DBaaS takes the trouble out of cloud databases

How open-source databases operating in the cloud can deliver performance, flexibility, scalability and cost savings

Sponsored Feature Every organization uses some sort of database technology. Data is what drives business these days; whether it's customer data, product data, or transaction data. Simply put - to function efficiently, companies must have a handle on their data.

As the database market evolves, many companies are choosing to go with open-source cloud databases. Open-source databases operating in the cloud convey a handful of business benefits, including performance, flexibility, scalability, and cost savings. And this shift to open source is driving the market. In fact, the global cloud Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) market is overtaking traditional on-premises databases.

"Cloud database technologies are already 55 percent of the overall market," explains Mikko Röntynen, director of product marketing for Helsinki, Finland-based Aiven. "And Gartner is saying that all growth in the database market is coming from DBaaS." Indeed, Gartner reports the overall database market grew to $91 billion in 2022, a growth rate of 14.4 percent. And Cloud DBaaS reflects more than half of that increase at 55.2 percent, confirming Röntynen's statement.

As with any technology and business process shift, however, there are challenges. Although it's moving in that direction, the world is still not entirely open-source. Some organizations may struggle to provision, maintain, and manage their open-source cloud databases, especially if they're working with multiple instances of the same or even different open-source products. There's also the factor of ensuring there are sufficient skill sets available to keep these open-source cloud databases operating at peak efficiency.

Companies are realizing they need to focus more on their core business activities; and not get caught up managing their infrastructure. "We're starting to see companies realize that it's getting harder to do on your own," says Kyle Romeo, Aiven's director of product marketing for the Americas. "You're going in all these different directions. Do you want to have 15 different relationships and 15 different data streams to troubleshoot and support or do you want to work with one partner?"

Benefits and challenges of DBaaS

Companies moving to cloud-based databases and DBaaS are doing so for the benefits of increased flexibility, scalability, efficiency, and performance; not to mention significant cost and resource savings. The primary benefits of moving to DBaaS are time to value and time to market, according to Röntynen. "You're able to focus your resources on things that add value, and leave the database maintenance and security to the experts," he adds.

Reducing complexity is another significant benefit. "When you think about cloud infrastructure - that's becoming increasingly complex," explains Röntynen. "The strain it places on companies to set up cloud services and multi-cloud environments becomes a resource drain. They're really just taking care of the plumbing. Do you want to be setting up infrastructure or adding value to your business?"

Moving from traditional on-premises databases to cloud-based open-source database services certainly conveys many benefits, but also presents several challenges. Many workloads will need provisioning to ensure access, visibility, management, and integration with other datasets. They will also have to comply with regulatory and compliance requirements related to specific datasets or regulations specific to geographic regions (such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Then of course there's planning for disaster recovery and security. And companies will need the expertise to handle all those tasks. That's a tall order.

Managing that complexity is steering companies toward seeking partners who can support their efforts. "No one can survive with just one data technology anymore. One of the challenges [companies] are experiencing is the complexity of managing all those different technologies," explains Röntynen.

And if a company – and its IT staff – doesn't have sufficient experience with open-source systems, it's going to need help. "We provide a platform that lets you interchangeably manage some of the most popular open-source technologies across whichever hyper-scaler you might be working with; whether AWS, Google, or Azure," says Röntynen. "Some companies bite off more than they can chew by trying to self-manage."

Take the platform approach

Managing these levels of complexity is something that a Data platform is well-equipped to handle. And the Aiven platform is just that – a platform. It supports 11 of the more popular open-source databases and tools, including venerable technologies like Apache Kafka, PostgreSQL, and Redis. Aiven also supports some of the newer entries like Clickhouse and Apache Flink. This cross-protocol support helps companies transfer data and workloads from one database to the other fairly seamlessly, and provides centralized management through a single interface.

"The key thing it provides is less complexity," explains Röntynen. "If you work with different database vendors, it's up to you to integrate those. We provide all that integration with one platform, and it's built right into the platform with easy to build data pipelines."

The Aiven Platform ensures all database services run with high availability, are up to date, remain secure, and can integrate across databases, cloud platforms, and any third-party tools. Being unified, it also simplifies management, governance, visualization, and compliance. Companies can migrate or replicate workloads across cloud platforms to accomplish such things as reducing latency, reducing costs, satisfying any regulatory requirements, or meeting disaster recovery protocols.

The platform approach helps Aiven support the different hyperscaler cloud platforms, like AWS, Google, and Azure. "You can easily replicate databases from one cloud platform to another to support different use cases or regulatory requirements," adds Röntynen.

And moving to Aiven does not mean having to shift cloud strategy. "One important factor is what we call, 'Bring your own cloud.' That basically means we still operate on those hyperscale cloud platforms, but customers can deploy Aiven managed databases into their own cloud accounts," says Röntynen. "That gives them more flexibility in terms of optimizing costs. They can continue with any discounts they're getting from their cloud provider. They can also build in additional security as they already control that cloud environment."

The DBaaS services provided through the Aiven platform can integrate with existing data sources, even on-premises databases. "It is definitely possible to still have on-premises databases at the same time [as using DBaaS]," says Röntynen. "Whether it's beneficial or not - that's a different story."

Getting the return

There is certainly an investment involved in moving to an open-source DBaaS and having those services managed by a partner, but the potential ROI can be significant. A recent report from industry research firm IDC revealed a 340 percent ROI over three years. That same report outlined a 37 percent reduction in operational cost over three years, as well as increased productivity in infrastructure, database management, and security teams, since they had to be less involved in the nuts and bolts of managing data services.

The IDC report also outlines how the Aiven platform helps companies automatically scale databases, relieves them of database maintenance concerns; provides increased agility, scalability, and security; and helps them respond quickly to any risk mitigation events. And companies can purchase those managed services on an as-needed basis. Database maintenance becomes an operating expense, not a capital expense.

Databases are used everywhere and in every company, so a platform like Aiven can help expedite and simplify a variety of use cases. Several large and well-known companies Aiven works with are finding significant cost savings and streamlined operations.

One of those is Priceline, a popular travel booking site which is moving toward becoming more cloud-native. As Priceline continues to grow in a chaotic travel market, it plans to offer new pricing models and services. Those new pricing models depend on accurate and immediate pricing and availability data from the airlines, hotels, and rental cars with which Priceline partners. Moving to Aiven has helped Priceline adopt its new models more quickly and efficiently.

Another Aiven success story is international sporting goods retailer Decathlon. The retail giant is using Aiven's DBaaS platform to support its transition to microservices. Decathlon plans to use Aiven's cloud and services management to convert the retail company's open-source data technologies such as Kafka, PostgreSQL, MySQL, OpenSearch, InfluxDB, and Redis into highly available and scalable services to support its retail efforts and improve the customer experience.

Future of DBaaS Market

The global cloud DBaaS market continues to grow at an impressive pace. According to a recent report by research firm MarketsandMarkets, it's expected to grow from $21.3 billion in 2023 to $57.5 billion by 2028.

And as more companies move to the cloud and open-source database technologies, Aiven finds itself in an enviable position. "Open source is not going to go away," says Röntynen. "Kafka has been around for some time, and now you're seeing emerging databases like Clickhouse. We're always keeping that future looking vision to what companies are going to need to adopt and embrace and making sure our platform is inclusive of that infrastructure."

Sponsored by Aiven.

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