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While hybrid clouds offer a unique solution to Data Management, they bring along some unique set of challenges too. Hybrid clouds are a combination of local cloud storage as well as on-premises storage that offer you a great deal of customization, and also more security against the risks of a public cloud. However, hybrid clouds are a new architecture and most enterprises are still learning their way around this seemingly complex system that integrates many different processes together and can be fairly knotty to navigate at first. So, let’s take a look at some of the challenges hybrid clouds are prone to and how you can get the better of them.
1. Distributed Database Management and Data Federation
Managing your data is probably the biggest foundational work for your business. As a business grows, hybrid clouds become a combination of multiple clouds, integrated on premise systems, legacy data and much more. Keeping track of all your data coming in from different sources and making sense of it all together can quickly become a complex maneuver. Everything from the logical and physical locations of your data to the metadata and other elements need to be kept track of.
Use a Master Data Management (MDM) tool that can be attached to your distributed database, to help streamline the flow of data. You could also use federated databases that abstract several distributed backend databases to give you a coherent, more logical perspective.
2. Security Becomes Even More Critical
Since using a hybrid cloud means that your data is being presented in various locations, you need data-level security to keep it all secure. Use encryption to keep your databases airtight and leverage fine-grained and coarse-grained data record security to ensure that the very basic records, groups and databases are kept safe. As a general practice, hybrid cloud users tend to store mission critical data on-premise.
The security of databases hence becomes a shared responsibility where your internal IT and your cloud security need to work in tandem to ensure every bit of the data is secured. Your service provider will need to provide security for the underlying infrastructure, but you will have to thoroughly secure the on premise data and every interaction that data makes with the cloud.
3. Data Redundancy and the Lack of It
Running your applications on a single cloud can become a security risk, when you take into account the recent AWS outages. The episodes ended up in significant losses and of course, customer consequences. Needless to say, WhatsYourPrice went looking for a new cloud data provider after apologizing to its customers, twice, and losing about $8000. What it’s also doing is currently using a distributed environment, running its website on servers that are hosted in two different data centers.
Using multiple data centers, even from a single provider, can ensure that your services keep running even in the event of one data center experiencing an outage. While hybrid cloud automatically addresses this problem, be sure to talk to your service provider about how they host your data before you put your services on the line.
4. Data Governance across Distributed Databases
When dealing with distributed databases, you need to use decentralized policies that will help you manage changing data structures and dynamic data. You need governance over both homogeneous distributed data as well as heterogeneous databases running different databases on different cloud platforms.
Planning ahead can help you avoid potential security roadblocks later on. Ensure that your service provider offers compatibility with on-premise data and its integration with cloud data including shared code and shared management tools. Also make sure they offer multiple integration patterns including real-time API integration. Make sure the systems are scalable, allowing you to grow your data management over time and include Data Quality, Data Governance and Master Data Management.
With compliance requirements like GDPR and PCI DSS becoming huge right now, enforcing compliance across all the clouds you are using in a hybrid cloud environment becomes a challenge that is best addresses ahead of time. You need to positively ensure that both your public cloud as well as your private cloud is compliant and the interaction between the two is compliant too.
This means that any data being exchanged across the private and public clouds must be protected in-transit. You will need to prevent any leaks in the internal system to make sure that the data being transferred from a compliant database doesn’t end up being stored in a less secure public cloud. Deploy data-level security to access the native security of the database.
Hybrid clouds are definitely the way of the future for companies and enterprises. However, owing to the changing world dynamics, security, compliance and redundancy will all be problems that enterprises must be prepared for. Make sure that your entire infrastructure is correctly configured to optimize database performance. Opt for cloud-native databases and most importantly, choose your service provider wisely.