Why data-as-a-service has taken off so fast

With advantages so huge and services so singularly and smartly focused, cloud adoption is a no-brainer for most

The primary drivers for moving data into private, public, or hybrid clouds are the efficiency and capabilities that clouds can bring. Enterprises have never seen such efficiencies and capabilities in traditional database technologies, including those from Oracle and IBM.

What databases in the public cloud offer is hugely compelling: Elastic scalability, universal network accessibility, integration with mobile platforms, pay-per-use efficiencies, avoidance of capital costs, and the ability to work with widely scattered structured and unstructured data (that is, big data).

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As a result, there's been a massive migration to cloud-based databases, aka data-as-a-service -- one that seems to have escaped notice perhaps because it seems such an obvious step to take. The cloud is just too cheap, too fast, and too compelling. We'll see this massive migration continue this year as well.

Two recent developments are accelerating this growth:

  • Many startup database technology vendors are providing single-purpose databases. They do one or two things really well, such as transaction processing or analytics. Typically, these startups have a data-as-a-service offering, in addition to an on-premises version, that makes it easier and cheaper to try it out -- and to keep using it once proven.
  • Most enterprises are moving to the use of complex database tools, whether the databases reside on site or in the cloud. The data-as-a-service option lets them both test these out more easily and avoid the upfront capital costs and deployment effort, a fundamental advantage of any cloud service.

The key initial driver is the move to single-purpose databases. Their use in the public cloud is largely driven by small, tactical enterprise IT projects that end up using database-as-a-service providers out of sheer need for the technology, as well as limited budgets. Because these databases are single-purpose, it's easier for IT to address security and compliance issues related to cloud deployment, because the footprint of the effort is both smaller and clearly delineated.

Cloud-based database vendors are regularly adding features, decreasing costs, and becoming better at handling prime-time business. Even with the almost knee-jerk concerns around secuity and compliance at many IT organizations when it comes to the public cloud, soon it will be difficult to avoid the advantages offered by databases in public clouds. Already, the Oracles and IBMs are no longer the first place you seek to do a new database effort in.

Cloud-based databases are here -- and here to stay.

This article, "Why data-as-a-service has taken off so fast," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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