What is Cloud Database and How It help your business?

Enterprises are increasingly moving the infrastructure that supports their applications, websites and services to the cloud in order to meet business goals and objectives. This online migration includes their database environment.

What is Cloud Database and How It help your business?

This article is designed to help business decision makers understand some of the core challenges and opportunities afforded by cloud database technology. The goal is to help you make more informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes as you develop and execute your cloud strategy

  • What is a Cloud Database?
  • Challenges of Cloud Databases
  • Cloud Database Providers
  • Cloud Database Benefits and Use Cases

Content Summary

Introduction
What is a Cloud Database?
Different Types of Cloud Models
Cloud Deployment Options: What’s the Best Option for You?
Challenges of Cloud Databases
Cloud Database Providers
How are They Similar?
Cloud Database Benefits and Use Cases
Conclusion

Introduction

There was a time when on-premises hardware and software options were the only choice a business had for building out a backend environment.

You needed to make all the decisions about the hardware, operating system, configuration settings, usage plans, backup strategies and more. If your infrastructure is not robust enough for your needs, the environment suffered.

Organizations across every industry, from government to healthcare to financial services, are discovering and using the benefits of moving business applications to the cloud. This means offloading the cost of software maintenance and management to a third party, and just paying for the software use and functionality.

The ability to lower costs, simplify IT management and establish a more flexible and scalable architecture are compelling reasons to move beyond on-premises legacy computing. But the decision to migrate to the cloud is just the beginning, and the choices only become more complex from there.

Cloud computing spending is expected to grow at better than 6x the rate of IT spending through 2020. – SysGroup, “10 Cloud Computing Statistics You Need To Know” December 2018

Enterprises are moving to the cloud in droves. The annual run rates of major cloud providers are increasing:

Graphs from ZDNet, “Top Cloud Providers” December 2018
Graphs from ZDNet, “Top Cloud Providers” December 2018

The number of enterprises saying that they have moved, are actively moving, or thinking about moving to the cloud is growing:

Graphs from ZDNet, “Top Cloud Providers” December 2018
Graphs from ZDNet, “Top Cloud Providers” December 2018

Now more than ever, enterprises are finding that the cloud offers benefits and advantages over on-premises computing environments. These benefits extend to databases and database management.

What is Driving Enterprises to the Cloud?

  • Providing access to data anywhere (42%) – desktop visualization is a very popular service with employees traveling further and for longer and companies becoming more global and connected. Having access anytime, any place is vital for success and the cloud enables companies to meet their growing demands.
  • Enhancing disaster recovery capabilities (38%) – companies depend on their IT infrastructures. Without it, activity grinds to a halt. Business continuity is vital in this fastpaced world and the cloud’s scalability enables companies to have confidence in a recovery plan that minimizes the impact of a disaster.
  • Enabling better flexibility (37%) – Reducing the support burden on IT staff (36%) – managed IT services are an extension of a company’s IT team, allowing them to focus on other key activities within the business.

What is a Cloud Database?

Traditional databases are familiar territory for most organizations with an on-premises IT infrastructure.

In the on-premises model, you typically have more control over management decisions because you own the hardware infrastructure, including servers and the platform. You handle all of the configuration options and choose the operating systems to support, but you’re also responsible for troubleshooting maintaining all aspects of the backend environment. As a result, traditional on-premises database management can be expensive and time-consuming, and the responsibility to maintain application uptime and security puts increasing pressure on IT organizations that may already be stretched thin.

On the other hand, a cloud database allows you to access servers and hardware via a hosting platform, which is typically offered as a service and resides offsite. You don’t have to worry about purchasing and maintaining hardware, you simply pay to access your data from the cloud in a way that meets agreed-upon service level agreements (SLAs) between you and the cloud provider. Although there are a few types of deployments, most organizations choose between private or public cloud options, each of which has pros and cons depending on your business requirements.

Different Types of Cloud Models

For many organizations thinking of moving to the cloud, the choices can be daunting. There are so many types of cloud models, how do you know which is the right one for you? This section explains some of the differences between the main cloud types.

