Portability should be considered when moving database application to the cloud, report says

Published: Friday, April 13, 2012

When moving any application into the cloud, whether it is a database system or some other service, organizations need to consider portability. A recent SYS-CON Media report explained that organizations have hit a point in which they can operate much more flexibly. Workers using mobile devices with a pervasive internet connection expect access to company data and applications anywhere and anytime. Because of this, organizations need to establish their infrastructure to match that flexibility.

According to the news source, cloud computing is the answer. The cloud is able to cut costs dramatically by allowing companies to pay only for the storage and server resources that they actually use. The technology also offers organizations the ability to leverage more storage resources and more easily establish disaster recovery systems through off site backup. At the same time, cloud computing also makes it easier to automate infrastructure functions and operate IT and application functions more flexibly.

When working in the cloud, whether for databases or other application services, organizations gain level of scalability that they cannot achieve through traditional IT infrastructure. The news source explained that cloud computing offers organizations the critical ability to add or reduce capacity based on demands at any time. This provides a level of elasticity that is increasingly important in the enterprise. Similarly, the cloud makes it much easier for businesses to operate with greater velocity. They can no longer afford to get an idea for a new application that would improve operations or a database that would simplify day-to-day tasks and go through months of planning and infrastructure deployment prior to release. They need a faster time to market and cloud computing can deliver.

All of these capabilities add up to a core infrastructure that allows for incredible application portability. However, there is one core issue - it can be extremely difficult to migrate from one cloud vendor to another. The end goal of a truly portable cloud setup is being able to switch from one environment to another with minimal complications, especially in terms of integration and reengineering, the report said. While this end result is valid, it is incredibly difficult to achieve because many clouds are built on proprietary software and infrastructure solutions that feature fairly rigid programming and deployment attributes. This can make it extremely difficult to develop a truly portable cloud.

The report said organizations can overcome this challenge by using more open source applications and services in the cloud setup. Whether it is for databases, applications, virtual server operating systems or other elements of the solution, having a cloud that is built on open source principles gives businesses far more power to customize the solution. This makes it much easier to shift cloud applications and services from one provider to another.

Databases often follow similar principles as applications in terms of portability. When working to migrate database systems within the cloud, or in traditional IT infrastructure, building on more flexible and customizable infrastructure makes the process much easier. Having this capability built into the system is critical because it allows the organization to better align the DB system with infrastructure needs at any time. Accomplishing this is dependent on working with an open source database solution. Many experts agree that open source programming is just as good, and often better than, proprietary systems. At the same time, open source software lacks the extremely restrictive constraints of proprietary software. Because of this, organizations can more freely adjust the source code to ensure it works better with the underlying infrastructure and operational requirements of end users.