Essential Guide to Cloud Database Management


Database Administration (DBA) has always been one of the most sought after skills over the years. In recent times, however, the DBA environment has drastically changed as companies are moving towards cloud computing. To understand Cloud Database Management, we first need to define what it means.

What is Cloud Database?

A database service that is created and accessed through a cloud platform is known as a cloud database. Traditional databases' capability is comparable to that of cloud databases, but the flexibility of the database is significantly greater.

What is Cloud Database Management?

The process/system of performing management actions on the data in the Cloud Database. It is mostly the same as regular Database Management, except all the activities are done over the internet on a remote server. The management activities remain the same on a remote server logged in via SSH or other GUI.

Organizations that build databases on the public cloud have two deployment strategies to choose from −

Self-Managed Database

In this strategy, the organization handles most of the work, and the cloud is only used to store and retrieve data. The supplier only provides cloud infrastructure coverage, including servers, operating systems, and storage devices. The DBA must do all the other functionalities including management, organization, and analysis. As a result, this is cheaper as compared to DBaaS.

Managed Database Service (DBaaS)

DBaaS is the all-in-one solution where all the database management and administration activities are shifted to a database vendor. Here, everything from system infrastructure to database platforms is managed by the vendor. Usually, there is an additional data analysis done for the company, which can visualize all your data for you. The job of the DBA is to use this analyzed data to suggest upgrades. Similarly, users can also opt for Data Warehouse as a Service for cloud warehouse implementation.

5 Pillars of Cloud Data Management

1. Protecting Storage

When data is not being processed or translated, it is stored on the cloud. This storage system requires firewall protection, a security mechanism that monitors incoming and outgoing website traffic. It is also vital that the data stored be encrypted. Encryption converts information into an unrecognizable code. This guarantees that the data is only accessible to authorized users.

2. Controlling Access to Data

While it is critical that all employees have access to information whenever and wherever they need it, access must be limited. Business owners should determine who needs detailed data and provide access privileges accordingly. As a result, anyone wishing to see data must first verify themselves. This will regulate and prevent illegal resource extraction.

Their data transactions should also be documented for audit purposes. The company may track these acts to a user if data is mistakenly changed. Organizations can also set up access controls to scan devices for viruses and malware.

3. Securing Data Transit

A safe and encrypted channel should exist between the user and their device in a cloud data management system. This prevents any interceptor from reading the data as it is sent. Firewalls and virtual private networks can help organizations safeguard their moving data (VPN).

4. Authenticating Arriving Data

Data should arrive unaltered and authenticated once it has been transmitted. Data integrity checks should be performed by staff to ensure that incoming data is vetted and proper. This reduces the likelihood of infections and data breaches, such as phishing assaults. Phishing occurs when fake emails are sent from sources posing as credible individuals for the recipient to divulge sensitive information or download malware.

5. Backup and Recover Data

Although the preceding four pillars will aid in data protection and management, accidents and cyber risks may arise unexpectedly. Organizations should have mechanisms in place to guarantee that data is consistently backed up. A recovery procedure must also be in place to ensure that any lost data is recovered accurately and rapidly. Maintaining backups of data in various cloud accounts is advisable to facilitate data recovery.

Cloud Data Management best practices

  • Start with a plan. Decide what kind of cloud you will use, who will have access to what, and where should various processing duties be performed?

  • Maintain healthy data. That means ensuring that it is authentic, complete, and of sufficient quality to generate analytics on which decision-makers may feel confident in making business decisions.

  • Create data backups. And do it often. Most cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers will do frequent backups automatically. However, if a corporation hosts its cloud, ensure that the IT department does frequent backups.

  • Data governance. Existing on-premises data governance policies can be changed for a hybrid or cloud data management architecture. Moving data to the cloud, on the other hand, sometimes necessitates the consideration of additional compliance problems, so be certain that they do not fall through the cracks.

Advantages of following best practices

  • Security − Modern cloud data management is frequently more secure than on-premises alternatives. In fact, 94% of cloud adopters claim improved security. Why? To begin with, cloud data management lowers the likelihood of data loss due to hardware failure or device damage. Second, cloud hosting and data management businesses use more advanced security procedures and policies to secure sensitive data than organizations that invest in on-premises data.

  • Scalability − Cloud management companies generally allow users to purchase functionality as needed. This enables firms to grow their offerings in response to current demand. For example, if a company generates less data than in past years, it might conserve storage space. This enables the organization to save money by avoiding acquiring features it will never utilize.

  • Governed Access − With increased security comes more peace of mind regarding managed data access. Team members may access it from any location because data is stored on cloud. This access also promotes a collaborative work culture by allowing employees to readily exchange ideas, collaborate on a dataset, and more.

  • Backup and Disaster Recovery − The cloud storage vendor may manage and automate data backups, allowing the organization to focus on other tasks while ensuring that its data is secure. Keeping an up-to-date backup on hand at all times expedites disaster recovery and can help lessen the consequences of ransomware assaults.

  • Automated Updates − Many cloud services will automatically execute software upgrades to guarantee that data is continually safeguarded with updated technologies. Businesses no longer have to postpone operations or rely on IT personnel to update systems manually.

  • Improved Data Quality − A well-designed cloud management system will assist brands in improving data quality and providing single source of truth for all information. It also prevents data silos by allowing numerous users to share and access resources rapidly.

Conclusion

There are 5 things to keep essential pillars for Cloud DBA, protecting storage, controlling access to data, security data transit, authenticating arriving data, and backup / recovering data. The best practices are to start with a plan of the structure of the database and the cloud used, to maintain healthy data, create data backups, and data governance. The advantages of following these best practices are: Increased Security, Scalability, Governed access, Easy backup and recovery, automated updating, and improved data quality. There are 2 key options to consider as a DBA, whether you want to build in-house solutions for these by using a Self-managed database or outsource by using a DBaaS.

Updated on: 21-Nov-2022

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