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What is Database as a Service (DBaaS)?

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. There is one clear winner in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) category: Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS), which, according to Research And Markets, is predicted to achieve $399.5 Billion worldwide by 2027.

This guide explains what 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 you 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 your 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. 

For example, with just a few clicks or API calls, a developer could spin up a new database instance in the cloud. Similarly, the IT admin user could create and resize a database cluster or request a backup without worrying about where the database is residing. The net result is that the complex and time-consuming process of installing and maintaining an in-house database is removed, enabling organizations to focus their energy on building applications. This is extremely important, particularly for development 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 your database up and running promptly.

Benefits of adopting a DBaaS

Save money in the cloud

First and foremost, using a DBaaS solution can help you 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 your app suddenly went viral. Now what?

An in-house database that cannot dynamically cope with the traffic spikes will affect your user experience, and you will be at risk of losing customers. Thanks to DBaaS, you 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 building better apps.

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 you’re running your database infrastructure, you need a team of dedicated experts to perform tasks such as connecting your server to your network, adding database instances, performing backups, recovering from database failures, optimizing, and patching.

Using a DBaaS solution lets you abstract away these complex and repetitive tasks so that you can concentrate on new projects and productivity. In addition, when DBaaS is used for your projects, security becomes a shared responsibility between your 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. Typically DBaaS solutions are also pre-certified, enabling you 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 tasks that DBAs and developers are tasked with 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 users 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.
  • Agile development: One of the most demanding requirements of the application development lifecycle is to create a development environment that closely resembles the production environment. This typically involves provisioning compute, storage, and networking components, configuring them correctly and installing the database software. Depending on the project’s scope, the entire process may take several weeks or even months to complete. DBaaS makes it simple to replicate the existing production environment quickly, so the development team has access to a shadow environment right away.


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.


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