Wikipedia defines Database-as-a-service (DBaaS):

"With a database as a service model, application owners do not have to install and maintain the database themselves. Instead, the database service provider takes responsibility for installing and maintaining the database, and application owners are charged according to their usage of the service. For example, Amazon Web Services provides three database as a service offerings as part of its cloud portfolio: SimpleDB, a NoSQL key-value store; Amazon RDS, a relational database service that includes support for MySQL, Oracle, and more; and DynamoDB. Microsoft offers its SQL Database service[3] on its Azure cloud service platform. Cloud computing platform Rackspace offers database as a service for MySQL and MongoDB. Database as a service providers are not limited to cloud computing platforms. For example, MongoDB as a service provider mLab allows their customers to host their databases on AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. Database vendors have also launched their own services under this model. Oracle provides its own database as a service, allowing users to access Oracle Database 11g and 12c as cloud services."

Our definition of Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS):

In our view, DBaaS is a self-service portal that allows end users, whether they are a DBA team, internal developers or outside clients, to rapidly provision a database.  That database can be selected from a portfolio of options including database type (Oracle, Microsoft, MySQL); database size; performance characteristics; backup and recovery standards; high-availability and replication options; and even databases with pre-populated data, which could be a redacted replica of a production environment.

Key Characteristics of Database-as-a-Service:

  • Self-service. DBaaS allows database consumers from various backgrounds and IT experience to provision databases effortlessly.
  • On-demand. You pay for what you use, generating overall IT savings.  
  • Dynamic. Delivers a flexible database platform that tailors itself to the current needs of the environment based on the resources available. 
  • Security. A team of experts at your disposal continuously monitoring your databases.
  • Automation. Automates database administration and monitoring.
  • Leverage. Leverages existing servers and storage. 

What can Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) do for my company?

DBaaS relieves a lot of stress off of your IT department and overall makes life easier on your company.  In addition to pure convenience, it adds a level of complexity to your security structure by proactively managing your environment(s). Having a team of experts at your disposal is crucial to the proper functionality, set-up and continuous monitoring of your databases that contribute to overall security. 

Most organizations utilizing DBaaS offerings are able to save money and resource by recycling servers and storage more effectively. With skilled database administrators working to optimize the performance of the system, employees can now focus on daily IT operations and maximize their productivity. 

Suggested additional reading material: Database-As-A-Service Saves Money, Improves IT Productivity, And Speeds Application Development