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SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition FAQ

What is SAP® Sybase® SQL Anywhere®, on-demand edition?

SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, is a data management solution that enables independent software vendors (ISVs) to take business applications to the cloud without compromise. Now ISVs can build, deploy, and manage large cloud applications that put customers first. The on-demand edition delivers trusted data management functionalities that let you take advantage of the cloud’s economies of scale, with built-in tooling that helps ensure that you can still treat each of your customers individually. SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, gives your customers the security of full data isolation while giving you the administrative ease of multi-tenant computing.

Is SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, a database?

Yes, but it is much more than that. SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, is a distributed database server that can be spread out across many machines, but that logically can be treated as a single server from the outside world.

Is SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, a new database?

SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, is built on top of the SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere suite, an existing database from SAP. SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere is an embedded database used by ISVs building data-rich applications. SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere is used by thousands of partners and is deployed to millions of users.

Is this the next version of SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere?

No. SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere is simply the foundation upon which SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, is built. The on-demand edition is a separate entity and will have its own releases and support separate from SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere.

Is SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, a service that is hosted by Sybase?

No. SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, is software that developers can take and run on whatever hosting provider they like. It allows developers to create a distributed, scalable database that they can use to power their cloud applications.

How is SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, different from existing relational databases?

SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, allows you to create a cloud of machines that act as a distributed database engine. From the outside, applications are able to connect to the cloud of servers and treat it as if it were a single server. Internally, the workload is balanced across many different servers that make up the cloud. These servers can be dynamically added and removed in order to provide scalability as demand changes.

How does SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, distribute the workload across multiple machines?

SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, takes a fundamentally different approach to scaling across many machines; it is designed to scale with the number of individual databases in the cloud, not with the absolute size of any single database. It does not shard or partition pieces of any database across all the machines in the system. Each database stays completely intact on the machines that it runs on. Queries are executed at one machine only, and are not distributed across multiple machines.

How does SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, scale?

Scalability comes in many forms, and it is important to identify the metric scaled. Most cloud databases have been focused at the problem of scaling the absolute amount of data stored. To do this, they use complicated sharding and partitioning techniques. SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, is different; it scales with the number of individual databases that are run in the cloud.

Can this be used with any other databases?

No. Currently SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, is available only with SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere database technology.

Who are the target customers for SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition?

SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, is targeted at users who have a large number of separate, isolated databases that they need to manage. The group that tends to fall into this category comprises independent software vendors. They create applications that are resold to many separate customers. When an ISV develops an application for the cloud, it must decide how to organize its customers’ data, and determine whether to put all the customers into a single database or to maintain separate databases for each customer. We believe that for most ISV applications, the right choice is to maintain separate databases for each customer. The result of this is that the ISV faces the task of managing hundreds or thousands of individual databases. SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, is also suitable for anyone who is responsible for hosting many databases and who wants to centralize and manage them in a single data platform.

What advantages does the “single-database-per-customer” model bring?

For an ISV, every customer is unique and separate from all the other customers, which correlates to their data being separate as well. As ISVs create hosted solutions that complement or replace their existing deployed application, they must decide whether to maintain that data model in the new application. Keeping the databases separate gives ISVs more flexibility to treat their customers individually. These benefits fall broadly under four separate categories:

  • Data isolation. Data isolation is critical for privacy. Customers want to know that their data is physically isolated from that of other tenants. Data isolation can also be an industry regulation.
  • Data locality. By maintaining separate isolated databases, ISVs are able to provide this service and give their customers full visibility into where their data is stored.
  • Customization. Many customers want to customize their databases to support a specific feature that is useful only to them. Without the ability to isolate one tenant’s data from that of another, this is difficult (if not impossible) to support.
  • Data access. Customers want to access to their own data as freely in SaaS models as they do in on-premise models. If all customers’ data is commingled it can be difficult for customers to extract their own data from that of other tenants.

Until recently, the main drawback to maintaining separate database was the administrative overhead associated with managing, backing up, and tuning thousands of databases. SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, solves this problem. It is designed to allow a small team to manage thousands of isolated databases.

If SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, is designed to scale with the number of databases, how does it handle the scalability of a single database?

While SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, is focused on the scalability of the number of databases, the scalability of each individual database is important. Because the on-demand edition is powered by the SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere database, the scalability of an individual database is identical to that of existing SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere databases. SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere, on-demand edition, is targeted at running databases up to hundreds of gigabytes in size. Note that this is the size for an individual database. Because the on-demand edition is designed to run many databases, there may be hundreds of databases of that size, making the absolute size of data stored in the cloud much greater.

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