Public Cloud

Public clouds are the most popular model of cloud computing services because they offer a variety of choices to meet the needs of organizations of all sizes and industries. A public cloud infrastructure is shared by multiple organizations and owned and operated by a third party such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure, which takes care of the overall management for customers. Public clouds are easy and cost-effective to implement and provide fast provisioning. Because you can pay as you go to meet business demands, it’s a lowcost option for deploying applications. Public clouds are best suited for organizations with predictable computing needs, or who need additional support and expertise to address changing business demands.

While public clouds provide reasonable security, they may not be ideal for organizations with strict data security and compliance requirements.

In a public cloud, most of the setup options are preconfigured, and critical services such as automatic backups are taken care of for you. This means you have less control over your cloud infrastructure, which may make it more difficult to meet certain compliance regulations. However, shifting maintenance responsibilities to a third party can also provide greater peace of mind for organizations looking to offload essential database management services.

Private Cloud

Private clouds are exclusively owned and managed by your company but can be hosted internally or externally by a third party. Because they are exclusively owned, the computing resources are isolated, delivered via a secure private network and not shared with other customers, unlike the public cloud model. As a result, private clouds tend to be more secure than public clouds. A private cloud is a preferred option for organizations that have stricter security requirements and need more control over the cloud infrastructure, data management, application hosting and uptime requirements. For example, some security-conscious organizations, such as research institutions, may opt for private clouds because they offer a similar degree of control and privacy as an on-premises database.

It’s important to note that private clouds are more expensive than public clouds, especially for short-term use. They may be difficult and costly to scale to accommodate more users and increased demand, which can create performance issues that require additional resources and expertise to manage.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud architecture is a mix of public and private clouds. They are typically integrated in a way that allows applications and data to share the resources between public and private cloud infrastructures. This allows organizations to reap the advantages of each type of solution; they can offer the security and control of a private cloud without sacrificing the scalability, performance and cost control benefits of public cloud computing. For instance, organizations with a hybrid cloud can host their high-security IT workloads in a private cloud but leverage public cloud resources to handle occasional demand spikes.

As a result, scaling to provide additional computing capacity does not incur the additional costs typical in a private cloud environment. Instead, it is delivered as a one-time or short-term service through a public cloud. Best of all, a hybrid environment seamlessly integrates public and private clouds so they can leverage the advantages of each one and run workloads where they perform optimally. Although hybrid clouds are ideal for organizations that need the flexibility to continually switch between cloud service models to meet business needs, hybrid clouds can become an expensive option. They can also be challenging and complex to integrate because organizations lack direct control over public cloud infrastructures.

IDC has estimated that nearly 85% of enterprise IT organizations have committed to deploying multi-cloud architectures in 2018. – CIO, “Understanding the Benefits of a Multi-Cloud Strategy,” May 2018

Multi-Cloud

The term multi-cloud is often confused with hybrid cloud, but in reality they are two different types of deployments. As noted above, a hybrid cloud is the integration of a public cloud with a private, on-premises cloud data center. A multi-cloud deployment refers to the use of multiple public cloud providers, such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform. The trend toward multi-cloud use has been driven by the desire to avoid dependency on a single cloud provider (i.e., “putting all your eggs in one basket”). In fact, IDC has estimated that nearly 85% of enterprise IT organizations have committed to deploying multi-cloud architectures in 2018.

Given the benefits of multi-cloud, this trend is not surprising. With this type of cloud deployment, companies can avoid vendor lock-in while

benefiting from cost savings, better performance, a lowered risk of distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and improved reliability — which are essential advantages to staying ahead in today’s highly competitive digital economy. A well-designed multi-cloud architecture allows organizations to quickly shift their computing load to a different provider in case one has suffered a DDoS attack or fatal performance outage. With multi-cloud, organizations can achieve a level of resiliency not available with a single provider, which is a huge business advantage.

In addition, multi-cloud deployments can be highly customized. Some organizations choose to host different IT workloads with different providers depending on their particular requirements. Although most large enterprise IT organizations have shifted to a multi-cloud strategy, it’s important to note that architecting and operating these deployments can be a highly complex undertaking. Multi-cloud deployments are frequently handled by managed cloud service providers, especially in organizations that do not want to bring the required expertise in-house.

