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The Hybrid Cloud for Databases: Best of Both Worlds?

Author: Tom Moore | | July 29, 2021


Cloud computing has long since gone from a cutting-edge technology to a well-established best practice for organizations of all sizes and industries.

According to Flexera’s 2020 State of the Cloud Report, 98 percent of businesses now use at least one public or private cloud. In particular, migrating your databases to the cloud can make them more scalable, more available, and easier to integrate with the rest of your cloud infrastructure.

But what happens when your enterprise data can’t be moved to the cloud, for reasons such as data security or compliance?

Whether you need to keep your data on-premises due to external regulations or organizational preference, the good news is that you can still continue to enjoy the benefits of the cloud. The solution: a hybrid cloud/on-premises system that combines the best of both worlds.

Use Cases for a Hybrid Cloud Database

What does a database in the hybrid cloud look like? There are as many answers to this question as there are uses of hybrid cloud designs.

For example, some organizations may choose a hybrid cloud data storage solution for purposes of disaster recovery and business continuity, preventing a single point of failure. Businesses using this configuration keep file backups in two places (in the cloud and on-premises). After a data loss event, on-premises backups can be restored more quickly than cloud backups, which first need to be downloaded over the internet. On the other hand, cloud backups remain securely on a remote server to protect data in the event of a natural disaster that destroys on-premises equipment.

Another reason to use a hybrid cloud database: many organizations and industries are subject to laws regarding data sovereignty, which requires information to stay within the borders of the country, region, or territory in which it was collected or processed. Because public cloud servers may be distributed in many different geographic locations, data sovereignty requirements essentially put a damper on your ability to move this information to the cloud.

In still other cases, organizations aren’t technically subject to cloud data regulations, but still would rather keep their enterprise data on-premises. Often these preferences are based on outdated concerns about the risk of a data breach. With cloud adoption growing, however, these worries have largely fallen by the wayside. According to a 2019 survey, 61 percent of IT security executives believe that the risk of a data breach is the same or lower in the cloud as it is on-premises.

Regardless of why you choose a hybrid cloud database, maintaining your data on-premises still allows you to enjoy a virtually seamless experience in the cloud. However, setting up this seamless hybrid cloud experience is easier said than done, so it’s best to join forces with an experienced cloud managed services partner.

Wondering if a hybrid cloud database is right for you? You’re not alone. By speaking with a skilled, knowledgeable cloud migration partner like Datavail, you can decide on the right path forward to meet your business needs and objectives.

Case Study: Major Utility Company

One of Datavail’s clients, a major Canadian utility company, was faced with this question when moving its website from on-premises hosting to the Microsoft Azure cloud. The client knew that a cloud migration would tremendously improve the site’s availability, scalability, and elasticity—which are especially important concerns during times of peak usage, such as storms and widespread power outages.

However, the client also faced regulatory compliance issues about data sovereignty, which meant that its core customer data needed to be stored on-premises, not in the cloud. Due to this requirement, the client had originally envisioned the project as an on-premises upgrade rather than a cloud migration.

Datavail worked with the client to design and implement a hybrid cloud solution that uplifted the website infrastructure to the cloud, while leaving customer data on-premises, housed in their SAP database, to meet the client’s regulatory requirements. This hybrid cloud design leverages the best aspects of cloud and premises and can be applied in any situation where data sovereignty, data security, and regulatory compliance are important concerns—not only for utility companies, but also in other industries such as healthcare and finance.

Looking for a hybrid cloud solution for your next project? Find out how we can help by reading Datavail’s case study “Major Utility Company Improves Residential Customer Website Experience with Azure.”

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