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What is Data Management As a Service (DMaaS)?

Sukesh Mudrakola

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Data Management as a Service (DMaaS) is a new IT term used to describe cloud-based solutions for managing data from different sources on one central platform. The “as-a-service” component describes the pay-per-usage model that DMaaS platforms use.

In this post, I will explain how Data Management as a Service works and why it can make sense for organizations to outsource their data management to a third-party company. I’ll be covering the biggest benefits DMaaS solutions can bring to your business. Moreover, I’ll also detail the main possible use cases for DMaaS across various industries

Data management is a complex process that involves the collection and processing of data coming from multiple sources. As we’ll see in this article, DMaaS platforms can really help organizations to reduce complexity and make better use of all their data.

What is Data Management as a service (DMaaS)?

Data Management as a Service (DMaaS) describes cloud-based services that allow organizations to manage data from different sources. DMaaS platforms can centralize data coming from files, applications, database servers, virtual machines, as well as individual devices. DMaaS platforms can also offer monitoring capabilities with real-time security alerts, and they can scale as needed.

The ‘as-a-service’ paradigm of DMaaS platforms allows organizations to save money by paying for what they really use. In addition to centralized data collection, DMaaS solutions can simplify backup and recovery. This can make it easier for companies to be compliant with the latest security standards.  

DMaaS platforms allow organizations to manage data coming from different sources.
DMaaS platforms allow organizations to manage data coming from different sources.

How does Data Management as a Service work?

Data Management as a Service platforms provide a cloud-based infrastructure to collect and manage data from different sources. Customers can subscribe to these services by paying an annual or monthly subscription fee based on usage. With this subscription model, DMaaS offsets a significant overhead from businesses as it mitigates the need to purchase, configure, and manage a complex IT infrastructure.

In practice, organizations choosing to outsource their data management to DMaaS platforms will have different ways to centralize all their data in one place. In some cases, they’ll need to install agents on their data sources. They can also use APIs to connect to cloud-based sources such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services.

DMaaS platforms take care of backing up and protecting data from all these different sources, and that makes using local backup hardware superfluous. The risks of data loss are also almost eliminated as DMaaS platforms will monitor your data for you on a secure infrastructure.

Why use Data Management as a Service?

You might think that DMaaS has some similarities with traditional data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software. Although DMaaS and DCIM software both aim to manage and monitor data, they represent two distinct paradigms.

The advantages of DMaaS compared to traditional DCIM software

DCIM software can be deployed on-premises or on the cloud, and it allows organizations to manage the components of a data center and its associated equipment. On the other hand, DMaaS platforms are cloud-based services that can manage data across an entire organization.

DCIM software focuses solely on data centers, servers, and associated IT peripherals. However, DMaaS platforms can gather insights from many more data sources including databases, virtual machines (VM), applications, and more.

DMaaS platforms can gather insights from many more data sources
DMaaS platforms can gather insights from many more data sources

Other benefits of DMaaS platforms

Data Management as a Service can help organizations address most of the challenges associated with data collection, processing, and security. Here are the main benefits of using a DMaaS solution for your business:

  • DMaaS lets you manage data spread across on-premises sources and the public cloud.
  • DMaaS solutions work with almost all forms of data sources ranging from basic files to data lakes.
  • You get a straightforward, cost-effective, and secure solution to migrate data when needed.
  • With built-in analytics, DmaaS services let you generate data-driven insights from your data. You can also eliminate redundancies or silos within your organization by monitoring your data
  • Your data is centralized, backed up, and protected from several forms of attacks.
  • DMaaS can also assist you in building a compliant data model that meets data-related guidelines set by governing authorities.
  • DMaaS helps you build a flexible, economical, and scalable data platform that helps you shift your organizational capital expenses (CAPEX) to operational expenses (OPEX).

Now that we’ve detailed the main benefits of using a DMaaS solution, we’ll take a look at some possible use cases for DMaaS in the next section.

The main use cases for Data Management as a Service platforms

Data Management as a Service is an industry-agnostic solution that already has a wide range of possible use cases. Here are some examples showing how DMaaS can help organizations to accomplish their business goals.

Data backup and disaster recovery

Data backup and disaster recovery are some of the most important use cases for DMaaS solutions. Cyberattacks, human errors, hardware/software failures, and natural disasters can all have devastating consequences on your organization’s data.

However, DMaaS platforms can really help to mitigate these risks. All of your data is automatically backed up in the cloud at pre-configured intervals, and you can easily restore your data when necessary.

Multi-cloud data integration

Hybrid cloud environments are on the rise as more and more organizations are seeking a combination of flexibility and scalability. However, having multiple data sources can add a lot of complexity to an IT environment. With DMaaS, organizations get access to a multi-cloud integrator that consolidates data from multiple heterogeneous data stores.

Data governance and compliance

It can be a real challenge for organizations to keep their data compliant with GDPR, CCPA, PIPEDA, and other legislations related to data privacy. Last year, Gartner estimated that poor data quality can cost organizations an average of $12.9 million every year. Between January 2021 and January 2022, over $1.2 billion in fines have also been issued to companies all over the globe due to non-compliance with GDPR.

Againn, DMaaS platform services can help you mitigate these risks. With their data governance capabilities which can include archiving and eDiscovery, DMaaS can help your organization stay compliant with disparate data laws and regulations.

Analytics

DMaaS platforms let organizations extract more value from all their data. Since everything is in one place, it’s easy to visualize how data within an organization is generated and accessed. Data analysis can be automated, and the insights you get from it can help your organization take better decisions and stay ahead of the curve.

Dev/Test provisioning

DMaaS lets companies provision data for development, testing, and production environments. A platform like Cohesity, which we’re going to detail further in the following section, lets organizations build dev/test data environments that can easily be moved between on-premises and public clouds.

DMaaS platforms let organizations build dev/test data environments
DMaaS platforms let organizations build dev/test data environments

Who are the main DMaaS providers?

Although DMaaS is a relatively new market in the IT landscape, it’s becoming an attractive solution for companies looking to get more value from their data by outsourcing its management. In a 2021 survey of 500 IT US-based leaders by Vanson Bourne on behalf of DMaaS provider Cohesity, 89% of respondents said that they were likely to consider deploying a DMaaS solution.  

Cohesity is one of the pioneers in the DMaaS space. The company’s Helios solution is a comprehensive data management platform that supports on-premises and almost all cloud-based data stores.

Cohesity provides unified data management with enterprise-grade security and built-in machine learning, and it can scale as you need. It’s currently available as on-premises software or on the cloud.

Several big data-centric companies offer DMaaS solutions such as Oracle or Deloitte in partnership with Informatica. Other smaller companies offering DMaaS solutions include Rubrik, Druva, and Tableau.

Before you zero down on a DMaaS solution, you must lay out your organizational data landscape to better understand your specific needs and requirements. Once you’ve determined where your data resides and your analytical requirements, you can choose the service that best suits your needs. You’ll also need to consider other important aspects such as costs, features, and flexibility.

Conclusion

In this article, I have explained how Data Management as a Service works and why using DMaaS solutions can be beneficial for many organizations. Given the major industry shift towards big data and data-driven approaches, outsourcing data management can help companies save costs and get more value from their data. DMaaS is a growing market, and it may an interesting solution to the different concerns resulting from a fast-paced IT environment.

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