What is Database-as-a-Service (DbaaS)?

In cloud computing, DBaaS is a service that offers users access to a cloud-based database without having to buy and set up their own hardware, install the database software, and manage the database resources. The cloud service provider hired by you will handle the regular upgrades and backups to ensure that the DBaaS systems are always running and secure.

The software-as-a-service market has a database as a service and is the fastest growing vertical, expecting to reach a value of $716.25 billion by 2025, as suggested in reports by Global NewsWire.

Most database warehouses and vendors have joined hands with big cloud providers to give the users a hosted variant of their software while letting the customers leverage the entire bucket of benefits of cloud computing when it comes to the applications’ search, storage, and modification needs.

Variations of on-premise databases and DBaaS

In the case of an on-premise IT setup, the database server is included in the infrastructure, which is in the data center, and its installation, management, and running are taken care of by the organization’s IT staff. It is Database Administrator or the DBAs who manage and configure the databases running on the server.

However, in the case of DBaaS, the service provider handles the entire infrastructure and manages the database to provide it as a consolidated cloud service. This service includes administrative operations like configuration, maintenance, installation, and database upgrade. In addition, the service provider also takes care of the task of performance management, patching, and backup.

Also Read: What is Public Cloud

Difference between database management and database as a service

Cloud database management is quite convenient compared to on-premise database management. The administration tools for database management are very similar, allowing quick database provision in the infrastructure. One of the major differences between local database deployment and cloud-based database management is the required backend administration.

With cloud computing, you can easily shift a load of time-taking administration to the shoulders of the service provider because it’s their responsibility to ensure that the application and physical layer are in proper operation and are optimized.

Whether you develop individually or have a team of data engineers, getting a hosted infrastructure relieves you from an administration that allows you to focus on data. This also lets you use the resources wisely, which would otherwise have been exhausted in low-level handling tasks.

Benefits of DBaaS

When the on-premise database management is compared with DBaaS, database as a service offers better strategic, operational, and financial benefits like:

  • Cost-effective: Setting up an entire infrastructure for database management turns out to be costly, and scaling it up and down becomes costlier. But with DBaaS, the organizations only need to pay the charge for resources they utilize, which cuts down the need to buy extra resources that might or might not come in handy in the future.
  • Highly scalable: With DBaaS, you can easily add the needed computing power or storage at the time of running, and you can also scale down the database features during non-peak times, which lets you save a lot of money.
  • Easy and affordable management: The organization would require an administration team to manage an on-premise database system. However, with DBaaS, the cloud service provider is responsible for the overall administration, freeing you from any high-level functionalities related to applications and operations.
  • Quick development and more marketing time: If there is an on-premise database setup and the development team needs access, they have to request it from the IT team, which is a tedious process. With DBaaS, the developers can configure the database as per the capabilities and set up its integration with their applications.
  • Security of application and data: The cloud service providers delivering database as a service also offer organizational-level security with features like data encryption while in transit and rest and access management controls and integrated identity. Also, a few comply with the security regulations as well.
  • Less risky: A good cloud service provider gives you a Service-Level Agreement or SLA, which states a certainly guaranteed uptime. If the service provider fails to deliver the mentioned uptime in the SLA, you will be liable to get compensation for the downtime suffered.
  • Quality of software: An ideal cloud service provider will offer you a variety of DBaaS software which are initially configured with quality parameters so that you do not have to worry about going through hundreds of databases.

Also Read: Object Storage vs Block Storage

How to choose the right DBaaS provider?

Most of the cloud-based database providers offer non-relational or NoSQL databases as well as relational database management. Choosing the right DBaaS provider involves determining database technology that aligns with your application and whether or not the provider offers that.

The initial process is a bit complex as no database fits every business’ requirement, and this calls for a lot of trade-offs that are quite subtle. However, here are some important factors listed below that should be considered:

The underlying architecture fits your needs

It is crucial to get a database engine that fits best for your application needs as well as has the capability to be scaled as per future requirements. In distributed systems, it becomes difficult to build, manage, and keep the maintenance intact of the single-node systems, and its scalability will come with the charges of available performance.

Database’s performance during testing

The creation and testing of the building prototype are crucial because it helps in evaluating the response time and observing the performance to see if it fits with your application needs.

Other offerings by the provider

Since the DBaaS is integrated with another cloud service as a whole infrastructure, it becomes important to understand the overall offering of the service provider. These offerings can go beyond the general functionalities and features of a database.

Also Read: Block Storage in Cloud Computing


Go for a database service that operates from a data center that is in your geographical vicinity. Make sure that you have understood the SLA provided by the vendor to be sure of the uptime.

About Nolan Foster

With 20+ years of expertise in building cloud-native services and security solutions, Nolan Foster spearheads Public Cloud and Managed Security Services at Ace Cloud Hosting. He is well versed in the dynamic trends of cloud computing and cybersecurity.
Foster offers expert consultations for empowering cloud infrastructure with customized solutions and comprehensive managed security.

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