Database-as-a-Service The country needs new databases
Dominic Maidment, Technology Architect, TotalEnergies Gas & amp; Power, talks about the reasons why his company decided to use a DBaaS, using Nutanix.
Companies on the topic
Dominic Maidment, Technology Architect, TotalEnergies Gas & Power, talks about the reasons why his company decided to use a DBaaS.
(Image: public domain, geralt / Pixabay)
Legacy databases are based on cumbersome architectures and slow down the entire business. On the one hand, because they inhibit innovation, on the other hand, because their lack of flexibility and excessive complexity completely take over the IT teams. We have therefore partnered with Nutanix to move to a Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS), which we believe is the most advanced type of data infrastructure.
Reasons for using a DBaaS
There are several reasons why companies want to modernize databases. A key driver is the operational limitations of older databases. A company like ours has several environments where software is developed. Each instance interacts with numerous databases and must integrate many middleware applications. As a result, a change request or an upgrade is associated with considerable costs. It takes time to orchestrate modifications in the backend, which seriously drags the time-to-market.
Another reason for switching to DBaaS is that we want to get the most out of our employees. This is even one of the original main reasons for TotalEnergies to migrate our private cloud to Nutanix HCI. By using modern technologies-which are essentially based on simplification and automation – skills can be converged and the number of people needed for a single task can be reduced.
Database administrators (DBAs) have very specific skills. They are not always part of the infrastructure team, but focus on their main task. As specialists, they are an expensive resource. So you don’t want them to do everyday and simple tasks like deploying a workflow. This is a clear candidate for automation efforts.
Which brings us to the subject. If we can automate a series of actions and tasks, there will be more time for more important things. Such as security, performance, productivity or development.
Creating Good from Bad
In a company like ours, several database environments run at once. If these are not patched and maintained correctly, they provide a fairly large attack surface. Of course, we also want to draw as many insights as possible from the data. But only we should receive these-so it is inevitable that things are patched internally.
Keeping systems up-to-date and providing data in an automated workflow takes a lot of time and even more resources. The automation and flexibility that a DBaaS offers can help throughout the entire process. For example, generalizing data, removing unnecessary tables or subsets, and then deploying the environment so that data can be compared with other test and development environments is a good two weeks. The use of automation alone significantly reduces this time period. In addition, manual processes are unnecessary, which drastically reduces the potential for errors.
The sheer number of different environments provides another reason why database automation and centralized orchestration are so attractive. For example, if you have a local production cluster and a cloud-based cluster where you replicate and where you use a protection domain, it’s very nice to bundle all of this into one central control layer.
Why we ultimately chose DBaaS
When we at TotalEnergies thought about switching to a DBaaS, we clearly defined what we expect from our database services. We want to consolidate our compute and storage resources into two clusters, with production workloads on one side and development workloads on the other. This split allows us to use both sites as disaster recovery (DR) failover for production workloads when needed.
Important to mention here is that we run up to eight databases at any given time – all with connections between two different environments or custom packages written to run remote procedures. So for an environment, you don’t have to rely on just one database. They synchronize between these eight units. That’s a lot of management.
When you update a legacy environment, you discard the work of all test teams because you change the underlying data. Instead, we need flexibility and granular control. Our DBaaS environment offers us the opportunity to consolidate our management and reduce the complexity of testing and development.
The best comes to the end
What appeals to me most about DBaaS and database modernization per se is the automation of workflows. It’s not a completely new idea to create repeatable processes. What’s new, however, is integrating them into a CICD environment or toolchain to help script tools or APIs dynamically deploy environments locally or in the cloud. And this is where your database starts working for you. Otherwise, you keep piecing together different tools.
If you look at relational public cloud databases, all these automation approaches are integrated. That’s the promise of the cloud. They provide abstraction so that technical teams do not have to do plumbing work. That’s why we rely on Nutanix.
If we move away from the complexity of performing everyday IT tasks and switch to solutions like DBaaS, we can finally draw value from data. The world is gearing up for the vast amount of data that comes from customer-centric environments like contact centers. This data is increasingly used for analysis, for example to improve customer service. Get the equipment you need now.
Dominic Maidment, TotalEnergies Gas & Power. (Picture: Dominic Maidment)
* The author Dominic Maidment acts as Technology Architect at TotalEnergies Gas & amp; Power. He describes himself as a technology evangelist and is an expert in digital transformation, multi-cloud and integration.