Wednesday 20th July 2016
by Ger O'Donovan

Ger O'Donovan

The changing face of database technologies

Database technologies are rapidly changing making data more accessible. Advances in tools such as Microsoft Excel (Power Query) enable users to pick and mix data irrespective of hosting technology or indeed location.

Whether data is stored in an Access, MSSQL or an Oracle database and located on local storage or Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure cloud storage, is immaterial. Data is no longer in the sole ownership of the application which front ends it.

Evolving data residency
Business customers are demanding faster and painless deployment of technology. It is no longer acceptable that decisions about which database to use take weeks or months. Multi-tenant database environments are replacing shared environments because they share resources on a scalable database platform that works with the cloud.

Multi-tenant or plug-and-play databases can be set up quickly using cloud-based technologies. They help consolidate and manage multiple databases as one, resulting in:

  • Improved efficiency
  • Simplified management
  • Maximum uptime
  • Lower licensing costs
  • Improved performance

That isn’t to say that on-premises, standalone databases for critical applications will go away.

Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS)

In the past, companies ran proprietary databases on “bare metal” servers, always on-site. They had to dedicate resources such as space, people, budget and time to purchase, house, install, network, repair, maintain and secure hardware, operating systems and databases. The process of setting up a database used to take weeks or even months.

New technologies like virtualisation drive higher usage and improved data centre responsiveness. Many databases now run on rented, cloud-hosted servers, where teams have access to virtualised operating systems and databases, but not hardware. Provisioning, configuration, managing, monitoring, security and other important IT functions need to adapt accordingly.

DBaaS benefits

  • Simplifies customisation, management and upkeep of databases
  • Easier to solve problems and correct mistakes
  • Simpler transfer of data
  • Scalable
  • Customisable
  • Improved security
  • Deployed quickly

The cloud demands better IT collaboration

As IT increasingly uses the cloud, the push is for data management to be data-location agnostic. An organisation will deploy databases for applications that are hosted both on premises (private cloud) and in the public cloud. This makes the support and delivery model much more complex than on-premises applications. Having a team that provides a set of database services across data centres and database platforms is critical to realising the efficiencies of the new hybrid cloud.

IT collaboration

The role of the database administration team is evolving quickly. Skill sets are changing and IT collaboration is a necessity. Finding new ways to deliver and support data and database services faster to the business community is imperative.

This calls for the IT support community to be fluid, flexible and proactive in its management of the new data storage environment.

Data-based decision making

Easy access to data enables an organisation’s data to drive strategic decision making. This reliance on data will cause companies to rethink their approaches to analytics and use of corporate data. Business decision making and processes become data-driven.

It is essential that data duplication is eliminated and holding of data is managed centrally rather than locally.

Central and local data

The preparation groundwork can be a big exercise in itself. Many companies will have existing business intelligence or data programs, while others will want to integrate new sources of information. This means bringing together different data sources and delivering a unified view to users. Records may exist in multiple systems:

  • CRM
  • Finance
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Customer support

By linking them, companies will have a better view of the overall customer lifecycle.
Trilogy Technologies offers consulting services and support on database environments and data storage systems

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