Will PLM take an advantage of DBaaS?

Bam! New acronym to learn today. Enterprise software already created tons of them for last 2 decades. However, I will ask to excuse me today and speak about DBaaS. I’m sure you’ve heard about IaaS, SaaS, PaaS… So, what is DBaaS and why I think it we need to discuss it in the context of PLM? Generally speaking DBaaS is a kind of "cloud database". Wikipedia classified cloud databases in the following article into Virtual machine images and Database as a services (DBaaS).

The major interesting in DBaaS can be called by a single name – scale. The requirements to infrastructure is growing. The ability to keep up with this growth often can go beyond IT capacity you company may have. So, DBaaS can give you an easy way to scale up with more/less predictable cost. Specifically, when speaking about global geographical scale. Most of manufacturing companies are working today globally with suppliers, manufacturing and design facilities across the globe. To support such type of globally scaled infrastructure, can be an additional reason to move towards DBaaS option.

Second reason – cost. Similar to all other XaaS services, DBaaS can provide cost benefits by virtualization of data layer. The exact numbers, of course, will depends per case and will not work for everybody. However, I believe, there are enough companies in the niche that will find DBaaS as a cost saving factors in their database architecture.

I want to mention few specific aspects of PDM and PLM development. To provide muti-site PDM deployment is one of the most crtitical requirements these days. Many relatively inexpensive PDM solutions are struggling with such type of multi-site deployment. By moving to DBaaS, they can solve the problem of distributed deployment. Another interesting aspect of PDM/PLM deployment is flexibility. The ability to instantiate a specific schema and configuration of database is much high with DBaaS compared to traditional database deployment.

Life is not without problems. DBaaS can be bring some challenges too. One of the most significant one is flexibility and configuration of DBaaS solutions compared to traditional databases. Therefore, DBaaS can be a challenge for existing PLM applications designed for traditional SQL database. Most of problems potentially can come from customization and ability to run specific database/server side scripts and procedures.

What is my conclusion? Cloud databases or DBaaS is an interesting infrastructure option for PDM/PLM developers and IT managers. It provide ease of administration and ability to scale. It can become an important element of your future PLM infrastructure for small and large companies. If you are developing new product today, pay attention how you can save by using DBaaS. If you are IT manager, check your existing or future PLM solution about their ability to run in DBaaS configuration. Important trend. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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