Community Cloud

A community cloud is yet another type of cloud model and a variation on the private cloud model. Community clouds are designed to serve a limited number of individuals or organizations, and are an attractive cloud option for companies with high-security requirements such as financial, healthcare or legal firms. A community cloud is jointly governed, managed and secured by either the participating organizations or a third-party managed service provider. Participants can manage joint projects that benefit from sharing community-specific software applications or development platforms. However, even within a community cloud, each organization can maintain its own private cloud space to host particular applications or workloads while still meeting the security, privacy and compliance requirements of the community.

Cloud Deployment Options: What’s the Best Option for You?

Cloud deployment options
Cloud deployment options

Now that we’ve explored the types of cloud models, next comes understanding how these technologies are accessed. Regardless of the type of cloud model deployed, they can all be accessed as a service in one of several ways:

PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service)

In this deployment option, most of the configurations are fixed but there is usually some room for customization for each customer’s individual environment. Although there are few options for changing backend configurations, these settings are typically designed to work across most environments. In addition, most PaaS services provide a menu of configuration choices and database products to choose from, including MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server. PaaS is differentiated from other services in that most of the services are automatically provisioned and maintained by the provider, not the user.

DBaaS (Database-as-a-Service)

DBaaS provides automated database provisioning and maintenance. In this deployment model, a database cloud provider manages all of the underlying cloud infrastructure and resources. For smaller companies or those looking to control IT costs, DBaaS can help ramp up new initiatives quickly as well as support ongoing maintenance without the need to maintain in-house DBA specialists. Although there are many DBaaS cloud providers, this article covers the current market leaders: AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. All of these cloud service providers offer database migration services to help plan and execute a cloud migration strategy

IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service)

The IaaS cloud model provides automated resource provisioning and maintenance, which is ideal for organizations that want to offload on-premises hardware costs while still having some control over the implementation and configurations. With IaaS, cloud hosts such as Amazon EC2, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure provide a virtualized hardware environment, but customers retain maintenance responsibilities such as data backups, operating system installation and version control. While this model eliminates hardware procurement and management headaches, you also don’t have any control over when the provider upgrades the hardware that supports your database.

Serverless

Serverless computing provides automatic service provisioning and maintenance. Unlike the other services, serverless computing is designed to automatically generate resources in response to requests from applications. This is an ideal option for organizations that typically have low database usage or only need computing resources for a short-term project, such as occasional application testing. Although this model does not provide much configuration flexibility, it does offer a pay-asyou-go option that charges only for the resources used. Organizations don’t have to pay for any hardware, software or management, but it’s important to track your usage to ensure that serverless computing is a cost-effective option for you.

Challenges of Cloud Databases

Migrating to the Cloud

This is perhaps one of the biggest questions organizations have — how to tackle a cloud migration project. Cloud migration can be a challenging process because there are so many moving parts and business requirements to manage. Moving data can be a slow process requiring a lot of bandwidth and man hours, and you have to do it all without interrupting ongoing business operations. The good news is, most leading cloud providers (AWS, Azure and Google) offer proven strategies and best practices for helping organizations of all sizes move to the cloud. Migration experts like Percona can also help you plan, develop and execute a migration strategy.

This last point can’t be emphasized enough. If you are going to migrate a database to the cloud, and you don’t have or can’t hire the expertise needed, you’ll need to outsource that skill-set. Experts can identify all of the interdependencies and resource requirements needed to maintain business operations during the migration as well as performance, availability and security in the cloud after the migration is complete. You’ll also need the right resources in place to ensure cloud service levels are being met 24/7/365. By doing it right from the beginning, you will save time, money and expensive problems in the long run.

IDC predicts that by 2020, 67% of enterprise infrastructure and software will be for cloud-based offerings. – SysGroup, “10 Cloud Computing Statistics You Need To Know,” December 2018

Ensuring Data Security

Cloud database security is one of the of the biggest concerns about hosting data in the cloud. Databases, of course, are huge targets for cyber attackers because these repositories are full of valuable data, such as consumer credit card information, business intelligence, intellectual property and more. In a cloud-hosted database, you no longer own the hardware, so you have to depend completely on the cloud provider to update and maintain software and security patches. You may also rely on third-party consultants to manage your cloud deployment, so you have to ensure they are following proven security hygiene practices as well.

