Cloud computing helps businesses by delivering on-demand computing power and resources swiftly, in many instances minimizing or eliminating the need to buy, install, and maintain new and expensive physical hardware and infrastructure. But at the same time, organizations still need to keep their most valuable data and IT systems within their own on-premises data centers due to key considerations such as security, privacy, safety, and meeting regulatory mandates.
That is why enterprises have adopted a hybrid cloud architecture across their IT operations that provides in many use cases greater software-as-a-service application flexibility, increased cost savings, more efficient processing, and storage capabilities, as well as broader options when it comes to governance and privacy. We see hybrid cloud as integral in the accelerating adoption of data warehouse platforms that function as a containerized application for developing highly performant, self-service data warehouses in the cloud which can be scaled dynamically and upgraded independently.
With hybrid cloud, in alignment with their multi-cloud implementations, organizations can continue to have their own private, on-premises IT infrastructure for their most mission critical data and systems, while also bringing in public cloud resources to advance their hybrid data and data architecture modernization strategies. The hybrid cloud trend runs in parallel with broader multi-cloud adoption as it allows organizations to use more than one public cloud service, with each public cloud service typically supporting different applications. However, hybrid cloud challenges must be addressed to realize hybrid cloud’s benefits.
Key Hybrid Cloud Challenges and Trends
Organizations are increasingly compelled to distribute and spread data throughout their data centers, private clouds, and public clouds to meet the expanding demands of collecting, storing, analyzing, and managing massive amounts of fast-growing data volumes usually in real-time. Plus, with more data now created and originating outside data centers, they are finding overall data administration more complex and creating new cost containment, performance, and integration challenges.
Today we find most organizations already have a hybrid cloud strategy in place that is increasingly aligned with their broader adoption of multi-cloud, analytics, and AI. As a result, organizations are ramping up their hybrid cloud as well as multi-cloud implementations to augment their on-premises data center and private cloud data warehouses with public cloud platforms.
In addition, legacy data warehouses frequently lack granular control over resources allocated to jobs and tasks as well as the ability to support multiple versions of tools and engines. Accordingly, we see that users, groups, and workloads are required to use the same versions of query engines and tools. Such interdependency muddles operations and the upgrade process and can suppress innovation, especially across hybrid cloud environments.
Why Hybrid Cloud? Attaining More Hybrid Data Optimization and Flexibility
One key benefit of hybrid cloud is that it can provide more technological and process freedom for businesses. Instead of being limited by existing on-premises data center capabilities, using hybrid cloud allows organizations to quickly respond to their unique business needs by accessing additional compute resources through public cloud platforms, creating more data workload optimization and management flexibility.
The value of this option is that public cloud services can be available at the push of a button and configured automatically according to customer data workload demands and policies, including elastic up/down scaling capabilities. This kind of flexibility and measurable cost structure is especially critical today, as intricate macroeconomic conditions continue to challenge businesses around the world.
By having a hybrid cloud strategy, growing businesses can move quickly on their topmost compute needs rather than having to wait until costly infrastructure is budgeted, planned, and eventually installed. Opting for hybrid cloud can mean optimizing compute resources in areas such as streamlined upgrade processes and operations, accelerating time to market and innovation, as well as keeping operational costs manageable.
Hybrid Cloud Helps Address Data Storage Complexities
Hybrid cloud also enables organizations to make better business decisions by giving them a more flexible storage framework. Today, organizations typically store data in individual repositories maintained for each data center, creating a complex and fragmented data storage system that leads to bottlenecks and inefficient data operations. This is why we see organizations rapidly adopting the data lakehouse across their hybrid cloud architecture. The data lakehouse blurs the line between structured and unstructured data, enabling organizations to store all types of raw data in one location, while still having a storage layer on top to provide transactional views of data and structured data management and analytics when needed. And by transitioning to hybrid cloud, enterprises can attain advantages through being able to bring together and pool all those isolated repositories together to create a unified data lakehouse as well as distributed data warehouse implementation.
This hybrid data approach allows access to more insights and information through streamlined access and administration of their overall data. While we are seeing versions of this from a number of data platform providers such as AWS, IBM, Oracle, Teradata, and Snowflake, a robust example of what I am speaking about is the Cloudera Data Platform (CDP). CDP provides its users with a unified platform that offers portable, interoperable data analytics essential to optimizing the entire data lifecycle and more efficient management of distributed data. This applies to any data running across the organization’s hybrid cloud including public cloud, on premises, and edge environments. CDP’s common security, governance, metadata, replication, and automation provided by Cloudera Shared Data Experience (SDX) also enables the platform to operate as an integrated system. Different vendors each have slightly different approaches to offering the tools and technology required for enterprise data leaders. It’s important for enterprises to carefully select the right platform to meet its data and analytics needs, but the benefits of a hybrid data approach should be a key consideration.
Flexibly pooling is another feature critical to a hybrid data strategy. This feature pools critical business data together, regardless of where it is physically stored, and is another major benefit of the hybrid cloud approach to break down data silos within organizations and deliver unified data management. Improved data management delivered by hybrid cloud is a huge boon for enterprises that are seeking to modernize their aging business operations.
Hybrid Cloud Helps Organizations Improve Business Outcomes
Immense flexibility is one of the greatest strengths of hybrid cloud. Growing businesses, including small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises, can be thwarted when their internal IT operations are unable to meet their hybrid data requirements. But by being able to flexibly access power, performance, storage, and networking resources, organizations can react more quickly to growth opportunities and improve business outcomes.
Another benefit of hybrid cloud is that it is not an either-or decision. For many companies, moving their operations to the cloud can be worrisome due to factors such as regulatory and legal concerns. With hybrid cloud, that either-or decision is less onerous since it can allow organizations to use hybrid cloud according to their technical and business priorities.
Another part of the hybrid cloud value proposition is that going the hybrid cloud route means that organizations can avoid vendor lock in. Organizations opting to embrace a hybrid cloud strategy can gain more flexibility in balancing and optimizing their on-premises and public cloud data resources. Workloads and data can be distributed across public cloud platforms, allowing for more choice based on both IT operational and business priorities.
Other Hybrid Cloud Benefits for 2023 and Beyond
The popularity of hybrid cloud is continuing to gain steam in post-pandemic 2023 as organizations are looking at a wide range of strategies, including hybrid cloud, to boost their IT operations and modernize their data platforms to improve competitiveness and better respond to uncertainties such as supply chain issues and macroeconomic pressures.
By adopting hybrid cloud, organizations can be better protected against downtime and data loss related to data center disruptions as well as from non-data center sources. With a hybrid cloud approach, organizations can improve the load-balancing and distribution of their critical operations during troubleshooting cycles.
As cloud computing continues to evolve and deliver more data management demands hybrid cloud will also continue its own unique growth by meeting data workload optimization goals across on-premise, public cloud, and edge environments, allowing organizations to avoid the fragmentation and limitations of a single environment approach and potentially debilitating trade-offs across any of their data realms.
By bringing both essential services together for customers, hybrid cloud is solidly positioned to deliver the flexibility, cost savings, security, and on-demand compute power needed by today’s IT organizations.