The benefits of managing data in the cloud go well beyond infrastructure.
Industry is becoming increasingly more comfortable with the adoption of cloud as an IT model, especially for IaaS, as it looks for the next set of innovations.
“Beyond flexibility and cost saving, the cloud now offers enterprise users the ability to convert large volumes of raw information into knowledge and actionable insight, easily and quickly,” said Dr. Prasad Saripalli, recently appointed chief technology officer at OneOcean and former chief architect for IBM’s SmartCloud Enterprise. “Mobile computing, big data and analytics are three promising areas in this regard for IT management, where unprecedented innovation becomes possible with the cloud.”
However, cost savings is still one of the primary benefits of outsourcing database management to the cloud. Along with cost, other benefits include ease of data migration, performance, better ROI, and no more maintenance. What makes them so beneficial?
There’s a powerful economic rationale for SMBs to get out of the business of buying and maintaining hardware that is obsolete practically before the paint is dry, says Adam Stern, CEO of Infinitely Virtual. “In addition to the obvious advantages of data management without having to acquire and depreciate iron, the cloud pricing model is inherently flexible,” he said. Whatever the cloud hosting provider’s specific plan –“per server resource” (based on RAM, CPU and disk space consumed) or “server plus user licensing”(based on the user’s environment – e.g., one or more servers and the resources consumed to support that environment, plus the user license), monthly fees can start as low as $10, he added.
Ease of Data Migration
With hosted applications and shared data, cloud-based data management borders on being a no-brainer, Stern said. “Updates, upgrades and enhancements are continuous and, for all intents and purposes, transparent. Data management and data migration are easier, cleaner and more secure than in a local, non-hosted environment.”
Moving your data environment to the cloud is the perfect opportunity to clean up and have a fresh start, Allan Thorvaldsen, CEO of Panorama9 added. “Consider moving other services to the cloud at the same time – i.e. your CRM or accounting software. In doing so, you’ll get other managers taking on the responsibility at the same time and more of the ‘in this boat together’ feeling.”
What’s true for applications applies equally to the world of virtual servers and other performance engines that users simply don’t need to tune. “With the cloud model, regular and frequent performance improvements — whether generational or incremental — are a given,” Stern said.Better ROI
With SaaS you have a constant monthly cost, which is awesome, and you’ll have constant cost per employee, which is even better. “This makes it a lot easier to budget as you know the cost of services for sales reps and other departments per month. To add to this, if you have new hires you can simply add subscriptions, or if unfortunately you need to let go of employees, you just terminate subscriptions,” said Thorvaldsen.
No More Maintenance
When you move to the cloud, someone else is taking care of maintenance of the servers and troubleshooting. Often the database host provider has experts for a variety of database software packages, so there will be no worrying about hiring an extra support person.
Moving the database to the cloud should make the IT department’s job easier. “Data lying unused or redundantly collected due to a lack of easy management, organization and analysis tools have a cost one can measure in months and millions of dollars, long before even considering IT storage costs,” said Saripalli. “Users have a real need for agile data management made possible by cloud-based platforms.”
Sue Poremba is a freelance writer focusing primarily on security and technology issues and occasionally blogs for cloud service provider Rackspace Hosting.