A cloud database is one that’s primarily designed to run on a cloud platform. Users can deploy a cloud MySQL database independently by using a virtual machine image. They may also use a database from a third-party provider, which typically requires the user to pay an access fee. Cloud databases provide advantages in efficiency and data safety, and are especially beneficial to small businesses.
A cloud database can save businesses time by automating many of the tasks required to maintain a database, such as configuration, deployment and patching. This type of database typically offers scalable resources, providing greater flexibility for its users. For example, cloud storage providers can add storage for a customer much more easily than is possible with a traditional mainframe computing environment. The increased efficiency in delivering resources also allows users to obtain Internet connectivity and faster networking speeds at a lower price.
The shared services of cloud computing provide an economy of scale that allows users to obtain resources in a manner similar to that of a public utility. The cloud platform dynamically reallocates these resources upon demand, which maximizes their effectiveness. For example, a cloud platform routinely provides more resources to users during their business day. The platform will gradually shift these resources to other users over time.
The ability to preserve data is also a significant advantage of cloud databases. Users typically access these databases through a web-based console, allowing them to configure and provision their databases. Cloud databases also have a manager component, which controls the database through a service API. This lets the user create, maintain and scale their instance of the database. They can also create a snapshot of the database and restore the database with that snapshot.
The underlying software in a cloud database is transparent to the user. This collection of applications is known as the software stack and typically includes the database, operating system and additional software needed by the cloud database. The cloud service provider is responsible for installing and maintaining the software stack, which provides an additional cost savings.
The productivity increase and cost savings of a cloud database can provide small to midsize businesses with a competitive edge. The CDW Cloud Computing Tracking Poll shows that the implementation of a cloud database reduced application costs for 76 percent of small businesses. The primary source of this savings is the fact that the cloud service provider provides the initial investment in infrastructure.
Another benefit of cloud databases is the fact that client organizations only need to pay for the resources they need. For example, an organization may add users without having to purchase additional software licenses. This method of paying for resources is also helpful for organizations that experience sharp spikes in their usage, which often occurs on a monthly basis.
Small businesses are trending towards the use of cloud databases, which have a lower cost of initial investment in maintenance. The ability to easily scale operations and preserve data are also benefits of cloud databases. Users access these databases through a network, usually the Internet. The fact that the database is installed on a remote server is transparent to the user, since they are able to use and maintain the cloud database as they would a local database.