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TDWI Upside - Where Data Means Business

4 Principles for a Successful Multicloud Strategy with Multicloud Data Services

Don’t let the challenges of managing your data across clouds stymie or halt your multicloud strategies.

Across fields -- in healthcare and life sciences, financial institutions, media, automotive, and beyond -- enterprises rely on petabytes (and soon zettabytes) of data. These industries are designing and using data-intensive applications to analyze huge amounts of data to make better business decisions. As organizations learn to leverage their data more effectively, the amount of data they collect and generate continues to grow exponentially.

For Further Reading:

Why Cloud Orchestration Is Becoming the Go-To Move for Every Software Company 

CEO Perspective: Are You Ready for the Cloud?

Security Considerations for Hybrid Cloud Data Management and Storage 

At the same time, multicloud adoption is vital for organizations that seek a competitive advantage. With multicloud, developers and business users select the specific, best-in-class cloud services most suitable for their business needs. Hundreds of public cloud services are currently available and more are being added every month. Google Cloud Platform offers more than 100, Amazon Web Services is nearing 200, and Microsoft Azure is north of 250 services that span categories such as analytics, big data, developer tools, identity and security, IoT, networking, and storage. Each cloud provider’s set of services offers different value propositions to customers and drives innovation.

Yet many companies struggle to have a coherent plan for data across different clouds and cloud services. What if you want to use the same data set with more than one cloud provider? Without a plan, this may result in multiple copies of the same data -- one for each cloud -- leading to synchronization issues and data transfer charges. If you keep the data on premises, your data center may not be in close enough proximity to your second or third cloud provider or you may need to shoulder the full costs of high-speed network connections to each cloud you want to access.

That’s why companies are turning to multicloud data services that offer enterprises a single, managed copy of data accessible from any cloud provider and service using high-speed data access over low-latency connections.

To unlock your data and boost innovation, make sure your multicloud data strategy incorporates these four principles.

1. Future-proof your business with multicloud data services.

IDC predicts that data will grow at a compounded annual rate of 61 percent over the next four years, and that nearly 30 percent of generated data will be consumed in real time by 2025. Data growth is being driven by a variety of sources including enterprise applications, IoT devices, social media platforms, and e-commerce platforms.

Data growth is an inevitable part of your organization’s future. Your data strategy should account for this growth and understand the drawbacks of hosting all that data with a single public cloud provider. The larger your data grows, the more Herculean the task of moving it to another provider because of migration risks, time constraints, and data-transfer fees cloud vendor(s) charge.

Future-proofing your business starts by creating a strategy that enables you to scale storage independently of cloud compute and network resources, then ensuring that data can be accessed from multiple clouds simultaneously. Multicloud data services that include a common data store between clouds can tap into innovations from every cloud. They can also help you avoid the need to store multiple copies of the same data, which can result in out-of-sync copies and additional storage expenses.

2. Use multiple cloud providers to meet unique regional and regulatory requirements.

Is your data in sufficient proximity to deliver low-latency, high-speed connectivity to public clouds? What data sovereignty regulations (e.g., the GDPR) apply to your workloads?

Know the geographic availability of each of your cloud providers to ensure appropriate connectivity and compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements. This may require using multiple cloud providers. In some cases, clouds with regional availability may be required to meet regulatory standards; with multicloud, you can use local solutions while leveraging your preferred cloud for other geographies.

3. Retain ownership and control of your data.

Having an exit plan is a critical component of your multicloud strategy to ensure that your data will be available when you need it. Consider the scenarios in which you will rely on your data. If you need to get your data back out of a cloud, will it be available (without high egress fees)? If a container or a compute instance is deleted, where is your data?

When your organization’s enterprise architects design a multicloud strategy, be sure they identify how and when enterprise data is created and which on-premises and cloud applications will need access to it. Your plan should accommodate current and future data that needs to be shared between clouds and the data center without creating complexity and runaway costs.

4. Leverage multicloud data services to close the cloud skills gap.

Organizations may charge ahead with the ambitious goal of rapidly moving to multicloud, then encounter significant speed bumps around data management. Make the most of your staff’s current skills and don’t be shy about augmenting them with managed services when needed. Fundamental skills such as analytics, networking, and security may be complemented by specific multicloud data services that deliver business intelligence, cloud load-balancing, or identity management. For example, teams already well-versed in the VMware platform may make the most of their existing skills by embracing VMware Cloud on AWS.

How can you most efficiently manage your multicloud initiative and associated expenses? Having consistent processes for managing your cloud data can streamline your processes and lessen the burden of building expensive cloud architecture teams.

A Final Word

Multicloud data services can help your enterprise move beyond hurdles encountered on your multicloud journey. Don’t let poor multicloud data planning limit the success of your multicloud strategies.

About the Author

Rebekah Dumouchelle is the head of product marketing at Faction. Prior to joining Faction, she worked as a developer and product manager at Computer Sciences Corporation, and product marketing for Embarcadero Technologies. She holds undergraduate degrees in computer science and business management as well as an M.B.A. You can contact the author via LinkedIn .

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