Sep 20 2023

Hybrid Cloud Is the Future of Data Management

Running workloads on a mix of platforms is more complicated, but also more powerful.

It’s time for a shift in the conversation about optimal data management. The old question about where organizations should store workloads — in the cloud or on-premises — is obsolete.

Today, the right choice for most businesses is a mixture of public and private cloud, as well as owned data center assets. It matters less where data goes than how businesses manage it, wherever it resides.

The scalability and consumption model benefits of the cloud are well known, and big cloud platforms offer access to high-end services such as analytics powered by artificial intelligence. On the other hand, organizations may prefer to keep critical business functions in their own data centers or a private clouds for performance or security reasons.

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Two Unique Approaches to the Hybrid Cloud

The fast-casual restaurant chain Qdoba Mexican Eats divided its workloads between public and private cloud environments after splitting from its former parent company (see “Why Most Businesses Now Run Hybrid Cloud Environments”). The goal is to move as much into Microsoft Azure as possible, keeping only certain “old-school legacy applications that we couldn’t lift” on a private cloud, says Gary Burgess, Qdoba’ director of infrastructure and security.

Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance is moving more cautiously into the public cloud, using it to build a data warehouse for analytics purposes but otherwise using VMware’s virtualization software to manage its onsite data center and its private cloud.

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Either way, the biggest barrier to effective hybrid infrastructure is figuring out how to manage all of the data holistically and securely — with clear visibility and preferably a single management platform — to ensure that applications perform adequately regardless of location.

While that approach is more complex, it provides the most power and flexibility. The smartest companies move forward with well-designed hybrid cloud strategies and comprehensive action plans.

Ryan Petersen

Follow Ryan @RyanPete

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