Why running your own database can be more costly than you think

Running your own database or the other extreme of using Database as a Service? That sounds like an easy choice, right? There are many factors you need to consider before making that choice. Read our article to find out why we believe running your own database can be more costly than you think and what you can do about it. With the right tools at hand, it’s easy to make sure that your database management system isn’t costing you more than you intended!

1) How do databases change?

Databases have changed from the days of being a giant ball of data that only a handful of people could understand to today where they are much more streamlined and easier to use. The complexity has shifted from the design and maintenance to how well the data is structured and maintained.

As databases change, so do our needs. Some organizations may not want to maintain their own hardware and software, but instead prefer having someone else take care of it for them. They just want their information stored in a secure location with backup protection while also getting it instantly available when needed.

This is where Database as a Service (DBaaS) providers come in!

2) Hardware Requirements

You will need to make sure that the server has enough memory, hard drive space and processing power. If your data is going to grow a lot or if it's particularly large, then you'll also need to make sure that the server has extra capacity for this. Otherwise you may have to upgrade it in the future which means spending money on a new server.

In addition, if you run your own database and there are outages due to an unforeseen event like natural disasters or even simple human error (such as someone turning off the power supply by mistake), then your business may suffer significant financial losses until service resumes. And finally, when servers go down unexpectedly due to hardware failure or accidental shutdowns, it may take up to 24 hours before they are up again.

3) Maintenance, Support, and Security Considerations

Owning a database means paying for server and storage costs, plus the cost of hiring knowledgeable experts to maintain it. If you outsource these tasks to a DaaS provider, then you'll only have to pay a one-time fee for the service. Depending on the size of your company and budget, this could be a better option.

With a DaaS provider, you're responsible for the data but not the infrastructure or upkeep—saving both time and money. You also don't need to worry about having enough space or power in order to run your own database.

And because the provider takes care of all upgrades and patches, there's less risk that you'll fall victim to security breaches. So while some businesses might find it difficult or expensive to get started with a DaaS provider, others will see that as an investment that pays off in lower long-term costs and higher productivity levels.

4) Backup, Recovery and Disaster Planning

A backup plan is critical for any business, but it's especially important when running a database. With databases, a backup plan usually includes both on-site and off-site backups. The best way to protect against downtime is to have an off-site backup that is stored in a different physical location from the primary site where the data resides. To avoid recovery delays, it's also good to have redundant hardware at the primary site so that if one server goes down, another will take over.

DBaaS providers typically provide these services as part of their service contracts.

5) Bandwidth & Connectivity

Running a database is a big responsibility. First, data storage is expensive and takes up a lot of space. If the drive crashes for any reason, it's possible that all of the data will become inaccessible. Second, processing power and network connectivity are finite resources. Every time someone logs on to the server to access their data or makes changes to their records, they're using these resources which then affects how many people can simultaneously use the system without slowing down performance.

With DbaaS, IT professionals don't need to worry about purchasing drives for storing the information, capacity planning and backup procedures, nor do they need to set aside bandwidth or processing power when setting up a database. All of this is handled by the DBaaS provider so IT professionals can focus on what matters most: providing quality service for their customers.

The only consideration to make is ensuring there is enough bandwidth between the application and DBaaS provider

6) Developer Costs

There are many factors that go into the TCO of a Database, but some of the main ones are developer costs and upkeep. If you're running your own database, there will likely be someone that needs to maintain it. Not only is there additional cost for hiring developers, but it takes a lot of time to train new people and keep them up-to-date on any changes made to the system.

With DbaaS, because most vendors offer 24/7 support, there is never downtime for an issue or maintenance window. On top of this, the subscription model means that these tasks don't need to come from the organization's budget.

In addition to the financial benefits of using DbaaS providers over in-house databases, they also offer features like snapshots which make it easier to back up data and have disaster recovery plans in place in case anything happens.

Check out CockroachDB DBaaS offering here

7) Software Licensing Fees & Maintenance Costs

Running a database is a significant investment in hardware and software. Licensing fees, maintenance costs, and the cost of personnel are all factors that need to be taken into account when deciding if it is worth the TCO for an organization to invest in their own DBaaS.

This question often boils down to one's level of expertise with databases and the amount of money they want to spend on up-front licensing fees. If you're not comfortable with all things database or don't want to commit any capital expenditures (which will end up as hidden annual license renewal payments), then leasing a service from a DBaaS provider might make sense for you.

A lot of smaller organizations will find this cheaper, since most DBaaS providers allow for upfront payments that never expire and last for an indefinite period. However, just because the cost is lower doesn't mean you get less features. You'll have access to additional enterprise-level features like backups, encryption, etc., at competitive prices from reputable providers like CockroachDB

8) Monitoring & Management Costs

Monitoring and management costs will vary depending on the size of the company, but at a minimum, it should include monitoring for security vulnerabilities and updates. A DBA will also need to monitor for performance and stability issues. If anything goes wrong, a DBA needs to know how to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

The longer an issue is not resolved, the more money is lost in downtime. It’s imperative that any DBA is knowledgeable about all facets of database administration including system design, storage design and infrastructure provisioning.

Offloading all or part of this responsibility to a DBaaS provider can help in reducing this risk and cost.

9) Are there any hidden costs I should know about?

Running a database is not an easy task. One of the reasons why it's so expensive is because of potential costs that may arise. There are many hidden costs that one may not know about, such as: higher hardware and software prices, increased staff time for maintaining the server, greater data security concerns, and higher likelihood of system downtime.

Having a DBaaS provider deal with and be on hand when issues occur can be invaluable. some might even say priceless.