What is Cloud Database

Before start discussion about Cloud Database, Let's know first, What is cloud Computing ?

Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet). As the name suggest Cloud Computing, user need not to have any thing at their end, every thing is available to him as as Service or in Clouds. Only thing user needs to do is a regular payment for Service (Which make this Cloud Industry.)

To explain in more simple words let's take an example, We all have electricity at our home but are we really bother about how electricity is produced ?  no, we are not. We got it through a connection and whatever we use we pay for it.

Cloud Computing provides many types of service. Let's see few of them.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS):
Now, let's see in case of Infrastructure as Services in IT Industry. Suppose, I need to store 1 TB of data, for that I need to buy a Storage Server, network equipments, a compute, power supply and above of that regular maintenance for this infrastructure. Instead of this, If some one ask you to pay few dollars per month and store your data at his place and takes full responsibility of your data backup, availability and security. Then this will be a very good option. In cloud computing terminology this is called as  Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

Software as a service (SaaS):

 Now, Let's discuss about Software as Service in IT Industry. I want to make a web site having some user which will be stored in Database, Since the size of database is small but crucial. To achieve this taking a Oracle/Sql Server or any other database license and maintaining it would be very costly affair for me. 

 To over come, companies are offering Software as as Service (SaaS), again you just need to pay for this and company will provide every thing to you. Just over a Internet Connection. Again in cloud computing terminology this is called as  Software as a service (SaaS)

These two are very simple explanations to familiarize with the concept, However this is much much larger than this. To know more about Cloud Computing Please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database_as_a_service#Storage

What is Cloud Database ?

A cloud database is a database that typically runs on a cloud computing platform, such as Amazon EC2, GoGrid and Rackspace. Now, your database will reside on cloud server and cloud service provider company will maintain it and you will use it.

You can buy Database on Cloud in two ways

Virtual machine Image:  cloud platforms allow users to purchase virtual machine instances for a limited time. It is possible to run a database on these virtual machines. Users can either upload their own machine image with a database installed on it, or use ready-made machine images that already include an optimized installation of a database.

For example, Oracle provides a ready-made machine image with an installation of Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition on Amazon EC2.

Database as a service:  some cloud platforms offer options for using a database as a service, without physically launching a virtual machine instance for the database. In this configuration, application owners do not have to install and maintain the database on their own. Instead, the database service provider takes responsibility for  installing and maintaining the database, and application owners pay according to their usage.

For example, Amazon Web Services provides two database services as part of its cloud offering, SimpleDB, and Amazon Relational Database Service.

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