Since it was launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been quite aggressive. Despite being relatively new in the industry (compared to companies that have been in the business for a longer period), AWS has chalked up significant growth margins. Although it slowed down a bit back in 2014, it bounced fairly well in 2015. For the fourth quarter last year, its revenues were estimated at $2.51 billion. For that quarter alone, it registered $687 million as its operating profit.
One of the reasons for the success of AWS is its DBaaS or Database as a Service offerings. As companies are now realizing the value of the cloud in their businesses, many have been busy studying attractive offers from different IT organizations and groups. AWS is among the top choices for cloud database providers.
But here comes Trove, OpenStack’s Database as a Service component. It may be younger compared to AWS, but it is definitely not inferior in terms of its offerings. First off, OpenStack’s DBaaS allows both DevOps professionals and administrators to manage different Database Management Systems, even in the case of multiple instances (i.e. more than one application, program or copy is running at the same time).
Second, OpenStack Trove was created to provide a faster, easier, and more efficient way of managing and deploying various databases. It is expected to deliver on this promise.
What does this mean for AWS? To answer this, it is important to identify the factors that make OpenStack DBaaS different from Amazon Web Services.
What OpenStack DBaaS Offers
- Flexibility – OpenStack DBaaS offers more flexibility, especially in terms of options for storing data. The public cloud may be flexible, but there are some who say that their sensitive data is not that secure because of lesser privacy visibility and control. While OpenStack runs in the public cloud, businesses have another option by way of data center. In addition, OpenStack also offers on-premises data management. AWS only offers the public cloud option.
- Open Source – AWS is owned by Amazon and is, therefore, completely controlled by the said company. This means that all its APIs and data services are likewise under the control of Amazon. OpenStack Trove, on the other hand, was developed and is managed by a group of individuals and companies that got together through the OpenStack Foundation, an independent open source body. As such, you are not locked in to just one vendor. The software is free and can be easily downloaded.
- Easy Upgrade – OpenStack gives businesses the freedom to decide when (and if) they will adopt the updates it rolls out. The updates come out twice a year. This offers more flexibility for businesses. AWS, meanwhile, decides the update schedules and they then roll out these updates to enterprises.
- Allows Hosted and On-Premises Deployments – OpenStack DBaaS has a “no lock-in” policy, which means users can go for both hosted and on-premises deployment. Again, the keyword here is flexibility. And this flexibility comes from the open community that OpenStack DBaaS is part of. For businesses that use AWS, change is not really welcome because the only option offered to them is the Amazon Web Services public cloud.
- More Choices – As previously mentioned, OpenStack allows management of databases in multiple instances. Therefore, users or businesses have more choices in terms of database types. OpenStack Trove may have a single framework, but it is different in the sense that it can operate 13 DBMS technologies of several types, and in a consistent way. This is important, especially since it has been established that businesses like having multiple suppliers to cater to different uses. AWS, through the Amazon Relational Database Service, also operates a number of different databases. However, it does so through traditional relational databases that carry the same architectures.
- Open Source Means New Technologies – Being an open source DBaaS, OpenStack makes it possible for users to add new technologies or support. So, if you find that a database is not in the list, you can add the technology or functionality that it needs as soon as you are able to. In other words, you can adopt new technologies as the need arises. Amazon Web Services users are restricted to the support and/or technologies provided by Amazon.
- Privacy, Security and Reliability – OpenStack DBaaS is deployed in the data center as a private cloud. It offers more privacy, security and reliability because Trove deployment can be done by anybody in the company, preferably the IT expert or a trusted IT personnel. As such, deployment and use are bounded by company rules, policies and guidelines; specifically to data encryption and backups, among others. Additionally, this will also ensure users that industry standards and regulations are strictly followed, particularly those related to data protection.
- Ease of Use – Trove offers a step-by-step guide for installation. At the same time, users are given three options for installing the platform: through one of OpenStack’s public clouds, by running OpenStack cloud with the help of devstack, and by using a commercial software distributor.
Although Amazon Web Services is preferred by some because of its built-in public cloud, the flexibility and value of OpenStack DBaaS cannot be taken for granted. Trove is considered one of the fastest growing in the open source DBaaS industry mainly because it belongs to an aggressive and active community and group of individuals and companies. According to a survey by 451 Research, OpenStack Trove is
“so compelling; it provides the ultimate flexibility to pick and choose from the most popular databases allowing them to support their existing applications uninterrupted, while gaining all the benefits of the cloud”.
In the end, whether you choose to use OpenStack or AWS, the reality is that Database as a Service is beneficial to enterprises. It can help promote proper organization, efficiency, cost effectiveness, productivity and flexibility. With DBaaS, companies will become more adaptive and agile. Businesses that have yet to leverage the benefits of the cloud should start doing so now, before another new and updated technology hits the market.
Photo courtesy of Linux Screenshots.