Use Database as a Service to Enable DevOps in the Hybrid Cloud

If you had to pick the hottest trends in application development- DevOps, database as a service (DBaaS) and hybrid cloud would have to be in the top five. Certainly at Intel, there is a concerted effort to proliferate DevOps and Agile methodologies across the enterprise, we have successfully implemented a DBaaS system in our private cloud, and our hybrid cloud strategy, “the right workload in the right place at the right time,” has been in place for several years.

Databases comprise one of the most critical and complex components of the application stack. Traditional manual database provisioning, configuration, and management processes can take weeks or even months and can lead to inconsistency, quality, and resource utilization issues as well. Using DBaaS to automate and simplify database spin-up, configuration, and maintenance can go a long way toward accelerating the software development lifecycle.

Recognizing the velocity, agility, scalability, and cost efficiency benefits of DBaaS, we began our DBaaS journey back in 2014. At that time, our efforts concentrated on building a private cloud solution – and for many of our applications and databases, private cloud still makes sense. However, as we continue to enhance the solution we are now working toward integrating DBaaS into our hybrid cloud environment as well.

Why DBaaS and DevOps Go Hand-in-Hand

The whole goal of DevOps is to increase efficiency and speed the application development process to achieve shorter time to market. DBaaS solutions, such as the one we developed at Intel, let developers rapidly provision new databases without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. They can use an intuitive Web portal (or APIs if they prefer) to create and delete data services, add or remove data service ownership, manage passwords, troubleshoot query performance issues, backup and restore databases and migrate databases in or out of the DBaaS system.

The DevOps concept of continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) meshes well with a DBaaS system, which (if built correctly) can quickly and easily accommodate addition of new technologies. In our case, for example, we regularly integrate new database technologies, both open source and commercial, into our DBaaS system to support new use cases across the enterprise.

Marrying DBaaS and the Hybrid Cloud

While private-cloud DBaaS is where Intel started, and may be the right choice for many enterprises, public cloud-based DBaaS is one of the fastest growing cloud service sectors, with experts predicting a compound annual growth rate of between 64 and 67 percent1 over the next few years.

Intel recently conducted a proof of concept in which we explored the feasibility of using pre-defined policies in our DBaaS system to determine whether an application was landed on private or public cloud infrastructure. We also experimented with moving the applications back and forth between the two environments. We found that the apps could be moved from our private data center to a public cloud data center (and back) in the same length of time it would take us to fail-over an app from one private data center to another private data center. In essence, the public cloud was simply another data center on our LAN. We see DBaaS as a true enabler of our goal to seamlessly land workloads, either on-prem or in the public cloud, as business and technical requirements dictate.

To learn more about Intel’s DBaaS system and how it accelerates application development, along with best practices for building your own DBaaS system, read our paper, “Increase Business Velocity with Enterprise Database as a Service (DBaaS).”

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