Because cloud databases can scale exponentially, that can also increase the attack surface for many types of threats, such as DDoS attacks. Although on-premises environments also face targeted attacks, cloud environments can be accessed by far more endpoints. Some of these endpoints may be compromised or vulnerable to threats, as in the case of a jailbroken or rooted mobile device.

As you develop your cloud migration strategy, be sure to include some of these essential security practices in your planning process:

85% of enterprises keep sensitive data in the cloud, according to Vormetric. – SysGroup, “10 Cloud Computing Statistics You Need To Know,” December 2018

Essential Security Practices

  • Conduct multiple types of database security tests prior to deployment; don’t wait to discover an issue later.
  • Protect against stolen database backups from internal and external parties by encrypting database archives as well as data in flight, deploying cyber security software, and continuously educating your team about security best practices.
  • Limit admin access to the most critical or sensitive information in your database.
  • Avoid building an overly complex database infrastructure, which can be more susceptible to attacks because certain areas may be forgotten or neglected. A database that’s easier to maintain and update with security patches is more secure.
  • The need for testing can’t be overemphasized because many businesses often overlook it. Mistakes can happen anywhere, including during development, the app integration process and database upgrades. Cyber criminals are experts at finding and exploiting vulnerabilities, so thorough and ongoing security testing is critical.

Compliance Challenges

More organizations are moving to cloud-hosted databases at a time when privacy and data protection regulations are tightening significantly around the world. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe has introduced new safeguards that govern how personal data is stored, processed and shared with third parties. While organizations that maintain their data in-house may have an easier time managing their data to meet compliance requirements, those that move data storage and IT workloads offsite will need to do more homework.

For instance, with an in-house database, you can identify the location of your data. You can also set up your infrastructure to ensure that data, especially personal data, is maintained and processed within your geography to meet regulations like GDPR. However, once you move to the cloud it can be much harder to know where your data is actually located. Because cloud computing depends on economies of scale, cloud providers aggregate data and build in resilience by hosting data in multiple locations. The one exception may be for organizations that maintain a private cloud and therefore have more control over where their data is hosted.

For companies hosting in public clouds, there are some steps you should take to ensure compliance:

Step 1: Audit your data to know what type of data you’re tracking and how to secure it.

Step 2: Employ data encryption, in flight and at rest, to ensure your data is protected even if the database is hacked.

Step 3: Ensure your cloud provider meets compliance standards relevant to your industry and in the countries where your business operates.

Above all, remember that the responsibility for maintaining compliance rests with your organization. Penalties for non-compliance will always impact the business, not the cloud service provider.

Maintaining Availability

Data availability, or application uptime, is critical to most business operations. For example, a company wanting to launch a customer email campaign requires access to the email server and perhaps an analytics app to target the audience based on certain demographic criteria. If the cloud infrastructure that hosts this data goes down, the company could lose its window of opportunity to launch the campaign. For this reason, most large cloud service providers make a big deal about guaranteeing an extremely high level of cloud application and service availability — even in the event of unexpected events like a disk failure, cyber attack or natural disaster. Redundancy helps ensure application availability by distributing data across clusters to ensure they remain available even if some part of the infrastructure fails. This is especially important for mission-critical systems like air traffic control, military defense operations and global distribution processes.

Redundancy helps ensure application availability by distributing data across clusters to ensure they remain available even if some part of the infrastructure fails.

Controlling Cloud Database “Creep”

Once you migrate your database to the cloud, it can be tempting to think all application performance issues will be handled by the provider. After all, the provider guarantees uptime and access, has built-in redundancies to ensure access and typically handles data backup and scalability. However, you should still be actively involved in the administrative and performance aspects of your database, even if you outsource these DBA responsibilities.

For instance, while your cloud provider may handle data backup, they don’t necessarily test the viability of those backups. If your database is struggling with performance issues, you may initially want to solve it by adding more instances or more services. It’s much easier for a service provider to “throw more hardware” at performance issues instead of looking at ways to create a more efficient database design or other costeffective remedies. If adding hardware becomes your go-to strategy to improve performance, then any cost advantages you gain will be eaten up quickly and your ROI will take much longer or disappear entirely. Even though it is easy to buy more “space” in the cloud, this ease of scaling can come with a quickly escalating (and reoccurring) price tag.

