Iaas, SaaS, PaaS... It seems like everything can be consumed as a service these days. Databases are no different thanks to the cloud providers out there, but my question to you... the IT admin / DBA / programmer ... is, are you ready to use them? After all most things out there have a pretty similar adoption cycle, but databases seem to be a bit of a touchy subject. Throughout the years of working at technical consulting companies the one thing that always seemed to be static is that most IT departments don't get too crazy with their databases, meaning not too many were ready to be a trendsetter on how they manage or operate databases. Why? Well most of the time I found that not too many of them considered themselves "database people". Now with that said some customers, who had full time DBA's, were much more liberal about upgrading things and pushing the limits ... but most mid-market companies didnt have a full time DBA..
So getting back to my question. Are cloud databases ready for primetime?
My guess is that most mid-market companies would shy away from answering this question or even the thought of putting their databases on any cloud as a service... but I could be wrong.
Think about it this way... people have had email host by their ISP, or hotmail, or yahoo, etc for decades... yet hosted enterprise email has really only taken off in the last few years. Even though people know how it works and know it can be trusted in terms of reliability. So I think to answer my question I should first ask: "What do you know about cloud hosted databases?" and "If you knew more about them would you be ready to sign up?"
To help you answer these questions I should probably help explain why DBaaS is attractive. Like anything (XaaS) the best part of consuming these services is that you don't need to worry about the hardware or the platform software. So in a sense, DBaaS is perfect for the exact market that would shy away from it, because all of the things that people don't know about databases are the things that are taken care of for you when using DBaaS. All you need to do as the consumer is connect your app to the service and start consuming.
So with that said I'm thinking we should review some of the more mainstream DBaaS offerings as well as some that you might not know and along the way do some how to get started posts.
On the list of DBaaS to review I have: Azure SQL, Amazon RDS ( which really includes MySQL, Oracle, MS SQL, and Postgres), Google Cloud SQL, HP Helion Relational DB (MySQL), and Openstack Trove.
Also just as a side note, I'm not trying to endorse one service over another, or even over services that I havent listed. These are just the ones I know about, I am however open to suggestions.
So stay tuned, hopefully we will all learn a little more about DBaaS after checking these out.