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Reduce TCO with a right database

Role of a database in TCO reduction


Published May 26, 2022


The strategy of reducing the TCO of Java applications includes numerous items, and today we take a closer look at one of them — a database.

How a database affects TCO

Growing workflows, long-term archives, and backup copies for emergency retrieval produce huge data volumes. A database greatly simplifies the life of your team (assuming that it is set up correctly), but how exactly does it affect the overall costs?

  1. Storage resources. If not allocated and managed correctly, data can devour the resources. A relational database grows exponentially, data storage and retrieval consume more CPU. Huge tables need more time to process queries thus slowing the application down. In addition, to manage the growing traffic, you need to scale the DB vertically by adding more storage capacities, so the investment inflates.
  2. Licensing. Some established DBs are proprietary software that comes with license or service fees. Prices tend to differ and are often hard to calculate (especially in the case of service fees) as DB vendors may charge for server time or data volume.
  3. Administration. DB management requires a competent expert, sometimes a dedicated team, so the expenses for database administration personnel can be a significant part of total TCO.
  4. Compatibility. Platform-dependent DBs require separate deployments for various configurations and that, in turn, spikes costs and development time.

Database selection: key points

To begin with, not every application needs a database. If you have a stateless service and don’t need to handle large bulks of information, you can store your data locally in files. This way, you will accelerate the work of your application, simplify the recovery, and reduce database management costs to a zero.

Secondly, do not be afraid to utilize open-source tools. The OpenJDK project demonstrates that open source can be as reliable, secure, and performant as proprietary software. There are many great open-source databases: MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Redis, Cassandra, etc. Most of them are well-established and have great support teams. So browse a wide selection of solutions on the market, analyze the feedback on their support, and choose a DB that best fits your business model.

Thirdly, consider embedded Java databases. Embedded Java databases like Daffodil DB carry an enormous potential in reducing the overall TCO:

  • They are platform-independent and so eliminate any compatibility issues and can be used as unified tools
  • They are embedded with an application and run on the same JVM as your app. So the database performance is tuned together with other JVM settings, which minimizes administration expenses

Last but not least, you can migrate your data to the cloud. Amazon AWS offers various purpose-built data stores: NoSQL, Big Data, Caching, Object storage. By shifting away from conventional relational DBs and taking a more flexible approach to data storage, you get better data availability and reduced infrastructure costs.

To sum up, a database shouldn’t be neglected when planning a TC reduction strategy. But, as usual, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution as everything depends on your business needs and capacities.

Want to discuss a topic of TCO reduction in more detail? Contact us, and our engineers will be glad to help you on the matter.

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Oleg Chi

Head of Developer Advocacy