Pros and Cons of Database as a Service (DBaaS)

by Calvin on August 24, 2021

in Articles

In the age of big data, businesses rely on large amounts of data to make informed decisions. Databases allow them to store, manage, manipulate and retrieve data for daily business functions. But it can be a daunting task to host and manage your own data center.

Now, you can either build your database system on-premises or let the database management experts do it for you along with all the database administrative tasks where Database as a Service comes in. This cloud-based service is quickly gaining popularity in the enterprise IT market. So in this article, we’ll talk about what DBaaS is, the pros and cons of DBaaS to help you make a decision.

What is DBaaS?

Database as a Service is a cloud-based approach to database management. DBaaS provider is a third-party vendor that provides all the physical infrastructure, software, and professional expertise a business needs for running database operations. 

It eliminates the need for businesses to set up database systems in-house and allows them to deploy databases on the cloud in just a few minutes without any development hassles. Instead, the service provider handles all the administrative tasks, including installation, configuration and performance management, maintenance, patches, upgrades, backups, disaster recovery, and scaling the database.

DBaaS has numerous other advantages, so let’s talk about them in detail.

Pros of DBaaS

Reduced costs and increased productivity

Outsourcing database management offers a substantial financial advantage. Business doesn’t have to incur costs for expensive hardware, software licenses, cooling infrastructure and the power bills. Moreover, there is no need for staffing to build a database system in-house or maintain, monitor, and manage it. With the DBaaS service provider taking on all the administrative tasks, it frees up your team and allows them to focus on more productive tasks for the innovation and growth of your business. For small-scale businesses, it will enable them to get started quickly, set up database systems in just a few clicks, and have access to technologies only large companies usually have with minimal costs.

Flexibility and Scalability

The critical operational advantage that DBaaS offers is flexibility. Businesses can experiment with types of databases before choosing an appropriate option. For instance, traditional SQL creates reliable databases, but NoSQL databases are flexible and provide greater scope for analyzing and manipulating unstructured, big data sources.

DBaaS solutions also have high availability and inherent elasticity, allowing businesses to quickly scale up or down and easily add storage and computing capacity as per their demand. Thus, DBaaS can support a wide variety of needs and dynamic database demands.

Ensures efficient operations and Disaster Recovery (DR)

DBaaS providers are typically better positioned to provide state-of-art equipment and servers than most small or medium-sized businesses. And their teams of experienced professionals who can handle a variety of bugs and other glitches. It ensures efficient database operations, fail-over, and Disaster Recovery. Network failures or power outages on the premises of your business will not affect the database system as it is hosted off-site.

Additionally, DBaaS providers offer high-level data security, which lessens the risk of data loss, and most subscriptions often come with uptime guarantees. 

From the benefits mentioned above, it’s evident why some businesses would choose to migrate databases to DBaaS platforms. But it has a few disadvantages compared to an in-house database setup, which should be considered before deciding to opt for DBaaS.

Cons of DBaaS

Lack of control and immediate access

By storing and processing data on third-party platforms, businesses lose immediate access to the servers and their data. If the DBaaS provider’s systems go down or their customer’s network is disrupted, they will have no access to their vital data. It also poses latency problems as accessing data over the internet can hinder application performance at times. Finally, businesses have no direct control over their data and how the physical infrastructure on which their data is stored is managed.

Security risk and privacy of data

Businesses have no direct influence on the physical safety of the servers, which poses a security risk. It makes their data vulnerable to cyber-attacks, breaches, data loss, or even theft. You might also never know who has control or access to your data for handling and managing, which violates the privacy of the data.

Moreover, businesses might face the problem of vendor lock-in. Once a company grows larger, it might become economically fit to cost-effectively build and run an in-house database system.

Conclusion

DBaaS offers excellent flexibility and agility while eliminating the cost of acquiring equipment and human resources for database management and maintenance. And there are a large number of DBaaS providers out there that make the services accessible at competitive prices and help with everything from installation to monitoring the database systems.

However, businesses must consider a few factors to assess if DBaaS is ideal for them. The significant factors are whether it is more efficient than setting up your database and more cost-effective than in-house database management. If you’re a large business with all the required resources, you can build a unique database for your needs. But small to mid-sized companies might make DBaaS more efficient and cost-effective, allowing them to focus on innovation and business growth.

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