It has been over 12 years since Amazon unveiled Amazon Web Services, and the first enterprises embarked on the journey to the cloud. In 2018, cloud computing is projected to grow tremendously, with CSPs like Amazon and Microsoft often breaking $20 Billion in cloud revenue. Cloud database startups like Snowflake and MongoDB are having similar financial success, in the form of huge fundraising rounds and successful IPOs. The cloud revolution is truly underway!
The advent of the cloud may have been easy to predict, in hindsight. Asking any IT leader about their database operations and you would have heard a long list of complaints: On-premise databases are too expensive, too difficult to maintain, too much work to tune, too hard to scale. While the value of data is undisputed, the value of on-premise databases has been cast into uncertainty by the relative cost-effectiveness and ease-of-use offered by the cloud.
For DBAs and Enterprise IT, the one of the major challenges is tuning the database, queries, and workloads. It has become a core IT discipline in its own right over the past decades and represents significant OPEX in every IT budget. But, cloud databases may hold the key to a better future for the IT: by reducing databases to an API, they let enterprises shed the operations, support, tuning, and maintenance burden altogether. They force IT leaders to rethink their database ecosystem, and in general, are proving to be a better solution than on-premise data centers, thanks to the way that the elasticity and flexibility of cloud offerings enable DBAs to compensate and remedy performance issues effectively at low cost.
The downside of the cloud lies in the difficulty of replatforming. Global enterprises moving their data and infrastructure into the cloud are now facing one of the biggest logistical IT challenges in decades: replatforming decades of applications. Database application modernization is a logistical and technical nightmare because it means modifying or rewriting thousands of existing applications, with each application posing specific challenges. Paradoxically, the biggest challenge in database migrations is not the actual migrating of the database content – that’s the easy part.
The process of replatforming the applications that interoperate with the database is frequently underestimated, even by experienced and seasoned IT practitioners, so much so that the analyst firm Gartner estimates that 50% percent of all migrations fail, go over budget, or run late. Given the fact that virtually every database instance will have to be replatformed in the next 5 to 10 years, it’s imperative for CIOs and IT Leaders to understand the challenges they’re going to face. It’s also important for them to understand cutting-edge approaches, like adaptive data virtualization, that are making the process easier.
Cloud databases are redefining the database landscape in a fundamental way. They are cost-effective and easy to operate yet offer unprecedented flexibility and scale. According to a recent Survey of 166 IT Leaders, 76% of enterprises are actively moving to the cloud. The only 23% that aren’t are lagging behind due to the type of data they hold and security concerns and are usually in the healthcare or government industries. However, they’re not far behind: over half of U.S. Government agencies are now fully cloud-native, and cloud security is rapidly surpassing what can be offered by traditional on-premise database vendors.
The big question IT leaders must answer in the next few years is how and when to replatform – and how to do it with minimal disruption to the business. Luckily, technologies like adaptive data virtualization and automated schema generators are making the process easier.
For a detailed read on the topics discussed above and additional articles on key challenges in replatforming, check out Cloud Express:
By the way, you can also download the entire eBook here.