We all know the world is headed to the cloud because of potential cost savings and the ability to have a virtual data center under all conditions barring the sun generating an EMP wave that wipes out all earthly electronics. This post aims to decide what kind of cloud works best, but not what to move there or when. A common belief is that a disaster-proof dynamic cloud environment is a better option than owning and feeding an expensive and inflexible "on-prem" data center. Typically this is where Hybrid Cloud and Multi-Cloud come into play.
A hybrid cloud is a solution that combines a private cloud with one or more public cloud services with software that enables the communication between each distinct service. A hybrid cloud is a powerful approach because it gives businesses greater control over their private data. Here are some of the potential benefits of hybrid cloud:
· Better support for a remote workforce
· Reduced costs
· Improved scalability and control
· Increased agility and innovation
· Better business continuity
· Enhanced security and Risk Management
· Reduces the need to manage multiple vendors or platforms
A recent case study was delivered using a hybrid cloud approach. A large airline decided to build a new passenger self-rerouting to be used during difficult weather situations primarily. The new application was running in the cloud in limited use, while the remainder of the reroutes were handled via a legacy on-prem application. Along comes a problematic hurricane season, and the airline decided to roll the pilot out during brutal regional storms. Because of hybrid cloud, this was an easy, and quick switch completed successfully.
Multi-Cloud is a strategy where an organization leverages two or more cloud computing platforms to perform various specialized or general tasks. Organizations that do not want to depend on a single cloud provider are attracted to Multi-Cloud. Since it is not good to rely on one cloud provider, many organizations choose to use resources from several providers to get the best results from each unique service. Having multiple cloud environments ensures that you continuously have computed resources and data storage available to avoid downtime. Multi-Cloud is often a key piece in governance, risk management, and regulation compliance.
While there are many uses for combining these two basic cloud strategies, I believe the best leverage is creating a data mesh managed from the cloud that handles all kinds of data and utilizing views of the data quickly. The mesh means combining real-time stream data, transactional data, and archival data to serve both human needs or process or application needs. The mesh buffers the user from caring that the data is fast or slow, structured or free format, or used for analysis and business events. Good data mesh software manages the data utilizing all cloud infrastructure plus specialty features leveraging "in memory," and multi-format data at various speed ranges distributed, node focused, or centralized. All of this, with fantastic fail-over and recovery characteristics creating fault-tolerant data views or sets.
A robust data mesh can enable "fast boards" for better corporate performance or process/application monitoring. With the help of watchful human eyes, dashboard monitors, triggers, tolerances, and knowledge bots, management can stay on top of both known and emergent situations, decisions, and appropriate actions. It does this by going across data silos without cumbersome API-dependent data lakes, going across periods, and closing the gaps on various data speeds. Imagine corporate performance that can trend from the oldest archives to near-instant emergent business events and patterns, making informed decisions and taking appropriate human or system interactions in a highly optimized time frame.
While the are examples of siloed fast board approaches documented by several real-time data vendors, I expect the notion of management cockpits that span multiple areas of visibility supported by both hybrid and multi-cloud to emerge in the coming soon.
This new kind of data power provided by the data mesh is only possible by leveraging all kinds of cloud resources combined with specialized "on-prem" data sources until it’s all in the cloud.