It’s that time of year where we look back on 2010, analyze the trends building up in the market and ask ourselves: what does 2011 hold for your database? Below are our main predictions for the year ahead:
- Database models and alternatives settle back on SQL
The recent hype around NoSQL will continue to decline, as DBAs and enterprises return to the proven SQL solutions. As it turns out, the promise for great scalability and distribution that drove the NoSQL adoption early on could not compensate for the lack of the very basic transactional and relational functions, which are core requirements for any commercial application.In turn, alternate use cases will be found for NoSQL, and early on signs indicate it is picking up on DW/BI uses – where extra-large data sets and types encompassing high performance key.
- Enterprises and Developers will realize that databases in the cloud have specific needs
Discussion around databases in the cloud is maturing. On the one hand, enterprises and developers started realizing the benefits of the cloud, while on the other hand, they become aware that the cloud is not only about abstraction of virtualization.Databases are not only the most mission-critical part of the application, but it’s also becoming abundantly clear that databases in a cloud environment are inherently different than traditional installs. This increased attention given by CIOs and IT professionals to the unique requirements of databases in the cloud will grow stronger in 2011.
It has become evident that running a database in the cloud is not as simple as installing it over a virtual machine – mostly because of the fluidity of resources and the highly fragmented nature of the cloud. Those who have made their first steps in cloud database architecture discovered that achieving high availability, scalability and multi-tenancy in a cloud setup is more difficult than first perceived.
- 2011 is the year of Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS)
The promise of databases in the cloud goes beyond mere cost reduction and operations efficiency. It is all about simplicity and a “worry free” philosophy.The cloud DBaaS delivers seamless configuration and optimization for your database performance and availability on the cloud. Setup issues and the on-going DB operations become automated or as easy as a click of a button away.DB management tasks aimed to ensure high availability, elasticity, and geographical distribution, as well as on-going tedious daily operations – that typically require long and detailed planning, extensive resources and complex execution – all become as simple as click-and-go.
2011 will be the year of “plug-and-play” for databases – where you could be set up with your highly available database in the cloud in a matter of minutes. Plug-and-play also implies no vendor lock-in, which is a major barrier in current setups. DBaaS will also be implemented in private clouds, as more and more local platforms mature and become similarly plug-and-play.
Last but not least is the smooth transition – typically no code changes are required in order to run your database in the cloud. In fact, architectural and code scaling considerations such as memcached, sharding etc. become redundant.
- Native SaaS pricing
The SaaS model comes as close as it gets to on-demand computing, where consuming software over the cloud as a service disarms the need for oversubscription (and over-paying) for users and/or for resources.2011 will be the year where databases and infrastructure models are pressured into applying the same “keep it simple” SaaS model: pay per actual usage.
The vision behind the cloud being an on-demand per-use framework does not coincide with the architecture and pricing models of leading services today, such as Amazon RDS, or even databases which are manually configured on pre-set virtual machines. Traditional pricing models for enterprise databases will adjust to reflect the flexibility and the dynamic nature of the cloud.
- Elasticity is the key – and in 2011, we expect it to be automatic
At the end of the day, the availability and potential growth of your application is only as good as the elasticity of your database tier. If previously developers had to choose between elasticity and simplicity of NoSQL, and the transaction and query capabilities of SQL – 2011 will bring more and more live applications that prove you can have it both.Elasticity reflects all gating clauses for the application growth (data and throughput), scale, availability and distribution. Offering a dynamically cost effective and operations efficient service boils down to an essentially elastic nature.
Do not get confused with linear scale that can be typically achieved by scaling a database up (in the same node). It is about scaling out – across nodes: In the enterprise world, being able to burst out for resources or spill-over means scaling out. This is a mandatory requirement for the Cloud Olympic Games.
True to the plug-and-play ease of use principle, in 2011 we expect elasticity to be automatic. Why be bogged down by manual monitoring and configuration, when you can have your database solution ensure automatic scalability, tuning and backup.