If you are starting a small business, you need to figure out how you will store customer information, payroll, profits, and other relevant data. There are many ways of storing data; one way is with a distributed database. Read on to learn what a distributed database is and its benefits.
What is a distributed database?
In simple terms, a distributed database stores data on multiple, interconnected repositories. These repositories can actually be at the same geographical location but just stored on different hard disks. In some cases, your data could also be stored at multiple geographical locations.
You are likely already familiar with a distributed database: The Domain Name System (DNS). The DNS is like a phonebook for the web. At home or at a business, your web browser connects to different DNS servers with a web address. These servers have Internet Protocol (IP) addresses that bounce back the information you're searching for. If one server does not have what you're looking for in its cache or database, then it sends your search to a DNS that does have the IP address.
Do you need a distributed database for your business?
Whether or not you need a distributed database will come down to your business needs and preferences. Your business can run just as well on a centralized database — data stored on a single central processing unit (CPU); however, there are some great benefits of distributed databases.
You'll Save Money
It often costs less to host your data on a collection of smaller computers within a network than in a single repository.
A distributed database is great because it is easier to expand than a centralized database. You'll be able to save money since the database is easy to replicate as your company grows.
You Won't Lose Data
Some businesses have to halt their day-to-day functions if their systems are down. This will cost you time and money. But if one database goes offline, you can go online with other ones. Since your data is distributed at different locations, you have a better chance of keeping your business up and running.
If your databases are at different physical locations, you may be protected from any property damage (like a fire), since your data can be accessed at the undamaged location.
You'll Have Higher Performance Speeds
Again, since these databases aren't in one location, data can be distributed fairly quickly. A high demand on one module won't affect other modules in your database. These higher speeds will help your employees work more efficiently.
So what's the downside? You do need someone with experience in IT to help you run distributed databases. While some databases are homogenous — meaning each location has the same hardware — some distributed databases are heterogeneous and have different hardware and applications at each location. You need someone who knows how to synchronize your databases so that each location reflects the same data.
Contact a business professional in your area for more information on distributed databases. For more information, contact a company like AquaTech Software Inc.