Dedicated servers have been the traditional method used by businesses to store and transfer data at a great expense. Cloud technology provides a way to host databases while freeing businesses from the cost of purchasing a dedicated hardware. According to a study done by Rackspace, 52 percent of the respondents said they wouldn’t have been able to afford on-premises IT resources without cloud computing. 43 percent said that the availability of cloud-based resources made setting up their business easier.
What is a cloud database?
A cloud database works like a standard database. It’s a vendor-delivered service that’s built, deployed and delivered through a cloud platform. It’s accessed through a Web browser or a vendor-provided application programing interface (API) for application and service integration. Additional instances and resources of storage and computing can be assigned instantly in a cloud. The vendor manages the backend processes of database installation, deployment and resource assignment.
The benefits of the cloud
Cloud databases offer several benefits. They allow businesses to access data from any location, including from another country, so continuity and effectiveness are maintained. Furthermore, many businesses don’t have an adequate disaster recovery plan for their data. Such a recovery plan is often considered too expensive and complex for anything other than the most critical data, so placing data on a cloud database makes automated recovery after a failure easier. If a power outage, equipment failure or natural disaster occurs, data is safer sitting on a third-party server. The cloud database is backed up or replicated on a remote site and a fail-over of the network is done to the remote site in the event of a disaster.
Cloud databases also provide automated scalability, making it easier to expand storage capacities. Instead of being hindered by conventional hard drives, a business has a virtually endless supply of space in the cloud. Plus, businesses also only pay for the space they’re actually using.
As far as IT concerns, a cloud database requires a minimal investment and little maintenance of on-premise hardware. A business doesn’t spend money on servers, on space to house the servers or on training IT personnel and paying them to maintain the servers.
Avoiding the drawbacks of cloud databases
Many businesses are concerned about security and privacy in the cloud. Is data safe while en route? Most cloud database providers encrypt data, making it impossible for someone to read even if they capture the files. Check the cloud database provider’s security features and compare providers before choosing one.
Another drawback of cloud databases is the loss of control. A business placing its data in the hands of a third party gives up a certain amount of control. The cloud database provider controls its servers and where they’re located. What would happen if the provider went out of business? Be sure to choose a provider that has a proven track record and a reliable client base.
Taking advantage of the cloud’s innovations
A cloud database service provides great advantages over traditional dedicated servers, including increased accessibility, automated recovery from failures, automated scalability, minimal investment and maintenance of on-premise hardware and better performance. At the same time, cloud databases also have potential drawbacks, including security issues, loss of control and potential loss of or inability to access critical data in the event of a disaster. As long as you take these concerns into account, cloud technology offers a cost-effective and innovative solution, allowing your business to reach new efficiencies and productivity.