A Hybrid Cloud Strategy Does Not Equal a Hybrid Database, But You Still Need Both

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Digital transformation is pushing enterprises to modernize their application strategies, which drives cloud adoption. This, in turn, drives a database management strategy. However, many enterprises are beginning to understand that a hybrid cloud strategy does not equal a hybrid database strategy — and are discovering that they need both strategies to address key risks that hybrid clouds create and often can get overlooked.

Why enterprises don’t have a hybrid database strategy

According to RightScale, 71 percent of enterprises are now hybrid cloud, with 81 percent identifying as multi-cloud. Why hybrid, and not pure cloud? Well, for the most part, it’s simply still too expensive to move everything over. According to Forrester, “Executing on new technology can be complex and costly, and completely switching from today’s current infrastructure reality to one based 100 percent on public cloud is so prohibitively expensive that no one’s doing it.”

Hybrid cloud is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Because enterprises have had to rapidly adopt cloud to keep pace with the demand for application development, most organizations have fallen into “hybrid-by-accident”, not “hybrid-by-design.”

Due to this, many enterprises are unaware that they’re missing a critical piece of the puzzle — a hybrid database strategy.

Why enterprises need a hybrid database strategy

It’s estimated that by 2020, most data and analytics use cases will require connecting to distributed data sources — some on prem, some third-party databases (social media) — across a hybrid environment.

Data underpins your applications and in a hybrid cloud environment how that data flows (or doesn’t) is critical. A hybrid database strategy includes a data layer that is strategically important — and often missing when people assume “hybrid cloud” accounts for everything they need.

Without a hybrid database strategy, enterprises are left open to inherent hybrid cloud risks. A hybrid database strategy will ensure you mitigate or eliminate those risks.

How a hybrid database strategy will benefit an enterprise:

  • Ensure Governance & Security

    Ensure you can confidently demonstrate database integrity, security and availability with risk assessments and audits that prove you are meeting regulations, including GDPR — across all your hybrid cloud architecture.

  • Eliminate Siloed Data

    You have thousands of apps and these apps require data sharing. When you use a cloud database, you inherently end up creating more silos. Data that is siloed cannot communicate with each other – this causes disruptions and slows your applications. A hybrid database strategy will ensure that these siloes are addressed and that data communicates across your environment.

  • Enable Data Portability

    In a hybrid architecture, it’s easy to get stuck with vendor lock-in, where your data can’t be moved from one cloud to another. You need to be able to move data in or out of a cloud provider at any time with no impact to the application, user experience, and no new data silos. A hybrid database strategy will be sure this gets addressed.

  • Leverage Existing Investments

    A hybrid database strategy will save you from having to learn a new database or do net new security reviews, by letting you leverage what you’ve done already. No need to waste valuable developer time.

There are additional elements that a hybrid database strategy should include:

  • Require a database that offers a single data layer to span from on-premise to hybrid cloud to multi-cloud.
  • Ensure flexibility and choice to move production workloads in and out of clouds with minimal to zero change to applications.
  • Make sure that existing security reviews serve to accelerate adoption or movement from on-premise to cloud.
  • Leverage a database that offers masterless architecture that ensures maximum availability and disaster recovery.

How can enterprises create hybrid cloud and database strategies?

There are enterprises that are delivering an improved customer experience, in part, because of their hybrid database strategy that underpins their hybrid cloud strategy. For example, a 300-year-old bank transformed its customer experience by leveraging a hybrid database strategy — they’re doing customer 360 with a data layer that can collect data from many data records, bring it together in real time, and offer them a single view of the customer. Their hybrid database strategy ensured that they took into consideration all the impacts of hybrid cloud and can leverage them fully.

By creating and implementing a hybrid database strategy, you’ll realize the benefits of the cloud — with few of the downsides. It’s an investment in planning that is well worth it and will ensure your data drives the customer experiences your customers expect from you in the digital age.

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David is SVP of Market Development for DataStax

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