instructions for use

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Business uses a variety of ways to store corporate documents and personal data. Among them there are non-standard solutions. So, in one Western development company, records were stored in a plain JSON text file on disk until they switched to etcd – a key-value database (later the company returned to the concept of a single file due to personal preferences of the founder).

In principle, any company can deploy a database management system on its own if it has its own IT department and the necessary competencies. However, not every company can afford to hire a DBA to provide support. Monitored resources, RAM and storage usage and, if necessary, increased them, as well as provided monitoring, regular backups, and set up the optimal configuration of the DBMS server.

You can simplify all these tasks by using cloud databases according to the DBaaS (Database-as-a-Service) model. What else can databases in the cloud offer? At least two things are scalability and performance. We will tell about them further. The material is presented in an accessible way for beginners.

DBMS go to the clouds

Commercial solutions are still the most common tools in the field of data storage and management, but open platforms like

MySQL

,

Redis

,

SQLite

and

PostgreSQL

also acquired a large audience. The latter, for example, is even used on the International Space Station, and all of them regularly make it to the top of the most popular database management systems in Stack Overflow polls.

There are several reasons for this, and the first of them is performance. They handle parallel task processing, support dozens of data types, and offer support tools such as GIS functions for working with spatial data, time series, and geometric types.

The second reason is reliability and security. Open source software regularly undergoes independent security audits, and the openness of the code allows you to independently make changes to it if necessary.

Each open source DBMS has its own strengths, but many of the relational solutions presented don’t work well with thousands of servers. However, cloud technologies can come to the rescue, which increase the scalability resource. And the possibilities of the cloud for working with the database do not end there.

Pros, cons and effects of DBaaS

To store data, you need hardware – it is not so easy to buy it in the current conditions for small and medium-sized businesses. When a company migrates its database to the cloud, it no longer needs to purchase hardware on its own. At the same time, the provider takes care of all the maintenance and is responsible for:

  • data security;
  • backup and recovery;
  • timely installation of updates;
  • load control.

The stability of the service also increases, since the cloud allows you to run backup replicas. The load is switched to them if a failure occurs on the main server with the database – users will not notice the problem.

The portfolio of the DBaaS provider includes tools aimed at improving information security. For example, what we do in #CloudMTS:

  • we restrict access from the outside on certain network ports;
  • regularly scan database clusters for vulnerabilities;
  • we provide cloud firewall capabilities to restrict access from certain IP addresses (the client can go from a specific permanent IP address, access from the rest will be blocked).

Although it is worth noting the potential problems that arise in the process of working with cloud databases. The principles of interaction with the database are the same for different providers, but often they are included in a whole ecosystem of services – virtual machines, virtual data centers and containers. Deep diving into it can lead to a vendor lock-in situation, and migrating infrastructure from one vendor’s cloud to another is not an easy task.

Another nuance is the lack of access to the virtual machines on which the database is stored, and to system users of the DBMS. The provider deliberately limits the possibility of changing the configuration of the service, since he himself is responsible for its performance and reduces the number of points of failure.

How to get started with DBaaS

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DBaaS in your account #CloudMTS

Here it is worth paying attention to the availability of a suitable pool of resources from the service provider, sufficient to solve problems. The redundancy-related functionality is also important. It is necessary to ask technical support in detail about the strategy for working with backups. It is normal practice for backups to be placed separately from the database machines.

Another important aspect is the availability of tools for protecting the database, as well as the level of competence of technical support in matters of cybersecurity. For example, we have a dedicated team of specialists to solve these problems.

As for the deployment of database clusters, it all depends on the chosen cloud provider. However, in most cases, this process comes down to specifying the required parameters – for example, the amount of computing resources and cluster configuration – in the control panel when creating the service.

Next, let’s look at the example of a PostgreSQL cluster in the #CloudMTS cloud (this section is available to us after registration).

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Create a cluster

The cluster is formed automatically, the user needs to connect it to his application and determine the data storage structure. Further support and solution of all kinds of problems of the database cluster falls on the shoulders of the cloud provider.

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If you need to scale the amount of resources allocated for the database, for example, to peak load during a sale, just go to your personal account and change the configuration.

Working in the DBaaS format has its limitations and is not suitable for all companies. The service allows you to flexibly configure database clusters, but it will not suit organizations with special requirements for configuration and installed software. In such cases, it is worth consulting with the provider and possibly deploying a database cluster as part of the deployment and maintenance project services. In any case, #CloudMTS specialists will always help you solve technical issues and answer questions about products.

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