How Does Cloud Computing Work and Why Is It a Game Changer for Postgres?

January 19, 2023

As we kick off 2023, migrations—or perhaps we call this a stampede—to the cloud continue unabated. By 2025, Gartner analysts predict that 85% of organizations will embrace a cloud-first principle.

Before we get to the reasons ‘why,’ let's define ambiguous cloud terms and nail down what the cloud means for Postgres users and Postgres-based software. After all, there are quite a few definitions of cloud and cloud computing floating around out there.


What is the meaning of cloud?

When Marc Linster, EDB’s Chief Technology Officer, chased down the meaning of cloud a few years ago, he found that for some, the term ‘cloud’ is synonymous with programs like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or the Google Cloud Platform. For others, the cloud is anything that is less rigid and faster than asking IT to deploy on bare metal. And for a third group, a cloud platform applies to software delivered through a Platform as a Service (PaaS), preferably as a managed service.

So not all analysts, technologists, and cloud enthusiasts agree on the definition of the cloud. But they all agree that the future of the database is in the cloud.


What is cloud computing?

The National Institute of Standards (NIST) defines five essential characteristics of the cloud: on-demand self-service; broad network access; resource pooling; rapid elasticity; and measured service.

This tells us the cloud is a way of thinking, a way of providing services, a way of providing services; and a way of managing access to services. The cloud is not limited to the hyper cloud providers, their PaaS or IaaS infrastructures, or Kubernetes, OpenShift or OpenStack. 


Why is cloud computing important? 

Enterprises are finding that cloud-based database environments increase levels of convenience and reliability. With a cloud platform, they can manage and control database access anytime, anywhere. 

Cloud infrastructure environments offer the following:

  • scalability to ensure your database grows with your business
  • agility to build and deploy your apps with ease and speed
  • resource efficiency to provide access to a range of tools and support options
  • maintenance and recovery automations to protect your most valuable assets

The pull of the cloud is that it allows you to do more by doing less. 


Types of cloud computing

When it comes to cloud computing environments, there are four main types:

  • private cloud
  • public cloud
  • hybrid
  • multi-cloud

Private cloud, as defined by Gartner, is a form of computing that is used by only one organization or that ensures that an organization is completely isolated from others. A public cloud computing service, on the other hand, is defined as a style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are provided as a service to external customers using Internet technologies. 

Organizations not ready to shift entire database operations into the cloud can adopt a  hybrid approach to cloud-based database environments. Hybrid cloud environments rely on both public and private cloud providers for application support—and not necessarily for the same applications.

Many intentional hybrid approaches embrace containers and container orchestration technology such as Kubernetes, OpenShift and Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) to simplify moving applications between cloud environments.
So, some of you might be asking, what’s multi-cloud computing? Multi-cloud refers to the use of cloud computing services from more than one public cloud provider. 


How to deploy everywhere with the cloud

With a little bit of investment, almost any virtualized or containerized environment can be turned into a  cloud environment. See, for example, the TerraForm and Ansible cloud infrastructure that EDB has made available on GitHub.This simple mechanism allows for on-demand provisioning of broadly accessible, highly available, and monitored database services on AWS or VMWare. Similar mechanisms exist as Kubernetes operators to support OpenShift on-premise or in a hosted environment.


Postgres and the cloud

With Postgres being an open source strategy and database that provides full control over your data and the cloud offering complete scalability and flexibility, Postgres and the cloud together are the ultimate combination.

A fully managed Postgres in the cloud solution can provide the following:

  • One Postgres from one trusted partner no matter where you deploy and operate your database. 
  • Cloud computing infrastructure tools that manage Postgres everywhere, in every cloud
  • Cloud Migration tools that make it easy to move from close source databases to Postgres in every cloud
  • Powerful replication and data Integration tools that make sure that users are not confined to one cloud
  • A single user interface providing the same experience for both Amazon Web Services and  Microsoft Azure
  • The ability to stop worrying about database maintenance, availability, or who to call for expert help.

With the right cloud service provider (CSP), you can set up the clouds of your choice and integrate Postgres and the third party developer tools you prefer. 

Freedom and control combined with the administrative support of a fully managed Cloud Service Provider (CSP). 

No wonder cloud computing technology is the future.

If you’re looking for more information about cloud computing services, visit our blog to learn about Managed Service vs Self Service databases and the differences of On Prem Vs Cloud services.


Ready to make the move to the cloud? Check out Postgres in the cloud from EDB. 

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