness to underpin, secure, govern, and manage hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Experts joined DBTA’s webinar, “Database Management in the Cloud: Adapting to the Changing Landscape,” to explore database strategies and skills that will inevitably bring about successful cloud environments.

Clint Sprauve, director of product marketing at Delphix, explained that multi-cloud environments increase data complexity, and in turn, overall risk. With each cloud offering proprietary point solutions with differing functionality and APIs, data governance, automation, and compliance suffers from over-complexity.

The key to managing this complexity is adopting a multi-cloud operating model which leverages a data mesh to unify data compliance, governance, and automation across both applications and clouds. Instead of data governance, automation, and compliance suffering from an overbearing number of solutions and APIs to manage its existence in the cloud, technologies like a data control tower (DCT), continuous data automation, and continuous compliance services will ease the tension of cloud transition on your data.

Centrally governing and automating at scale is critical toward a successful data transition to cloud environments, according to Sprauve. Technologies suggested that will attain this success include:

  • Data mesh that spans across multi-cloud apps and databases
  • Automated compliance for data at scale in development and testing
  • Toolchain integrations with API-based automation of data into toolchains
  • Governed self-service equipped with a catalog, tagging, and access control
  • DevOps data APIs for CI/CD which encourages fast, ephemeral, cost-effective data

Sprauve recommended Delphix’s DevOps Data Platform, an API-first data platform designed for the multi-cloud that automates data security while simultaneously deploying data to accelerate development. Its DevOps APIs provide an automated, scalable platform to meet DevOps and CI/CD data demands, operates on a zero-trust, immutable data model, all supported by green data which increases utilization while reducing costs and environmental impact, according to Sprauve.

Tim Rottach, director of product marketing at Couchbase, asserted that both application needs and database requirements have changed. Applications are expected to be developed and deployed efficiently, consistently delivering great experiences to its end users in real-time. To accommodate a massive user environment, databases are also expected to scale and perform at high quantities while maintaining a flexible, microservice architecture.

Yet a heap of challenges remain: data sprawl, disparate platforms with multiple interfaces, differing management and security systems, as well as a significant finance drain due to licenses, integration, training, operation, and support stall many enterprises' ability to leverage the cloud and an effective data environment simultaneously.

Rottach introduced Couchbase Capella, a cloud database platform (or DBaaS, Database-as-a-Service) for modern applications which delivers fast performance, high availability, the flexibility of a NoSQL database, and affordability with elastic scaling and sharding, multidimensional scaling, and high-density storage to drive down ramping cloud costs.

The DBaaS enables enterprises to consistently deliver great mobile/IoT experiences, as it guarantees apps stay on regardless of web connectivity and speed. It’s also familiar; Couchbase Capella uses the SQL++ query language, ACID SQL transactions, and provides SDKs for over 12 languages.

Michael Agarwal, global practice leader in cloud databases, SRE, and NoSQL at Datavail, highlighted the changing role of the DBA as the overarching thesis for making or breaking a successful database/data environment for the cloud. Ultimately, as the shift from on-premises to cloud has redefined data in an enterprise, so too has the role of the DBA. Though some areas remain the same, such as ETL work, database design and development, and database deployment, others become wildly different.

Modern DBAs are now responsible for Infrastructure-as-a-Code (Terraform, Ansible, AWS CloudFormation, Azure Resource Manager Template), with particular note that emphasizes the understanding of Python/Bash scripts. In terms of database backup and recovery, as well as high availability and disaster recovery (HADR), the DBA role lightens its load; for managed and PaaS services, many offer the ability to enable an already instituted function for backup and recovery/HADR.

Compared to on-prem responsibilities, many become more simplistic in the cloud, highlighting the advantage toward an enterprise transition, according to Agarwal. Global replication, scaling, data center reliability, and virtualization all become much easier to execute in the cloud. Luckily, Agarwal explained that performance monitoring and database tuning remains relatively the same between on-prem and the cloud; though some tools might be different, the approaches to troubleshooting and remediating are similar.

Agarwal further maintained that Datavail for cloud databases combines these advantages toward database management in the cloud, and more. Advantages include:

  • Experience and trust: Datavail houses over a thousand data, analytics, and development experts; is relationship focused; and has an average client relationship of over 7 years
  • Cloud and data leaders: Datavail is a world leader in data with 200,000-plus databases and 200-plus PB of data under management; coordination over 200 cloud migrations and over 50 modernizations in the past two years; maintains strong partnerships with AWS, Azure, Oracle, and MongoDB
  • Longevity: Datavail’s data expats average at 20 years of experience; has a low offshore turnover; and has 15 years of experience in managing and optimizing databases

To view an in-depth discussion of database management in the cloud, you can view an archived version of the webinar here.