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What are Cloud-Native Databases and Why Should You Use Them?

The digital transformation of recent years has brought about a drastic change in handling and storing data. That's of a business and personal nature alike. Organizations worldwide are dealing with more data than ever before, and there's a pressing need for database solutions that are flexible, practical, and (perhaps most importantly of all) reliably secure.

A huge range of technologies are making effective use of the cloud and transforming how we all do business in the process. Just a couple of decades ago, who'd have thought that online meetings would be the ‘new normal’ for organizations across every sector of the business world? Yet thanks to the cloud and a VoIP service, it’s never been easier to reach out to colleagues and clients around the globe. And in what feels like no time at all, it’s become an everyday part of doing business.

Of late, many people have been asking just what cloud-native means for the technological infrastructure. Cloud-native technologies, including databases, have become increasingly commonplace. But what are cloud-native databases, and what exactly are their advantages?

Cloud-native databases: what are they?

In short, cloud-native databases are - as the name suggests - databases that are primarily cloud-based. As such, their deployment and delivery to clients are conducted via the cloud. They are designed to make the most effective use of cloud computing technology and the opportunities it provides. Most databases can be run using the cloud, but there are several things to consider first. Those include the purposes for which the database is required (i.e., what will be stored on it), its technological architecture, and the costs involved.

So, for example, you might think you have one of the best telemedicine platforms in the business. Without an adequate database system to back it up, though, you won't be able to deliver the goods effectively. For example, identifying and managing long-term conditions or understanding the role of lifestyle factors in causing or exacerbating illnesses. Both of which being processes that benefit from effective analysis of large data sets. Effective customer support is also similarly dependent on having robust databases in place.

Cloud-native databases are delivered through a platform as a service (PaaS) model, which makes managing and extracting data - as well as storing it - quite simple. These databases are set up by installing database software on top of a cloud infrastructure. They can be used for functions, including data storage, management, and extraction. Unlike most traditional databases, cloud-native databases can provide direct access and on-run time scalability. This allows for enhanced flexibility and elasticity. Now let’s look more closely at the advantages of choosing cloud-native databases.

Why choose cloud-native databases?

We’ve just touched on the fact that cloud-native databases can provide firms with improved elasticity. This is an important matter. For the uninitiated, elasticity is about how a system adapts to changing workload volumes by allocating resources according to the demand at any given time. The point is to maintain an appropriate balance of resource provision, avoiding both over-resourcing and under-resourcing. Through more efficient resource matching, cloud-native databases can deliver significant cost savings.

That’s not the only reason to choose a cloud-native database, however. There are many other advantages to doing so, including enhanced scalability and accessibility. Organizations that are ambitious about their growth targets - and serious about meeting them - need to be able to scale up quickly and responsively. They also need to have a database that can be accessed at any time and from anywhere. Cloud-native databases provide this kind of responsiveness and easy remote accessibility. They also offer storage that isn’t hampered by the constraints associated with traditional database solutions.

Of course, it goes without saying that ensuring data and network security is of the utmost importance for any organization. From HR software to customer privacy, businesses must ensure that they have robust measures in place to keep sensitive data out of the hands of hackers. Cloud-native databases are safeguarded by strong firewalls and anti-virus protection. They’re also subject to regular software updates (taking account of ongoing security threats) and stringent monitoring.

Geographic resilience is another crucial advantage of cloud-native databases. They are able to respond to any changes in the network to readjust themselves, making use of their clustering capacity. Relevant data can be delivered to users rapidly through automated cloud-native databases, detecting regional user patterns and thereby boosting performance. This automation also translates into low upfront costs and the more efficient deployment of human resources to manage databases. Combined, that can deliver sizable savings for customers.