Finding the Right Place in the Cloud for Your MySQL Databases

Author: Robert Agar

Here’s the scenario. You’re a DBA at a medium-sized company that has serious growth aspirations. You are one of the team members responsible for supporting the MySQL databases that power your business. The applications using your databases drive the company’s eCommerce capabilities and are critical to its survival.

Upper management is fully committed to making the changes necessary to dominate the widget market in which your enterprise operates. All departments are expected to contribute to the effort by introducing more efficient or less expensive ways of doing business. One of the initiatives involves moving as much of your IT environment as possible to the cloud.

While this move poses many potential challenges and changes to your workday, there will be one aspect that will remain consistent. The current monitoring strategy makes use of SQL Diagnostic Manager for MySQL for your on-premises databases. So you can relax, confident in the knowledge that everything will work in the same way after the move. A more pressing concern is which cloud is going to host your databases.

Cloud Choices for MySQL

One determination that needs to be made early in the decision-making process is if you want a Database as a Service (DBaaS) or a Platform as a Service (PaaS) implementation. DBaaS may offer less flexibility but requires less management. If you have a complex environment that needs to be tightly managed, PaaS might be the right solution for your enterprise.

Your team may have some input on this decision, though the final selection will be made by individuals far above your pay grade. But it’s worth knowing what’s out there if you ever get a chance to voice your opinion on the matter. To that end, here’s a brief overview of some of the more popular cloud offerings catering to MySQL databases.

Google Cloud SQL is a fully-managed DBaaS that supports both MySQL and PostgreSQL databases. The platform offers a range of options including second-generation MySQL instances with up to 416 GB of RAM and 30 TB of scalable storage available. It provides tight integration between your MySQL instances and Google’s range of other cloud services.

Amazon Web Services allows companies to use MySQL in several ways. They have a DBaaS offering in their Relational Database Service (RDS) for MySQL. An enterprise can also self-manage their MySQL databases on Amazon EC2. Amazon RDS provides a fully-managed MySQL environment that handles tasks like patching, scaling, and performing backups.

Microsoft Azure for MySQL offers a DBaaS solution for MySQL which includes flexible pricing models, instant scalability, and high-availability. It offers a secure platform for eCommerce solutions, digital marketing, and mobile applications. The popularity of MySQL has led to Microsoft’s support of the product despite their investment in SQL Server.

Oracle MySQL Cloud Service allows you to create cloud instances that rely on Oracle’s physical computing resources. You have root privileges for the instance and can set up automated backups and patching. It does not offer a fully managed DBaaS option and requires user involvement in maintaining the underlying system.

These are just some of the more prominent choices available. The popularity of MySQL means it will continue to be added to the portfolio of cloud providers around the world.

More Room to Move and Your Tools Still Work!

One of the benefits you are sure to enjoy once you move to the cloud is the scalability that enables your systems to grow without capacity concerns. All of the platforms offer tools for monitoring your hosted MySQL instances. Since your team has already opted to use SQL Diagnostic Manager for MySQL, it’s good to know that you can continue to employ its many features on your newly migrated databases.

All the reasons that influenced you to use the tool on-premises are still valid in the cloud. It will continue to monitor and alert you to long-running and locked queries. Your customized dashboards and charts will work just like in the old neighborhood. Those 600 or so monitors that were watching your databases will be doing their job no matter which cloud hosts them. It kind of makes you feel right at home despite the roomy surroundings.

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