Database as a Service Is a Key Hybrid Cloud Enabler

Intel IT has been working toward a true hybrid cloud environment for a number of years. Our goal is to seamlessly and transparently land workloads in the appropriate cloud environment (based on business and application needs), whether that is in our on-premises private enterprise cloud or a public cloud. Application developers shouldn’t have to worry about what infrastructure their app will run on. And if a failure occurs (such as a downed network or server), the workload should gracefully fail over to an alternate environment, invisible to end users. That is, the application is abstracted from the infrastructure.

Recently, we conducted a proof of concept (PoC) that demonstrated how an intelligent Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) implementation enables a hybrid cloud. The DBaaS system uses business rules and policies to determine the best placement (private or public) for a particular application and lands the app there. In the PoC, we tested three applications. We ran them on-premises, moved them to a public cloud provider’s infrastructure, and then moved them back on-premises (several times). The tests proved that apps could move back and forth between private and public clouds with no impact on end users. All the apps behaved as expected, with no issues. In fact, failover time for an app to move from private to public or public to private was less than a minute—similar to the time it takes us to fail over an app from one on-premises data center to another. In addition, when running in the public cloud, we utilized our own public cloud network. That is, the apps had full integration with the enterprise, including on-demand resources, health monitoring, security policies, and so on. Basically, the public cloud provider became just another data center on our LAN.

We have also found that DBaaS fosters technology enablement. It is much easier to integrate new technologies into the enterprise through DBaaS, because, with DBaaS, the technology becomes simply a feature of the DBaaS, not a “capability” per se. Therefore, app developers require no additional resources in order to use the new technology. Currently, we are evaluating several new technologies that can enable new use cases across the enterprise and plan to add these to our DBaaS system this year.

The combination of DBaaS and hybrid cloud is probably one of the most exciting projects I’ve worked on in my 25 years with Intel IT. The business flexibility provided by DBaaS is compelling—borne out by the fact that experts predict that DBaaS will experience a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 65 percent between 2016 and 2020. To learn more about Intel IT’s DBaaS system, read the IT@Intel white paper, “Increase Business Velocity with Enterprise Database as a Service (DBaaS).”