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Cloud Native Ecosystem / Data / Storage

Why Cloud Databases Need to Be In Your Tech Stack 

For companies aspiring to provide better and more personalized customer experiences, implementing a database as a service should be a key consideration.
Aug 30th, 2022 6:57am by
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Ravi Mayuram
Ravi is CTO of Couchbase. He previously held engineering roles at Oracle and Siebel Systems.

Enterprises are seeking ways to modernize their operations. Emerging as a critical element in the digital transformation tech stack are cloud databases.

Having the right cloud database can help address the range of applications companies depend on and also those that they build, from the cloud to mobile and edge. For companies aspiring to provide better and more personalized customer experiences, implementing a DBaaS (database as a service) should be a key consideration.

Databases Are Fundamental to Enterprise Business 

Cloud databases enable organizations across every sector — including retail, transportation, gaming, healthcare and banking — to perform the functions that traditional databases do but, at an accelerated pace and with more flexibility and scalability. Databases provide free reign for companies to manage configurations, analyze data and update processes according to their unique business models.

Enterprises depend on databases to keep pace with an increasingly digital world. A retail vendor, for example, is now able to offer more and faster transactions online, creating experiences designed to meet customer needs.

A global apparel and retail company that delivers premium styling with over 1,800 retail stores worldwide was able to launch its first digital showroom with the power of a cloud database. The scalable database technology ensures high performance, offline availability and real-time data synchronization for a showroom experience that runs smoothly even if the internet goes down.

In another real-world example, an international airline with a crew of over 41,000 pilots, flight attendants and flight schedulers operates 1.5 million flights a year. Using the edge and cloud capabilities in its cloud database, the airline has digitized its pre-flight check process by syncing data across crew tablets in real-time — even when devices are disconnected or when an internet connection is nonexistent. Another leading travel industry company is providing faster booking times and requiring less data to be transferred for its more than 3 million mobile app users.

Enterprises Require Databases That Scale Affordably

Companies need to operate at a constantly increasing scale — more data, more speed, more customer touchpoints. IDC estimates that there will be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices, or “things,” generating 79.4 zettabytes (ZB) of data in 2025. The only way to keep up with this moving train is to have a cloud database that can handle huge amounts of data and can do so with extreme agility and low latency.

There are two types of scaling: horizontal (adding more nodes to a system) and vertical (adding more resources to a single node). Relational databases of old are not elastic, as in they cannot scale based on the volume and velocity of data access. They are built more like airplanes. If you want to add 20 more seats to your flight, you have to get a new plane that is built with 20 more seats. In other words, you can’t extend this plane to accommodate 20 more passengers. This is vertical scaling.

Cloud databases are built more like trains. If you want to add 20 more seats to your popular train route, all you have to do is add another coach.

On the other hand, cloud databases are more like trains. If you want to add 20 more seats to your popular train route, all you have to do is add another coach. You can further customize the train by adding more dining cars, cargo cars or passenger cars based on the route and payload specific to that route.

This fundamental difference is what makes cloud databases an important addition to your stack for modernizing your applications. A distributed NoSQL database that can scale to your needs will meet performance demands at an affordable cost while using fewer servers, making it possible to support large numbers of concurrent users.

Give Developers Database Technology They’ll Love

Developers are building applications that will push their companies forward as digital enterprises and a cloud database makes the process easier and more efficient. A NoSQL cloud database can power web, mobile and IoT applications while enabling developers to use languages and processes they already know and love. But why is a distributed NoSQL database the top choice for developers? Developers appreciate the speed, accuracy and low latency it offers.

A NoSQL database supports agile development to keep pace with evolving application requirements. The entire NoSQL movement came about to solve the schema rigidity of relational systems and to solve the object-relational impedance mismatch.

With NoSQL databases, the friction between frontend app developers versus the backend database-facing developers is over.

With NoSQL databases, the friction between frontend app developers versus the backend database-facing developers is over. There are no separate data model changes and object model changes. The application and object model change is automatically reflected in the database.

This eliminates the need for committees and approvals to get simple data model changes into production. For the first time, databases are now within the CI/CD pipeline. This greatly improves the agility of development teams, and is just as important as the ability to operate a fully geo-distributed database with continuous availability.

Cloud Databases Provide a Competitive Edge and Support Digital Transformation Initiatives

Gartner predicts that more than 85% of organizations will embrace a cloud-first principle by 2025 and will not be able to fully execute on their digital strategies without the use of cloud native architectures and technologies. Cloud databases can be the catalyst for enterprises to transform digitally in an era where scalability is a necessity, even during economic uncertainty. Throughout the ups and downs in the economy, business resiliency is of utmost importance — and the right database can support this.

As digital transformation picks up steam, more and more applications are operating both at planet scale and at the edge. Distributed cloud databases that can meet the needs at both ends of this spectrum are the ones that businesses are increasingly looking to solve their next-generation problems. We are excited to be part of this journey with our customers and we look forward to even more foundational innovations to meet their needs of tomorrow.

Click here to learn more about how Couchbase is enabling customer success with our NoSQL cloud database.

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