Even if cost was not your primary reason for moving to the cloud, it’s important to take an active role to ensure your infrastructure is designed and maintained as efficiently as possible so you aren’t wasting money

Cloud Database Providers

As mentioned previously, DBaaS is a managed, cloud-based service where customers can store and manage all of their data. Although there are several types of public cloud services on the market, in this article we cover only the top three: AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform. Together, these three cloud providers dominate the market, but they each offer a different approach to cloud computing. Amazon is the expert at aggregating, splicing and dicing massive amounts of data, Google analytics help generate valuable insights and Microsoft’s historic computing experience is one of its key strengths. This section offer a closer look at each provider’s offerings and benefits.

How are They Similar?

First, let’s start with some of the key features and capabilities that are common to all three platforms. They all offer capabilities that support flexible computing, networking and storage, as well as basic features such as autoscaling, self-service, instant provisioning and security features that support compliance and identity management. They all support relational databases with solution such as Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), Azure Database for MySQL and Google

Cloud SQL for MySQL. Plus, they are all very mature platforms whose companies have invested a lot in cloud analytics and machine learning technologies. The question is, what do you need to know about each one from a business perspective?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Amazon started building out its cloud services in 2006, well ahead of the competition, and is a key reason why AWS is the most widely used public cloud provider today. AWS offerings are known for their flexibility, openness and enterprise-friendly approach that’s robust enough to appeal to developers. With AWS you can select the specific solutions you need and pay only for what you use, so it’s easier to control costs without compromising performance or the user experience.

AWS offers the widest range of services for storage, compute, analytics, database, mobile, networking, management tools, developer tools, security, IoT and enterprise applications. However, this breadth of services is also considered a disadvantage, as it can be difficult for customers to understand and navigate the vast AWS portfolio.

AWS: Key business benefits

  • On-demand service billing is an attractive option for businesses with tight IT budgets.
  • Its main compute engine, EC2, is highly customizable to meet unique use cases and requirements.
  • AWS dominates the market for choice of service offerings.
  • AWS cloud solutions are highly flexible: they are designed for open source developers, support commonly used development languages and can be deployed anywhere.
  • A broad solution portfolio covers major business needs for storage and content delivery, compute services, database and networking.

Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) allows organizations to run applications on the public cloud and is one of the most well-known services in AWS. Developers can create instances of virtual machines and easily configure the capacity scaling of instances using the EC2 web interface. EC2 also allows developers to automate scaling to adapt to changing business requirements and peak demand, simplify the deployment of virtual servers and storage management and reduce the need for additional hardware investments.

Amazon RDS

Simply put, Amazon RDS enables developers to create and manage relational databases in the cloud. As part of AWS, Amazon RDS can

integrate with Amazon’s NoSQL database tool, SimpleDB, to help support applications that have relational and non-relational database needs. Amazon RDS provides support for a number of databases including MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle, PostgreSQL and SQL Server. In addition, Amazon RDS also provides Aurora and DynamoDB.

Amazon Aurora

Amazon Aurora is a relational database built for the cloud, and is compatible with both MySQL and PostgreSQL. It was designed to be a faster alternative to the MySQL open source database, and enables storage to be automatically provisioned as you go. Aurora is part of AWS relational database services and supports most backup functionalities that are available with RDS, such as point in time recovery and automatic backup.

Amazon Aurora Serverless

Amazon Aurora Serverless is a simple and cost-effective relational database engine designed from the ground up for cloud computing. Although it has some similarities to traditional engines such as MySQL and PostgreSQL, it has a high degree of throughput and scalability. Amazon Aurora Serverless also has the ability to entirely halt processing when it is not needed, which can help users save money, especially in cases of unpredictable workloads or bursts that only last a few minutes or hours per week.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft has maintained a legacy footprint within most enterprise organizations for decades. As a result, this has helped Azure gain an easier foothold in the enterprise. In addition to traditional cloud services such as virtual machines (VMs), object storage and content delivery networks (CDNs), Azure integrates seamlessly with Microsoft onpremises systems such as System Center, Windows Server and Active Directory. Azure also offers cloud versions of Active Directory and SQL Server. Azure is a highly compelling choice for organizations with large investments in Microsoft technology and developer skills because it supports many different programming languages, tools and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems.

