When it comes to modern-day businesses, a well-structured database acts as the strong foundation to everything from workflows to applications and also now as a resource strategic business analytics and decision making. However, the database deployment models are changing largely in the recent years, and as of late, Database-as-a-Service or DBaaS is considered to be one of the most effective modes of database implementation, which offers both cost-cutting and also unlimited power. When it comes to startup businesses, this model also offers optimum scalability and flexibility.
What is DBaaS?
As we now discuss mostly databases being consumed by organizations as a cloud-based service, database-as-a-service had evolved as the best companion to cloud model. Even though it is not a silver bullet to simplify the life of DBAs who require a solid database for app development, DBaaS is a highly flexible option. It comes with many built-in advantages and disadvantages like any other cloud services.
DBaaS has better controls on the one hand, but when it comes to on-premise operations, it has only limited features. It has the capability to double up as a database engine-type software to power a big array of allied Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications ranging from data visualization tools to the organization-wide ERP system software. However, when it comes to the database functionalities, DBaaS is a solution with pros and cons tied to it.
The major benefits of DBaaS
- Lower entry requirements
- Open access to the technologies which were only available to larger enterprises previously.
- Access to digitally native use cases like IoT (Internet of Things), Machine Learning, Business Intelligence, Live Data Streaming, Artificial Intelligence, and hybrid applications.
The major disadvantages of DBaaS model include
- Higher rigidity of the databases
- The complexity of the data science applications
- Inflexibilities of integrations
- Network issues related to performance
- The complexity associated with huge volume data transfers.
If you are a startup business and planning to move your most sensitive business data between the DBaaS database and some other provider, you need to take optimum security precautions including solid identity management to the use of virtual private networks (VPN), etc.
Now, there a large number of DBaaS providers of different kinds from those who offer minimal level services to the biggest vendors offering large-scale cloud-based database management and data visualization services. Choose the most reliable and apt vendor among such a huge list is a difficult affair with many variables including the cost, geographical proximity, customer support, and also the actual tasks to be performed with the data in hand. Even though all DBaaS vendors claim that their platforms as optimally user-friendly and self-service ready, the complications mentioned above may mandate the need for the assistance of a skilled, knowledgeable database administrator.
So, as pointed out by RemoteDBA.com, choosing a database service as a startup is not so easy even if the database configuration and spin-up can be automated to a good extent with DBaaS offerings. However, for a beginner, there are many DBaaS services which are comparatively simpler and easier than others, and some of them certainly have the power for the beginners and average developers to gain full control over it.
What makes DBaaS and easy choice for startups?
As in case of any SaaS offering, Database as a Service also runs on someone else’s server. Even though it is named as server-less cloud model, this not the case actually. So, the ease of use consideration given to DBaaS, which makes ideal for startups as a cost-effective database admin model based on the facts that:
- Whether proper guidance is given on what the database engine fits the workload.
- How easier it is to transfer or load data.
- The amount of server configuration and provisioning handled by automation and machine learning.
- How much backup and recovery processes are automatically run?
If a startup user takes a decision to simplify the database configuration process, then it is not actually all about the non-DBAs simply pulling down the menus from the user interface. However, it is all about making the task easier for the skilled DBAs to make use of it. In simpler terms, for a DBaaS to be a reliable self-service platform, one should eliminate the need for a DBA by making every user interaction hands-on.
The top Database-as-a-Service solutions for startups
#1. Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure SQL is an ideal DBaaS solution for the developers, DBAs, business analysts with its easy to use and better controls.
- Very easy to use
- Rich in features
- A big number of regions with better options in GDPR compliance.
- No breakage of apps during transfers.
- Auto-tuning based on machine learning.
- Compliant with older SQL apps too from before 2005.
- Suitable only for structured data as it is SQL database.
- Ideal for complex queries, but not suitable for messed up data as of human communication.
#2. MongoDB Atlas
MongoDB Atlas is a dream database for the developers, which has such a user-friendly UI, more automation capabilities than other Database-as-a-Service solutions, and a lot of controls and flexibility with built-in replication.
- Ease of use.
- Open source and cost-effective.
- Powerful scalability and sharding
- Serverless model
- Machine learning skills.
- NoSQL and not suitable for type of complex queries.
- Not ideal for the SQL databases applications.
#3. Amazon Relational Database
Amazon Relational Database service is there as a beginner-friendly DBaaS. However, it is also ideal for professionals with a lot of add-on features. Moreover, it is a relational database.
- Plenty of controls offered to users
- Highly security friendly.
- Set up is very complex.
- Data migration is also complex.
- Needs the assistance of a database administrator and network professionals to set up.
- Expensive compared to others.
#4. Google BigQuery
Google BigQuery can be another good choice for startups as a Database-as-a-Service platform. For those type of businesses working on cloud-native and handling massive sets of data with machine learning applications, BigQuery is an ideal choice to make.
- Ideal for Big Data projects.
- Data integration is so flexible.
- Quicker analytical capabilities.
- Easy to integrates with any data type.
- May not be ideal for small data as primarily built for Big Data.
- A bid confused SQL dialect.
- No proper attention to the tool use and scaling automation.
- Flat rate pricing.
Apart from these, some other considerations also to make are IBM Db2 on Cloud, SAP Cloud Platform, etc. However, with so many options available, a startup business needs to be very careful and knowledgeable before picking a DBaaS solution for their purpose.