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What is Database as a Service (DBaaS)?

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What is Database as a Service (DBaaS)?

Cloud computing has transformed the way how IT teams run businesses. They don't have to spend time or resources purchasing hardware, installing and updating software, or maintaining on-premise IT infrastructure. Service-based cloud models including SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS have disrupted the industry and forced organizations to rethink the consumption model for their customers, who now consume services on demand.

This article explains what Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) is, what it does, and why companies are increasingly using it to power their businesses.

What is Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS)?

Every application relies on data, and organizations need a database to store and organize that data. When an application grows, the data it generates increases, which leads to the necessity for data management effectiveness. Beyond the organic application growth patterns, today's data landscape is dominated by immense amounts and various external data from sources ranging from video streaming platforms to IoT devices. Managing these data requirements presents an enormous challenge for many organizations due to a lack of in-house expertise and high costs. 

Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) is a SaaS computing service that hosts and manages database instances in the cloud. With DBaaS, the cloud provider is responsible for managing essential tasks, including setting up the infrastructure, upgrading the database and OS software, backing up the data, and executing disaster recovery strategies in an emergency. 

The complex and time-consuming process of installing and maintaining an in-house database is removed, enabling organizations to focus their energy on new business initiatives. This is extremely important, particularly for enterprise teams who are constantly under pressure to deliver new features quickly. With DBaaS, they can get started quickly, only pay for what they use, and access their data at any time.

Why are companies using DBaaS?

DBaaS is quickly gaining popularity across the tech world. With the urgency with which business-critical apps need to be delivered today, DBaaS is a fantastic way to get databases up and running promptly.

Benefits of adopting a DBaaS

Save money in the cloud

First and foremost, using a DBaaS solution can help save money. Many organizations can't afford to purchase, set up, and maintain their physical infrastructure, let alone pay in-house experts. With DBaaS, these organizations can shift this burden of upfront resources and ongoing managing costs to the service provider and only pay for the duration they use it.

Auto scale to meet demanding applications

For many organizations, the time between launch and significant user adoption is short. Let's say that an app suddenly went viral. Now what?

An in-house database that cannot dynamically cope with the traffic spikes will affect user experience, and organizations will be at risk of losing customers. Thanks to DBaaS, organizations can automatically scale out compute and underlying storage resources to ride out a spike in demand and free up resources when they are no longer needed. As a result, organizations can spend less time planning and more time focusing on other strategic objectives.

Improved price-performance ratios

In general, database performance is directly linked to core computing, networking, and storage performance. With multiple cloud-based instance types, it is possible to run database workloads in parallel at significant cost savings. DBaaS providers offer various options, such as dedicated instance types for higher performance scenarios and shared instance types where tenants can share a physical instance to reduce costs.

Outsourced administration and security

If organizations are running their database infrastructure, they need a team of dedicated experts to perform tasks such as connecting their server to their network, adding database instances, performing backups, recovering from database failures, optimizing, and patching.

Using a DBaaS solution lets organizations abstract away these complex and repetitive tasks so that they can concentrate on new projects and productivity. In addition, when DBaaS is used for their projects, security becomes a shared responsibility between their organization and the provider, thereby reducing organization-wide risks. Typically, DBaaS providers offer a wide range of security options, including SSL encryption and IP allowing the listing to safeguard against attackers. DBaaS solutions are usually pre-certified, enabling organizations to quickly meet specific regulatory compliance standards like HIPAA (for the health industry) and FedRAMP (for defense) for your applications.

High availability and disaster recovery

In most organizations running their databases, a local disaster recovery plan is in place, where databases are regularly backed up. The backups are then typically archived in an external data center. However, a quick and seamless recovery is impossible when disaster strikes since the data must be retrieved from an external location. DBaaS solutions ensure continuous failure readiness for your infrastructure. The DBaaS provider replicates data across multiple database instances running across different machines, availability zones, and data centers to reduce unplanned downtime. Additionally, database instances are periodically backed up in inexpensive cloud archives that can be accessed quickly. Generally, most cloud providers that offer DBaaS include service level agreements (SLAs) that guarantee a certain level of availability.

What are the uses cases for DBaaS?

In addition to the time and money saved by using a DBaaS, many routine can be simplified. Some of the use cases for a DBaaS include:

  • IoT applications: Today’s IoT devices generate thousands of data points per second that must be captured, stored, and analyzed. IoT apps require a data platform with a flexible data model to deal with complex and rapidly changing sensor data. DBaaS is an ideal solution for these scenarios since it can scale elastically to cope with the growing number of IoT devices and be closer to the data source with a global presence of data centers and points of presence (PoP). 
  • Real-time data processing: To gain insights and make smarter decisions, organizations need to continually analyze the data they collect and store. DBaaS solutions allow organizations to centralize their data in the cloud for analytical purposes. From real-time fraud detection to personalization, DBaaS solutions can enhance organizations' analytical operations, increasing productivity and reducing risk.


Building and maintaining a traditional database is costly, time-consuming, and complex. With DBaaS, organizations can deploy and scale their data platforms quickly and cost-effectively without worrying about a multitude of complex operational and infrastructure issues. Aside from serving a variety of use cases, DBaaS solutions ensure that the data infrastructure is operated securely by leveraging industry best practices. As a result, organizations can concentrate on delivering innovative customer solutions and improving developer agility.

The Macrometa Global Data Mesh is a flexible, ultra-low-latency data layer is purpose-built for global, real-time, and event-driven use cases that empowers ready-to-go industry solutions, find out more today by chatting with a solutions expert.

Related reading:

Unleash the Power of Real-Time Insights with the Global Data Mesh

The Journey to A Data-Driven Enterprise


Global Data Network
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