The Database Wars 2.0

The Database Wars 2.0

The IT world is undergoing a major shift. The way companies and individuals use and interact with their technology has been relatively constant since the emergence of the internet and traditional network servers in the mid-1990s, but the rapid growth in cloud computing and ever-increasing availability of large data centre means organisations are now reassessing their needs and using increasingly niche online systems to satisfy their requirements.

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Those who have operated in the IT sector for long enough will remember the ‘Database Wars’ of the 1990s. Back then there were more than fifteen different database providers – each offering a slightly different way of storing and managing a company’s data. The variety of available databases meant IT departments faced considerable uncertainty when trying to determine how to house, access, and monitor their information.

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By the late 1990s the number of providers declined as Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft slowly emerged as the market leaders. Most businesses used these companies’ databases for all their needs, meaning that cross-department coordination, database management and database monitoring was reasonably easy to manage. Fast forward to 2014, and the amount of choice when selecting a database is once again becoming overwhelming. There are now databases that specialise in every possible area – leading some commentators to speculate that we are verge of witnessing Database Wars 2.0.

Two major trends have resulted in the explosion of new database offerings – big data and cloud computing. Estimates predict there are nearly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data produced daily, and the sheer scale of this data means accelerated processing power and improved disk storage access is now required by users. Meanwhile, the growth of cloud computing is reshaping the way the industry builds and deploys software. Analysts predict 20 percent of IT spending over the next three years will be used on SaaS based services and it is expected that as the market transitions from on-premise to pure cloud, hybrid applications will become increasingly prevalent.

These new ways that companies use data has led to major providers such as Oracle and Salesforce and open source databases like Apache Hive attempting to provide solutions that help IT professionals manage the increasing avalanche of information. Each provider has its own niche speciality and the effect is a steady return to 1990s level of competition.

The specialised nature of these databases leads to problems for IT professionals. Whereas twenty years ago an entire organisation would use a single type of database, modern organisations are dealing with increasingly more rules and confusion. A typical SaaS might not only deal with traditional databases, but also the newer and harder to manage NoSQL and NewSQL, multiple APIs, and range of on-premise, cloud-only, and hybrid servers.

The new complexities mean developers and systems administrators are now coordinating and synchronising their work more than ever. There was a time when these groups would rarely interact, yet the modern day reality means conversations and interacts between these teams are now a daily occurrence. This new level of interaction combined with the increased usage of various databases and servers means companies need to have an intelligent and holistic overview of their entire system’s performance. Different outputs need to be presented and managed in one centralised and easy-to-use interface. Without effect monitoring teams cannot isolate problems and downtimes will be increased. Longer downtimes leads to lost revenue, poor SLA performance and ultimately a poor reputation – harming business prospects in the long-term.

Datadog is the perfect solution to the problem. Their industry-leading monitoring software enables IT, Operations and Development teams turn large quantities of data into valuable insights. The software allows for an overview of alerts, custom metrics, usage analytics, performance monitoring, issue tracking, cloud hosting, code changes and configuration management. With a wide range of integrations, the software easily aids companies fight Database Wars 2.0 – assimilating easily with Mongo DB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Riak and SQL Server, amongst others. The gathered information is presented on a customisable dashboard, letting developers and system administrators easily collaborate to understand their systems and improve its performance.

The company has a competitive pricing structureoffering a free service for up to five hosts, $15 per host/per month for up to 100 hosts, and volume discounts for clients that have more than 100 hosts. Prices include unlimited integrations per monitored host and unlimited users.

What do you think? Is your IT department suffering from the latest instalment of the Database Wars? Do you struggle to monitor your systems and servers effectively? Do you already use comprehensive monitoring software? Let us know in the comments below.

By Daniel Price

Post Sponsored By Datadog

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Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.
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