A combination of on-premises, public, and private cloud platforms and data centers describes the reality for today’s businesses. For some, this hybrid mix was born of rigorous planning or even a “cloud-first” mandate. For others, however, it evolved organically. Businesses merged, data centers ran out of room to expand, and departments made independent choices or engaged in shadow IT. Cloud platforms proliferated and offered no easy process for a business to maintain cost or regulatory control.
Hybrid cloud has become the norm inside the enterprise, and every organization needs a hybrid cloud strategy to cope with the challenges it presents.
Understanding the Challenges of Hybrid Cloud
Many businesses experience a similar set of challenges when it comes to managing their hybrid cloud environments and the data they contain. Although hybrid cloud can be extremely beneficial to an organization, these problems must be addressed before the benefits of the approach can be reaped.
- Data silos: When cloud instances and platforms exist without central coordination or insight, the result is siloed data. Isolated data sources provide only fragmented insight, leading to inefficiency and an incomplete picture of customers, products, and their needs.
- Data access and governance: Silos and decentralized cloud environments can also create access problems. In your hybrid cloud environment, can every person who needs data access it? Are governance and security policies easily ported and enforceable from one environment to another? For many organizations, the answer to these questions is no.
- Vendor lock-in/vendor free-for-all: This represents two sides of the same coin. Some organizations, when they first begin their cloud journey, choose a single vendor. Years down the road, even if other vendors offer better rates or products, the company finds itself locked in, unable to easily migrate or export data. Conversely, many organizations whose hybrid cloud environments formed organically find themselves faced with multiple cloud platforms and vendors that do not easily integrate or allow much insight into resource use.
Solving Hybrid Cloud Pain Points
Many hybrid cloud challenges revolve around data. Solving the pain points of big data management is often an essential first step in creating a hybrid cloud strategy that works, and should be done in the context of the business. So, business strategy should drive data strategy, which in turn, should drive your cloud strategy.
Having business and data strategies in place first will make clear what your hybrid cloud environment and strategy should be, because your enterprise data strategy details what data you have and its value to your organization. That information drives the business use cases for that data, and helps define whether it should be treated as private, public, or anonymized as well as the types of protection and governance it requires.
Your enterprise data strategy also allows you to make distinctions that translate into the best cloud infrastructure to manage particular workloads working on the data. It can help guide you to make optimal choices for transient and permanent ones. For example, read how ATB Financial used hybrid cloud to reduce its time to value for big data analytics by 90%.
Modern data architectures must support hybrid cloud environments. Your hybrid cloud environment should provide four essential elements to your enterprise:
- The ability to support any and all infrastructure: on-premises, as well as public and private clouds
- The ability to perform multifunctional analytics, no matter where the data resides
- Consistent data security, governance and control in any environment
- An open platform to prevent vendor lock-in and ensure maximum interoperability
Together, these aspects make up an enterprise data cloud. Over the years, Cloudera has gathered a tremendous amount of insight, knowledge, and experience on how to deploy these environments. Cloudera can help you to create your enterprise data cloud to serve as the cornerstone of a successful hybrid cloud strategy. With a single platform, your enterprise can successfully manage infrastructure, data, and analytic workloads across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
Download our white paper, Five Strategic Considerations for Hybrid Cloud Success, to help craft your own hybrid cloud strategy and learn the role an enterprise data cloud can play in its success.