Azure: Key business benefits

  • Development tools include a built-in Visual Studio development environment and support for common programming languages.
  • Integrations include Windows Server and Linux Virtual Machine.
  • Security and compliance features include secure single sign-on (SSO) and support for industry compliance standards.
  • Azure supports innovations like machine learning and is quick to deploy, operate and scale globally
  • Services include migration assistance and SQL database support.
  • Security and compliance features include secure single sign-on (SSO) and support for industry compliance standards

Google Cloud

Google is known for its innovative machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities. Although Google has the lowest market penetration of the three providers, it has proven itself to be a leader in more advanced use cases. For everyday cloud database computing, Google Cloud Platform offers Cloud SQL, which is a fully managed database service that makes it easy to set up, maintain, manage and administer relational PostgreSQL and MySQL databases in the cloud. Cloud SQL is hosted on Google Cloud Platform and provides a database infrastructure for applications running anywhere.

Google Cloud Platform: Key Business Benefits

  • Google App Engine allows developers to build apps within the cloud using common coding languages.
  • CloudKMS offers security via encryption.
  • Google provides robust data analysis through machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities.
  • Users retain full ownership of all their data in Google Apps so they can easily migrate apps to another provider at a later time.
  • Google’s open source cloud environment is well known in the developer community
  • Services include migration support, quick deployment and access to updates and functionality

Cloud Database Benefits and Use Cases

As mentioned previously, there are numerous benefits to cloud databases. Benefits like easy scalability, better application (and business) performance and lower costs are typically cited as some of the main reasons organizations move their legacy resources to the cloud. But how are real companies achieving these results? Percona works with organizations of all sizes, across all industries, to help optimize their cloud environments. Here’s how a few organizations like yours are achieving measurable business benefits from the cloud.

Easier Scalability

Cloud databases can be scaled quickly, efficiently and far more cost effectively than on-premises systems. Because most, if not all, of the infrastructure and maintenance is offloaded to a service provider, you don’t have to purchase or maintain new servers or other hardware to support additional users and office locations. As a result, you don’t have to maintain a large and costly infrastructure with enough capacity to support occasional demand spikes, which leaves those resources idle during low-traffic periods. You can also avoid slowdowns caused by not having enough resources to support peak demand. With the cloud, you can affordably scale to meet demand, on demand.

Case in Point: Grab (On-Demand Transportation Services)

Grab is a company that specializes in online transportation services in Southeast Asia. In just a few years, online demand grew 20x and the company needed a better way to continue providing real-time service to customers. In the highly competitive transportation industry, response times are critical to maintaining an advantage because a ride from a competitor is just one click away.

To scale to meet growing business demand, Grab needed outside expertise to optimize their AWS database. The company used Percona to assess the architecture and recommend strategies for improving performance. After a health audit, Percona experts found that not only did the increased workload affect performance, the company had also maxed out its hardware RDS instance size and some queries and performance schema needed to be optimized.

Percona recommended various schema changes, query tunings and architecture modifications that ensure Grab’s database environment is responsive, available and can meet peak performance demands. Even with the increase in scale, Grab’s database management team is able to handle the workload demands and still deliver an exceptional customer experience.

In our business, we can’t allow our application to be less than a positive user experience. People need to know that our services will be there when they need them, otherwise they’ll use someone else to get from point A to point B. Database performance directly impacts application performance, which will affect the user experience. – Edwin Law, Data Engineering Lead, Grab

“Our databases must be high-performing and always available so that our Grab application provides an excellent experience for our customers, who rely on us for their mobility needs. With Percona consulting and support, we know that we can architect solutions that meet our needs, and we are covered whenever issues arise that impact performance,” said Edwin Law, Data Engineering Lead at Grab.

Better Business Performance

Cloud-based data storage allows your users, customers, suppliers and partners to easily access information wherever they work, anywhere in the world. This helps improve business performance by simplifying collaboration, accelerating key business decisions and streamlining core business operations.

