In the ever-evolving technology landscape, organizations are grappling with many challenges in managing their database environments. Over the past year, our team completed a comprehensive exploration of these challenges and revealed four common experiences that stand out prominently. This blog post aims to dissect these challenges and shed light on the critical issues faced by organizations. Along the way, we’ll share how the new Silk Cloud Database as a Service (DBaaS) offering helps organizations overcome these database management challenges.
Lack of DBaaS Options for Mission-Critical Databases
The first challenge is that there is a lack of Database as a Service options for mission-critical databases. This comes down to the fact that these types of workloads have very stringent requirements and need extremely high performance. Existing cloud platforms, particularly traditional database solutions like Azure SQL Database or Google Cloud SQL, pose limitations in performance, throughput, and flexibility. We have seen customers leverage these PaaS offerings and hit the offering’s maximum levels at a point way lower than the cloud provider IaaS solutions – or even the customer’s own on-premises solution — offered. If we look at the Azure SQL Database offering, for example, you hit limits when you get to around 200,000 transactions per second and less than 1 gig/sec of throughput – and those require the most expensive Azure SQL instances available.
In addition, the rigid structures of these cloud PaaS solutions hinder the seamless migration of essential applications and databases. Most PaaS solutions offer a limited set of VM shapes and push all customers onto specific database versions and patch levels. This can leave you lacking essential capabilities like snapshots or other features you could get in on-prem implementations. All of this can compel organizations to resort to less optimal infrastructure as a service (IaaS) setup or even stay with on-premises solutions.
The Silk Cloud Database as a Service (DBaaS) offering provides unparalleled performance, resiliency, and flexibility through its proprietary software applied to standard cloud virtual machines. Overcoming the above-mentioned limitations of traditional cloud platforms, Silk allows the use of nearly any virtual machine shape and offers the complete database software maintained on any supported version and patch level. This enables organizations to run their mission-critical databases in a convenient PaaS-like environment, while still meeting performance demands and avoiding limitations of cloud-based solutions.
Hiring and Retaining DBA Talent
The second challenge delves into the escalating difficulty organizations face in recruiting and retaining highly skilled Database Administrators (DBAs). Demand for DBAs is quickly surpassing the available talent pool as more organizations continue to move to the cloud and accelerate software development. DBA roles need a lot of expertise, and the labor market just can’t keep up. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be an 8% growth rate in DBA jobs from 2022-2032. Compare this to the average labor market growth of 3%. To speed up development processes and empower application teams, organizations are moving away from a centrally managed team that is exclusively responsible for databases infrastructure. This has the potential benefit of speeding up release cycles but since most application teams don’t have embedded DBAs and are typically focused on one piece of a broader architecture, it can be a challenge for them to create efficient, optimized, and cost-effective database environments.
This increased demand for DBAs is met by Silk’s team of experienced database administrators who are available round the clock. Silk’s DBA team complements your in-house team, handling day-to-day administration and providing expertise to optimize database stacks and achieve business goals. This allows your DBAs to focus on strategic objectives, accelerate development processes, and ensure a holistic and efficient cloud architecture for your organization.
Building Resilient Cloud Architectures
The third challenge is the need for additional resilience in cloud architectures. Despite higher price tiers offered by some cloud solutions that claim to add additional resilience, organizations are still reliant on the cloud provider’s own means of ensuring availability and durability. All clouds experience downtime – both unexpected and expected. Estimates of this downtime range from $100,000 to over $5 million an hour, depending on which survey you are looking at and the size of the organization. Regardless, it is universally agreed that the impact of any type of downtime on a mission-critical environment is very significant. The inflexibility of existing cloud structures hampers the ability to tailor resilient solutions tailored to a specific organization’s Service Level Agreements (SLAs) or requirements.
Silk offers self-healing capabilities to avoid cloud downtime, along with redundancy to eliminate single points of failure. Silk proactively addresses planned cloud maintenance, orchestrating resource updates to minimize impact, and is also able to rapidly respond to unplanned cloud instability. Resilient architectures can be configured based on specific organizational needs, spanning availability zones, regions, or even multiple cloud providers in a true multi-cloud setup.
Budgetary Struggles with Cloud Spending
The fourth and final challenge revolves around the soaring costs associated with cloud-based solutions. Cloud bills exceeding expectations are a common woe, with 60% of organizations finding their cloud expenditures too high. In fact, some of the customers we spoke to either were spending more than they had anticipated or were forced to limit their move to the cloud to fit their budget. The lack of support for resource sharing in cloud solutions leads to overprovisioning since customers are required to provision resources for each system separately. This further exacerbates budgetary challenges and impedes organizations from achieving their database goals within predefined budgets, leaving many organizations with systems stuck on premise, priced out of the cloud
Silk’s total cost of ownership is frequently lower than equivalent cloud PaaS setups. Silk’s architecture provides various efficiency measures, including resource sharing, optimal VM shapes, and features like data reduction that reduce the cloud footprint for our customers. This way, Silk ensures a more cost-effective deployment, all while delivering higher performance and flexibility.
These four challenges underscore the complexities organizations face in managing their database environments. As we navigate through the intricate landscapes of current PaaS offering limitations, DBA talent shortages, resilience needs, and budgetary constraints, it becomes evident that a comprehensive solution is essential. The Silk Cloud Database as a Service is a compelling solution for organizations frustrated by existing cloud experiences. Whether constrained by current cloud platforms, looking to transition from IaaS to a managed solution, or contemplating a move from on-premises, Silk provides the tools and support needed to achieve cloud goals.
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