What is Cosmos DB? How does it benefit businesses?

By July 23, 2020Articles

Nearly every business needs a database of some kind. With the world producing more data than ever before, and with companies realising the value of their information, databases are no longer just repositories of information. They are an integral part of business operations. 

The right database can improve operational efficiency and provide value to business operations, which is why it’s more important than ever before to consider the type of database you are using. There are several types of databases out there, and I think Cosmos DB should be in the discussion.

What is Cosmos DB?

If you were to look up Cosmos DB, the first thing you will learn is that it is a globally distributed, multi-model database powered by Microsoft Azure. 

A multi-model database like Cosmos DB can store data in different formats. Unlike most traditional databases, multi-model databases don’t store data in a row-based table structure, which means they can store data in any format. 

Cosmos DB features multi-model support, which means there are different data models supported in the database. Hence, businesses are free to choose the data model that best compliments their operations. 

No matter which data model is chosen, Cosmos DB ensures that all benefits like horizontal partitioning and automatic indexing apply equally to each model.

Given the quantity and variety of big data, most organisations produce, having a database that can store data in different formats can be tremendously helpful. Cosmos DB is particularly well-suited for the data storage needs of businesses because it’s a multi-model database offers a globally distributed storage model.

How does it help with business operations?

Cosmos DB can be tremendously helpful for businesses because it makes data storage and management easier on IT teams. 

Global distribution 

Cosmos DB is a globally distributed database, which means the database can be replicated in any data centre hosted by Microsoft (there are over 50 of them around the world). This is a benefit because it means low latency and high availability to users no matter where they might be located.

Furthermore, most modern applications are considered ‘global applications’ and so work best with a globally distributed database.

Flexible scaling

Cosmos DB allows for flexible, independent scaling of operations based on business needs. With a traditional database, you only have the option to scale up, which creates problems when operations need to be pulled back. However, a multi-model database, like Cosmos, can scale operations up and down with relative ease.

This is because multi-model systems decouple the query language and data model from the data store, making it easier to scale components up and down when necessary, so storage and throughput can be adjusted more easily. 

Cosmos DB is particularly flexible in scaling operations up and down because it allows businesses to distribute data storage in different regions across the world.

Better performance for applications

Running an application on a multi-model database, like Cosmos DB, comes with several benefits not seen with traditional databases. Some of the benefits include fault-tolerance, scalability and a well-engineered system that supports demanding performance. With these benefits, it becomes much easier to operate more efficiently than before. 

Cosmos DB can improve application performance as well. The database delivers unlimited scale for both storage and throughput (the rate of production). This ensures low latency, allowing your applications to access your data in seconds, improving its overall performance. Furthermore, fast data access is backed by comprehensive SLAs to deliver the best database performance possible.

It reduces operational costs 

We’ve all seen how the technical needs of businesses grow as the scope of operations expands. Fields become more specialised and datasets grow in scope and complexity. I have seen a lot of businesses meet this need by investing in different databases to meet different requirements. 

However, what happens is that costs go up because each database needs its upgrades, patches, bug fixes and other software modifications delivered by each vendor. Cosmos DB can help you work around this problem because of its multimodal nature. Businesses can streamline operational costs because they only need to focus on a single database.

Access your database

The right database is crucial for more efficient business operations and better application performance. If you are interested in upgrading your data storage environment to a more flexible environment, then Cosmos DB could be the difference-maker you are looking for.