Introduction to Cloud Database

A cloud database is a database that typically runs on a cloud computing platform, access to it is provided as a service. Database services take care of scalability and high availability of the database. Database services make the underlying software-stack transparent to the user.

There are two primary methods to run a database in a cloud:

Virtual machine image: Cloud platforms allow users to purchase virtual-machine instances for a limited time, and one can run a database on such virtual machines. Users can either upload their own machine image with a database installed on it, or use ready-made machine images that already include an optimized installation of a database.

Database-as-a-service (DBaaS): With a database as a service model, application owners do not have to install and maintain the database themselves. Instead, the database service provider takes responsibility for installing and maintaining the database, and application owners are charged according to their usage of the service.

Architecture and common characteristics:

  • Most database services offer web-based consoles, which the end user can use to provision and configure database instances.
  • Database services consist of a database-manager component, which controls the underlying database instances using a service API. The service API is exposed to the end user, and permits users to perform maintenance and scaling operations on their database instances.
  • Underlying software-stack stack typically includes the operating system, the database and third-party software used to manage the database. The service provider is responsible for installing, patching and updating the underlying software stack and ensuring the overall health and performance of the database.
  • Scalability features differ between vendors – some offer auto-scaling, others enable the user to scale up using an API, but do not scale automatically. There is typically a commitment for a certain level of high availability (e.g. 99.9% or 99.99%).

The design and development of typical systems utilize data management and relational databases as their key building blocks. Advanced queries expressed in SQL work well with the strict relationships that are imposed on information by relational databases. However, relational database technology was not initially designed or developed for use over distributed systems. This issue has been addressed with the addition of clustering enhancements to the relational databases, although some basic tasks require complex and expensive protocols, such as with data synchronization.

Modern relational databases have shown poor performance on data-intensive systems, therefore, the idea of NoSQL has been utilized within database management systems for cloud based systems. Within NoSQL implemented storage, there are no requirements for fixed table schemas, and the use of join operations is avoided. “The NoSQL databases have proven to provide efficient horizontal scalability, good performance, and ease of assembly into cloud applications.

The above is a brief about Cloud Database. Watch this space for more updates on the latest trends in Technology.

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