Less popular than SaaS, PaaS or IaaS clouds, database-as-a-service may still provide benefits to businesses handling large quantities of data and seeking to improve the energy and cost efficiencies of their cloud architectures. As organizations seek cloud solutions that best suit their particular application development strategies, security requirements and sizes, DBaaS may be ideal for mature businesses that already utilize enterprise-grade cloud computing for control and scalability. For newcomers to the cloud, it will be important to pick the right configuration of IaaS and/or PaaS before considering DBaaS.

In a guest column for Forbes, Oracle vice president Rex Wang highlighted the importance of reliable cloud hosting in the face of costly security incidents and service outages. Compared to on-site infrastructure, cloud-based solutions offer many potential improvements in cost management, speed of delivery, storage and backup, but the implementation of them can sometimes be difficult. More specifically, IT departments may have to wrestle with complex stacks supplied by components from numerous vendors, which result not only in excessive management overhead but also wasted capacity that offsets would-be savings.

Wang recommended that enterprises with private clouds consider taking measures beyond simply resource virtualization,  which shaves-off hardware expenditures but may fall short of achieving true consolidation. DBaaS may be the right solution, argued Wang, since it can sometimes reduce IT operating costs by half while also shortening database deployment times.

"The first step for any IT department moving to a private cloud model is to consolidate as many applications as possible onto a shared platform and infrastructure to reduce excess capacity, decrease costs, and improve flexibility," wrote Wang. "By standardizing and consolidating on a shared database and middleware platform for as many applications as possible, organizations can dramatically increase cost savings and accelerate application development."

Assessing IaaS and other options during cloud migration
After deciding that cloud is the right way for them to scale their applications, enterprises must be careful about migrating right away to SaaS, argued TechTarget's Mark Eisenberg. The prepackaged nature of SaaS may reduce a business's ability to differentiate itself. Accordingly, it may be critical to pick an IaaS cloud provider that can supply the proper infrastructure for custom development.

Although PaaS can ameliorate some common development issues and setbacks, Eisenberg pointed out that it may be too complex for some developers. IaaS offers granular control, but buyers should ensure that they find a solution in line with their budgets and manpower resources.