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Database Hosting Services

Author: Chuck Edwards | 4 min read | February 11, 2010

What is Database Hosting?

Database hosting is the art and science of providing a managed server that is optimized for running a relational database.  Almost any host can run a web server, mail server, file share, or other file-based application.  Databases are different in that they demand specific hardware and software configurations to correctly support the database.

A database host must optimize I/O for the specific database and storage platform.  A database hosting provider will understand how to properly configure RAID levels, volumes, and file layout for optimal performance, growth, and internal resiliency.

A database host must run certified versions of certified operating systems to ensure your database support licenses are valid.  A database hosting provider would not attempt to upgrade an operating system to an unsupported version that would invalidate the database vendor support agreement.

Databases also have particular backup requirements.  Regular file system backups provided by many hosting companies will not correctly back up a running database.  Each database vendor has a specific procedure that must be followed exactly to produce a recoverable backup.  True database hosting providers will not only understand and follow these procedures, they will be able to help you design a specific backup plan for your database and host based on your recovery requirements.

What is the difference between database hosting and remote DBA?

Database hosting is the practice of managing the environment on which a database runs; remote DBA is a service used to manage the database itself.  A hosting company should be great at managing facilities, datacenter infrastructure, and servers; a remote DBA company should be great at managing databases.

Our hosting partnerships.

Blue Gecko has identified two partners to meet our customers hosting needs:  Amazon Web Services, and WTS.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most advanced cloud computing platform available.  Customers can allocate computing resources on-demand and pay only for what they use.  Blue Gecko has been recognized as an official AWS partner and focuses exclusively on optimizing databases in the AWS cloud.

WTS is an official Oracle managed hosting provider who in partnership with Blue Gecko, offers managed Oracle, Oracle E-Business Suite, and LAMP-based hosting solutions.  WTS provides a proven, highly-available, scalable hosting platform managed by industry standard best-practices, including a Type II SAS70.

Blue Gecko has built a strategic relationship with each of these hosting providers and established a platform for running Oracle and LAMP-based systems.  We leverage their expertise to ensure our customers get the best of both the hosting and database management worlds.

Should I host my database with a third party?

It depends.  Database hosting requires detailed knowledge of both hosting infrastructure components and the database to be hosted.  For example, based on your available storage options, should you use ASM or cooked files for your Oracle database?

The question that must be asked is:  Should I spend valuable time and resources building and maintaining an optimal database hosting environment, or should I rely on someone else?  Many database consumers choose to host with a third party (even if they manage other servers and applications in-house) because managing databases is not their core focus, yet they have aggressive availability and performance requirements.  Only you and your organization can determine the correct approach; however, if you don’t already have database hosting experts in-house, you should strongly consider one of the many hosting options on the market.

Why should I host with Blue Gecko?

You should consider hosting with Blue Gecko for the same reason you should consider remote DBA with Blue Gecko:  Focus.  We focus on maintaining the best staff, processes, and tools for managing databases.  Likewise, we have carefully selected partners that are equally as focused on hosting so we don’t have to divert resources to the business of hosting.

Our DBAs collaborate with our partners’ engineers and solution designers to create database hosting platforms that are built for scalability, availability, performance, and smooth daily operations.

The advantage to hosting with Blue Gecko is that our customers receive the best people, processes, and tools available for both their hosting and DBA needs.

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