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Great First Step for Transitioning into the Cloud

Moving an organization’s IT infrastructure from the old server-based model to a cloud-based model can be a daunting task, regardless of whether the destination is a private cloud or a public cloud. Implementing a cloud solution on a very focused, self-contained technology stack, such as database technology, can be a very useful first step into cloud computing.

The toolkit available for database technologies is wide, extensive, mature, and multivendor. The same is true for the infrastructure components, such as the server, storage, and backup infrastructures. Dedicated, fully contained, engineered appliances have been a part of the database technology stack for a while now.

Another key aspect to consider is the significant amount of automation that exists in the database arena. This is primarily due to the unique and complex nature of databases plus the sizes of the databases that are common nowadays.

Security is an important aspect of any cloud solution and is yet another consideration that has long been a part of any overall database solution. Databases have their own dedicated security model that is mature and can fairly easily integrate into the larger organization model (single sign-on [SSO]- and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol [LDAP]-based authentication and integration, etc.). Database security models have matured to include data encryption for data backups, data at rest, as well as data in flight.

Finally, the amount of data existing within organizations is huge, and its rate of growth is exponential. Almost every application deployed will need a data repository or data store of some type. This growth in data must be supported by corresponding growth in infrastructure.

The combination of the mature toolkit, the engineering inherent to database solutions, the preexisting automation especially in the administration aspects of databases, and the existence of a mature security model provide a solid foundation upon which organizations can build and deploy their first cloud solution.

The existing domain knowledge and the highly experienced skill set available provide the technical basis for learning and fine tuning the various aspects of cloud computing.

According to some reports and surveys, database technology–related expenditure for midsize to large-size companies can be up to 40 percent or more of the annual IT budget. Having a defined organization-wide strategy for databases will help organizations manage the growth of data and at the same time keep database costs down. The fact that databases can drive up to 40 percent of the IT budget makes the database a very attractive focus area to use to kick off cloud computing as a long-term IT strategy.

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