Reduced IT Costs and Higher ROI

A cloud database helps reduce IT costs by lowering (or even eliminating) costs for hardware, software and the need to maintain them in-house. You can also optimize spending by reusing applications and services through the same cloud service and extending the reach of your applications without additional cost or complexity. However, achieving ROI also depends on executing your cloud migration strategy quickly and effectively because the longer it takes to move legacy applications to the cloud, the more it costs IT to maintain the existing infrastructure.

Case in Point: Passportal (IT Security)

Passportal simplifies secure password and documentation management for IT professionals. The IT security company offers customers a fully managed, cloud-based SaaS solution that automates password protection and makes storing, managing and retrieving client documentation quick and easy. Passportal’s customers depend on their data being available in order to run their businesses.

As Passportal’s business has grown, it has needed to continually optimize its database environment to ensure critical data and security services are always available to customers. Consistent and reliable data backup operations are necessary to prevent data loss in case a node fails. But as Passportal’s dataset grew larger, the time from backup to restore was unacceptably long — up to 14 hours.

Percona was able to optimize Passportal’s AWS infrastructure to help ensure high availability and reduce database deployment, backup and issue resolution times. As a result, they have been able to achieve five “9s” uptime and ensure that customer data is always available and secure.

When it comes to our customers’ data security, ‘pretty good’ is not good enough. Security is a crucial component of our customers’ business, so it’s a crucial component of our business. Our service needs to be up and available at all times. – Lance Bryant-Grigg, Application Platform Manager, Passportal

Case in Point: Lookout (Mobile Security)

As a mobile security company, Lookout’s database environment is crucial to providing customers with security assurance for mobile devices. Their databases store critical data for their mobile security applications. Lookout needed to ensure their database environment could scale to support business growth all while improving the efficiency of their AWS deployment to control costs.

Lookout chose Percona to help them maximize uptime and reduce overhead. The first step was to conduct a database performance audit, which pinpointed several key ways to reduce Lookout’s cloud footprint. Percona’s recommendations and expertise helped successfully migrate Lookout’s AWS configuration to a more efficient cloud architecture, which not only simplified their environment, but saved them nearly 500K per year in OPEX costs.

While we are security experts, Lookout doesn’t necessarily know everything about databases. As we streamlined operations and increased our business, we were looking for ways to simplify and optimize our AWS deployment. Database uptime is crucial for us and our customers – our applications need to be responsive at all times, without exception. – Michael Fortson, Director of Engineering, Lookout

Outsourced Expertise

With a cloud provider, you can pay as you go for the skills and expertise you need. This helps reduce overhead by keeping your organization lean and efficient, all while ensuring you have the right team in place to meet your goals. You can also hire experts on a temporary basis to help plan and execute short-term initiatives, so you make sure it’s done right without incurring additional headcount.

Case in Point: Komet Sales (Online Sales Platform)

Komet Sales is a web-based platform that helps simplify and automate sales, procurement and logistical processes for floral companies. Customers include floral growers, importers, wholesalers and flower retailers. The business-to-business sale of fresh produce is highly competitive and timing is everything, so maintaining high availability and database performance are essential.

To help improve transaction times, Komet Sales engaged Percona to provide ongoing technical advice to their application development team. Consultants offer recommendations and implementation support to mitigate against any risk of database failure, which can result in lost sales and business opportunities. With expert consultants, the company has been able to optimize key aspects of their database to avoid significant outages and increase sales performance.

We have access to the expertise of topof-the-line DBAs at a fraction of the cost that we’d have to pay for those skills in the marketplace — freelance or employee — and that’s a great opportunity. – Alejandro Perez, Chief Happiness Officer and CEO of Komet Sales

“Transactions that had been taking between 2.2 and 2.5 seconds to process were reduced to around 0.7 seconds, said Alejandro Perez, Chief Happiness Officer and CEO of Komet Sales. “Given the high volume of transactions our customers carry out, this makes a world of difference in terms of customer satisfaction and operability.”

Conclusion

This first chapter in our “Enterprise Guide to Cloud Databases” is designed to give you an overview of some the key considerations, benefits and providers to consider for your move to the cloud. The next two chapters will help you take the next steps on your cloud migration journey by focusing on the cloud migration process and how to manage your DBaaS solution.

Source: Percona