The Pros and Cons of DBaaS-Database As a Service

DBaaS enables you to test drive multiple solutions and only buy the licenses and hardware you need to be successful.

Almost every business these days is data-centered. Whether the data is for internal applications and systems, or for other services that are offered, let’s face it…

Managing data is a key to success.

Before listing the pros and cons of DBaaS, we need to explore a few decisions businesses have to make.

These include numerous quick decisions about data handling that can set them on a path that, if incorrect, are difficult and costly to correct. Those decisions are:

· What database type to use, SQL or NoSQL?

· What are the data storage and query needs? Transactional? Big Data?

· What database system to use? A few SQL choices might be Oracle, MySQL, MSSQL, and Sybase. A few No-SQL choices might be MongoDB or Cassandra.

· Do we have DBA (database administrator) talent or do we have to hire?

· What kind of server or resources are needed? What are my power, server, disk, processing, network, and IO requirements?

· How do I maintain, backup, administer and otherwise own the database framework?

· What is my cost of ownership?

First let’s explore which database type to use, SQL or NoSQL.

Traditional database types classified as SQL have a significant place in businesses and are a mainstay for business choices. However, as companies start to create applications that drive decisions based on significant database analysis of large, almost unfathomable amounts of data, they migrate to NoSQL solutions like MongoDB or Cassandra.

The architecture of NoSQL makes it a good choice for big data solutions while the built in protections of a transactional based system like Oracle make it a better choice for banking or similar solutions.

When it comes to picking a specific system, businesses tend to stick with what they know. In other words, if they already have Oracle, and Oracle talent, then when management asks those individuals which database system they should use on Project X, it should be no surprise that they pick Oracle.

Matching a specific database system to a set of business requirements is an arduous task that should always be looked at with a fresh perspective. It should not just be based on what talent is already employed or what systems a business is comfortable with.

Let’s face it, if a business picks correctly, all is good. If they pick incorrectly, they have wasted a lot of resources which equates to dollars. Enter DBaaS.

Where DBaaS excels is that it gives businesses the ability to test the waters a bit, to try before they invest heavily.

DBaaS acts as a stepping stone to total ownership, a cost effective solution to help you figure out your needs prior to investing heavily.

DBaaS has both pros and cons.

First, it is necessary to distinguish between “hosting database systems” and DBaaS.

There are many cloud based solutions that “host” a database system but provide no significant help in configuration, tuning, consulting, and providing the talent needed to actually use those systems.

True DBaaS provides both the system and the talent to help you utilize the database and determine how to store, query, and analyze your data. The value of DBaaS goes way beyond the hosting.

The pros of DBaaS include:

· No equipment or software licenses.

· Flexibility. Multiple choices are available to test drive your applications and pick the right platform for your business requirements.

· Significantly less staffing requirements. The DBaaS provider handles installation, configuration, and in many cases development.

· Offsite hosting, providing protection from local power failures or disasters. Many businesses design their system with power redundancy in mind, but, in reality, rarely meet those goals.

· SLA agreements that have redundancy, uptime, and backup protections. A DBaaS provider has intent focus on protecting your data.

Meantime the cons of DBaaS include:

· Limited access to underlying servers. This can present itself as a feeling of no control.

· Very little knowledge of how your data is protected from cyber security threats. This can be dangerous for sensitive data.

So how do you decide? Is there a transition from one to the other? Yes, almost always, but by following a few guidelines to start with, DBaaS can be used properly.

Those who wish to use DBaaS should adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Do all development using DBaaS. This is your chance to test drive different architectures and features.

2. Unless you have full disclosure of how your data is protected, managed, and secured by DBaaS providers, it is suggested to consult with database architects to host sensitive data internally. Note, this is typically not big data. When we use the terms sensitive data, we mean just that. Data like SSNs, account details, financials, personal data, etc. Does this mean that you cannot use DBaaS for this? No, it means that you first have to find a DBaaS provider that will show you everything from how your encrypted data gets in their system to storage, access, etc.

3. When you are not sure of what your database needs really are, use DBaaS first. This lets you try SQL or NoSQL. This lets you explore the encryption capabilities of Oracle versus MySQL. Think of DBaaS like buying a car. You test drive sedans, trucks, and SUVs, and try different manufacturers and features. You may decide to lease or buy.

