What is a cloud database?
A “cloud database” can be one of two distinct things: a traditional or NoSQL database installed and running on a cloud virtual machine (be it public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud platforms), or a cloud provider’s fully managed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) offering. The former, running your own self-managed database in a cloud environment, is really no different from operating a traditional database. Cloud DBaaS, on the other hand, is the natural database equivalent of software-as-a-service (SaaS): pay as you go, and only for what you use, and let the system handle all the details of provisioning and scaling to meet demand, while maintaining consistently high performance.
Traditional database running on cloud virtual machine (VM)
Fully managed database-as-a-service
Most of the time (and for most of the remainder of this page), the term “cloud database” refers to a cloud-based database-as-a-service.
Why use a cloud database/DBaaS?
The key benefits of cloud databases are that they are accessible from anywhere, scalable from day one, and designed for reliability and performance.
Ease of Access and Agility
Scalability and Performance
Reliability and Disaster Recovery
Common cloud database use cases
Cloud databases work in most cases that traditional databases do. They are particularly valuable when building software products that:
Require large volume of data
Need to handle high scale traffic
Are distributed geographically
Data applications that take advantage of centralization, like legacy modernization and analytics, are also fantastic candidates for cloud database usage.
While certain use cases are more obvious candidates for cloud database usage, more traditional use cases, like real-time online transaction processing, caching, or data warehousing work just as well in the fully managed paradigm.
Real-time transaction processing
Legacy database migration
Mobile application development
Cloud database considerations
Whether you’re still thinking about whether a cloud database is right for you, or in the process of selecting the ideal database-as-a-service for your needs, there are a few key factors to take into consideration:
Cloud Database Providers
MongoDB Atlas cloud database
MongoDB can be installed and run on any cloud provider or on-premise network as a self-managed database cluster or virtual machine, or on AWS, GCP, or Azure using MongoDB Atlas, our cloud database-as-a-service (DBaaS) offering. There are major benefits to adopting the DBaaS option, including:
Redundancy, backup, and restore
MongoDB Atlas, part of MongoDB’s broader data-as-a-service (DaaS) development platform, is a powerful and compelling alternative to managing your own NoSQL, or traditional, database, or using a cloud provider-specific managed offering.
The way a cloud database works is that rather than installing, configuring, and maintaining a database instance or instances, an automated system is able to provision, manage, and scale the underlying database cluster for you.
Fully managed database services handle the complexities of maintaining a consistently available, high performance cluster in a way that allows you, the developer, to access it as a simple, globally available resource.
You can treat the cluster as a single database instance, covered by a transparent usage-based pricing model, so you’re never worrying about over- or under-provisioning.