One of the more contentious issues in the cloud is the role of the database. If the applications only need read access, there are lots of good choices. But when it comes to transactions, there's a lot of debate about the applicability of databases in the cloud.
Ingres today announced that two of its customers are deploying its open source database in the cloud for transaction applications. AcuStaf Software offers a Web-based labor management system, while Exadel provides software that helps manage the application development process for professional service firms.
According to Emma McGrattan, senior vice president of engineering for Ingres, high-end databases such as Ingres have proven themselves ready for the cloud. She concedes that other databases might be faster when it comes to read-only access, but the Ingres database was designed primarily to support online transaction-processing applications.
And yet companies such as Terracotta and Precise Software say databases leave a lot to be desired when it comes to cloud computing. They argue that they don't scale very efficiently and are an expensive way to manage data in the cloud.
We're still in the relatively early days when it comes to databases in the cloud, so it's still anybody's game. Data management certainly is moving into the cloud; it's only a question of how.