Databases in the cloud: dark cloud or silver lining?


Databases in the cloud: dark cloud or silver lining?

For some, clouds conjure up images of stormy weather and darkened skies; for others, clouds have a silver lining.  Much the same can be said for the vision that IT managers have of cloud computing.  There’s an upside, certainly.  But there are many ominous feelings that persist among IT managers -- misconceptions and myths – that keep agencies from transitioning to a cloud environment.

Misconception # 1: Performance. In the early days of cloud computing, performance and reliable availability for databases was inconsistent at best.  Today’s mature technology and the availability of the tools required for network monitoring, management and coordination of essential cloud performance parameters should dispel concerns regarding performance. The architecture of modern cloud storage systems is often based on solid-state drives that provide up to 48,000 IOPS and 800 megabit/sec of throughput – more than enough power to meet the needs of most agencies.

Misconception # 2: Availability (or lack thereof). Two to three years ago, failures in the cloud environment were not uncommon, but today’s service-level agreements ensure cloud providers exceed demand. Easy-to-set-up replication and standby systems and the longevity of data in the cloud are all far above what was available in early days. 

Misconception # 3: Control. Although part of the cloud’s administration and configuration responsibilities are handled by the cloud service provider, network administrators still have the reins of overall network performance, which includes choosing cloud-compatible tools for performance monitoring. At the end of the day, IT managers aren’t relinquishing control, but rather  investing in the advantages that come with cloud computing: lowered costs, flexibility and agility.

Many still have hesitancies regarding migration to the cloud.  In a recent SolarWinds survey, over 70 percent of organizations reported not having migrated even 25 percent of their infrastructure to the cloud. So misconceptions and fears do persist.

Times have changed.  Today’s complex computing environment and ever-growing database needs dictate additional resources.  Cloud computing for some creates angst, hesitancy and fear.  But the cloud is not a dark and stormy one – it comes with a silver lining of benefits that far outweigh the leap of faith it takes to transition.

About the Author

Joe Kim is executive vice president engineering and global CTO at SolarWinds.


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