Thought Leadership

What is DBaaS (Database as a Service)?

Bakul Banthia
Bakul Banthia
May 14, 2024
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DBaaS is a cloud computing service model where a third-party provider hosts, manages, and maintains customer databases. Customers access and use the database over the internet, paying for the service based on usage or subscription. The provider handles tasks such as provisioning infrastructure, installing and configuring software, performing backups, ensuring security, and managing updates and maintenance. Users can focus on using the database rather than managing its infrastructure or software. DBaaS offers scalability, flexibility, and reduced operational overhead for managing databases.


DBaaS is typically delivered over the internet and accessed via a web browser, eliminating the need for installations or downloads on individual devices. It provides a platform for developing, deploying, and managing databases across multiple cloud providers. A DBaaS platform offers undifferentiated heavy lifting such as automated provisioning, scaling, backup, disaster recovery, security, and monitoring across different cloud environments.

DBaaS follows a subscription-based model where users pay a recurring fee (monthly or annually) for access to the software. It involves lower upfront costs as users pay for access rather than ownership. The pricing of the platform is typically based on usage or subscription, with options for different service tiers and billing models (e.g., pay-as-you-go, time commitment, and volume commitment). The billing is based on usage metrics such as storage, compute resources, and data transfer. A DBaaS would offer hourly metering capabilities for tracking resource consumption and optimizing costs.


The databases are deployed in the cloud and designed to support deployment across multiple regions and cloud providers simultaneously. The users are provided centralized management across different cloud environments, offering flexibility and avoiding vendor lock-in. The deployment times are usually very fast since there’s no need for extensive installations or configurations on individual devices. The provider is responsible for maintaining and updating the software, ensuring users have access to the latest features and security patches without manual intervention.


Using a DBaaS platform requires trust in the provider’s security measures and compliance standards, as data is stored and managed by the SaaS provider. The platform would provide robust security measures, including encryption, firewalls, intrusion detection, and compliance certifications. It'd also offer native integration with cloud provider security services and follows industry best practices for data protection. Security configuration for both the database and the infrastructure are automated by the DBaaS provider.

The customers can integrate the DBaaS platform with the identity provider of their choice for single sign-on. It provides native integration with cloud identity services for managing user access, authentication, and authorization across multiple cloud environments. M access is abstracted from users, providing a managed service without requiring direct access to the underlying infrastructure.


DBaaS comprises support as part of the service package, including documentation, online resources, and various support channels (e.g., email, phone, chat). Premium support plans may offer faster response times and dedicated support personnel. The provider also offers SLAs that guarantee uptime, performance, data durability, and support response times across multiple cloud environments. SLAs may vary based on the chosen service tier and the service provider is liable if the SLA is not met. The SLAs include

  • Uptime SLA guaranteeing a certain level of availability for database services
  • RPO SLA guaranteeing a maximum acceptable data loss in case of a disaster.
  • RTO SLA guaranteeing a maximum acceptable downtime in case of a disaster.


A DBaaS platform offers built-in monitoring, live log viewing, and alerting features for tracking database performance, availability, and security metrics across multiple cloud environments. It includes lifecycle management tasks such as automated patching and updates for database software, ensuring security and compliance with minimal downtime. Users get a first-class option to pick and choose a maintenance window for each database service. All maintenance activities including patching are automatically performed during that window. The platform implicitly includes elastic scalability, allowing users to easily scale up or down based on their needs. Some providers offer limited customization options since it is a shared platform, but many SaaS providers offer integrations with other software systems.

Providers have built-in high-availability features such as automatic failover, replication, and load balancing across multiple cloud regions and availability zones. They also offer a built-in disaster recovery features such as automated backups, replication, and failover across multiple regions and cloud environments.


In summary, Multi-Cloud DBaaS services aim to simplify database management, with a unified approach to security, deployment model, access control, SLAs, support, licensing, monitoring, integrations, and support for billing, metering, identity management, APIs, Terraform, backups, snapshots, and more. Organizations should carefully evaluate their requirements and preferences to choose the most suitable solution for their database management needs. Enterprises looking to modernize their data estate and offload administrative tasks so that their DBAs can transform into Data Engineers, should evaluate cloud DBaaS platforms for their needs.

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