What is Cloud Computing and What Does it Mean for Postgres in the Enterprise?

March 18, 2020

The reality?

We will all move to the cloud! New research from Gartner validates that the future of database deployment is in the cloud. In fact, 83% of all deployments will happen in the cloud this year. 

Maybe it's just me, but I am allergic to buzzword bingo and hyperbole. I tried to chase this down and understand what that really means for Postgres users and Postgres-based software. As I am an engineer, I started with the fundamentals: What is this “Cloud”? Great question with very few definite answers. It felt like wallpapering fog. For some, “Cloud” is synonymous with Amazon, Azure, or Google. For others, it can be anything that is less rigid and faster than asking IT to deploy on bare metal. A third group was convinced that “Cloud” only applies to software delivered through a Platform as a Service (PaaS), preferably as a managed service.

As I had been convinced by analysts, loud talkers, and pundits that the future of the database is in the “Cloud,” I started to feel like I was living in a Kafka-esque dream: If I can’t find it, how can I be a part of it?

What is the meaning of Cloud?

In my desperation, I turned to the National Institute of Standards (NIST), and low and behold, NIST Special Publication 800-145 “The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing” provides clarity, at least for my left-brained engineering mindset. The essential characteristics of a cloud are defined as

  • On-demand self-service
  • Broad network access 
  • Resource pooling
  • Rapid elasticity 
  • Measured service

This tells me that “Cloud” is a way of thinking; a way of providing services; a way of managing access to services - the “Cloud” is not limited to the hyper cloud providers, their PaaS or IaaS infrastructures, to Kubernetes, OpenShift, or OpenStack. 

How to Deploy Everywhere with Cloud 

With a little bit of investment, almost any virtualized or containerized environment can be turned into a Cloud. See for example the TerraForm and Ansible infrastructure that EDB has made available on GitHub. It's a simple mechanism to allow 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. 

We don’t have to ‘Go to the Cloud’—we have to provide cloud-oriented IT services, and that can be done almost anywhere. The challenge is how we will take advantage of those capabilities to drive innovation, share information, leverage pooled resources, and shake off the constraints that are ingrained in outdated business processes.

Postgres and the Cloud

For EDB’s products, this means:

  • Postgres databases that run anywhere, in every “Cloud”
  • Infrastructure tools that manage Postgres everywhere, in every “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”
  • Provisioning mechanisms, through scripts, helm charts, or operators, that allow our customers to create database “Clouds” wherever they need them

EDB Postgres Advanced Server, the Oracle compatible version of PostgreSQL, and PostgreSQL, the world’s most powerful open source relational database, run in on-premise environments, on Amazon EC2, on Azure, on Google Cloud Platform, on The Alibaba Cloud, and all other major “Cloud” environments. Customers are using EDB Failover Manager, EDB’s Postgres Enterprise Manager, and EDB’s Backup Recovery Tool to create highly available, robust and manageable environments at scale in all these “Clouds”, and most importantly: over 50% of these customers use more than one “Cloud.”

“Migration as a Service” tools, such as EDB Migration Portal, make it easy to move from constrained legacy environments to any of multiple “Clouds.” EDB Replication Server and the EDB Migration Toolkit move data between legacy databases and Postgres in the “Cloud,” be it as a one-time snapshot or ongoing change data capture.

Maybe I haven’t slain all buzzwords, but now I know that almost any environment can be a “Cloud,” and that Postgres rules them all.

Use Postgres - Get Stuff Done!

Want to explore more deployment options for Postgres in the cloud? Learn about EDB Postgres in the Cloud to match your cloud Postgres needs


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