4. Always monitor and evaluate the cost of ownership. As your system grows, the operating costs might make sense to drop DBaaS and build an in-house system. By then, however, you have already decided on what you really need.

The goal with DBaaS is to test drive multiple solutions and only buy the licenses and hardware you need to be successful. You can then hire the correct talent to manage your system.

David Moye is a Principal with Forensic IT in St. Louis, MO, a firm providing big data solutions to companies nationwide. David helped found Forensic IT in 2003 and has some 25 plus years of experience as a software engineer and solution architect. Along with at least a half a dozen core programming languages, he is a certified DBA in Oracle and Sybase and has spent years working with MS-SQL and MySql.

Contemplating Installing a WLAN? Welcome!

Let me start off by saying up front, this is NOT an ad for any particular device or company. I’m merely setting down my experiences and making some general recommendations. My first attempt at standing up a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) was just so I could have access to the Internet from anywhere in my three story townhouse. I hooked up my cable modem to a directional wireless router, and adjusted the antennae so that I had adequate coverage on all floors.

Then I made sure the LAN was secure by assigning a strong password to the router’s encryption feature. All went well. I could go anywhere I pleased in our home and access the Internet. Over time, I populated each floor with a smattering of various PCs, conveniently located so I could log in whenever the whim hit me. My family also liked the convenience of being able to reach the Internet with whatever portable device they happened to hold. Just for convenience, I placed a wireless printer on each floor and linked it to the WLAN. Everything was going on smoothly.

But one glaring problem was that I was still using each PC locally, and sharing files between computers was a nightmare.

Then I heard about the Western Digital’s “MyCloud”. Quick like a bunny, I bought a 2 Gb “MyCloud,” apprehensively attached it to my router via its Ethernet port and then linked it to each of my remote computers as a separate drive.

What a rush! This is amazing! Now I have remote access to all of my projects and files from anywhere in my house! I’m a believer!

When you’re setting up your home WLAN, you might also want to consider adding a Western Digital’s “MyCloud” or similar remote Wireless server as a remotely, fully controlled information repository. Linked to your home network, and behind your router’s firewall, it’s the perfect place to put all of your important (and in my case, almost all) files. Accessible from any place in your house, through any device connected to your LAN, it’s a perfect way to share information and to have access to that information.

Before I invested in my MyCloud, I had to remember on which machine I had saved files locally, Now, I can log in from any of my machines, and have immediate access.

You may find that some other company’s product fits your lifestyle better than Western Digital. That’s OK. The whole gist of my advice is to have you consider a remote data and information serve that is under your total control.

Now, I’m not completely paranoid about “Cloud Servers” that sit external to your router’s firewall, they do have their place, but I do abhor paying a fee to access my own personally created files.

The Perfect Shot

Using a drone for photography and film is becoming very popular. Many professionals use them for things like making movies, shooting sports events, or taking breathtaking photos. With a drone you are able to move almost anywhere and at a fast speed. This helps with sports events because they can use drones to catch up with the action and see more than normal. For movies, they are able to get those high shots or shots through obstacles that used to be difficult to do. Lastly, for photography, the possibilities are endless.

You can get to mostly any spot you want with a great camera to take that amazing photo. Different cameras can be equipped depending on the photo you want. Some cameras do better in low light or high lights, some can zoom in further, and others have cool features such as night or heat vision. A lot of features and abilities you couldn’t do with your phone. You can buy a generic or customized drone to fit to whatever activity you might be doing.

Many news channels use them to capture things like traffic jams, aerial shots of events, and even to track weather. These are all creative ways they have implemented drones into their organizations and improved the quality content they deliver to the viewers. People go as far as even using drones for selling real estate. Taking images of the inside and outside with a phone won’t cut it anymore. Drones can be used to take incredible shots of the house. They can even help with creating 3D walk through interiors. This can be the difference between selling a place or not because obviously how a place looks will impact most of a buyer’s decision. You don’t want a deal ruined because of a sloppy image from a phone. As you can see, these are all problems different people might face. A drone can help each of these people in their own area for what needs to be done.

Most drones can hover with pretty good stability. This allows for their great shots up in the air and also because of their great cameras. When all of the great abilities and features that a drone has comes together, you end up with amazing results. Many businesses, or even individuals, should consider a drone and what it could possibly do for them. It is going to be a really fun journey to watch and see how people will use drones to capture footage/images.