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Key database considerations for hybrid cloud

Robin Schumacher, VP Products, DataStax | March 3, 2016
Hybrid cloud implementations are becoming standard for companies building next-generation cloud applications, but their adoption raises questions about how to run and manage database operations that support both environments.

This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter’s approach.

Hybrid cloud implementations are becoming standard for companies building next-generation cloud applications, but their adoption raises questions about how to run and manage database operations that support both environments.

While hybrid cloud allows IT to expand infrastructure resources only when required (i.e. ‘bursting’), improves disaster prevention, and makes it possible to offload some hardware and operational responsibility and associated costs to others, database issues to consider include:

1. How Simple Is It? How easy will it be to have the database run across one or more public clouds and private data centers? If the idea is to have a single database utilize a public cloud as just another part of its IT infrastructure, businesses will want to avoid heavy lifting to incorporate one or more clouds into a database’s deployment topology.

The underlying architecture of a database plays a big role in how simple it is to make hybrid cloud happen. For starters, a masterless database architecture that sees every installation and running instance of the database software in the same way will inevitably be simpler to run and manage versus a master-slave or other similarly styled design. The latter will almost always have parts of the deployment devoted to different activities and functions (i.e., some parts handle write operations, while others only handle reads or are marked off as failover-only), be more difficult to handle, and likely disappoint when it comes to distributing data over wide geographic areas.

The foundational architecture of a database is closely tied to its replication capabilities, which also plays a key part in how simple the deployment is to run and maintain. Part of the idea in using a hybrid cloud database deployment is being able to have multiple copies of the data in various locations that serve to: (1) provide consistent performance no matter the location of the web/mobile user; (2) deliver continuous uptime and no outages at the database level vs. the legacy failover capabilities of centralized databases; (3) supply location independence where both write and read operations are concerned; (4) keep certain data local, other data cloud-only, and some data shared in order to satisfy legal and other business requirements. 

Lastly, management and monitoring tools should seamlessly incorporate any cloud-based machines running the database with on-premise hardware that houses the same database. To the tool, machines in the cloud should appear as any other data center in the enterprise’s IT infrastructure.  

2. How Scalable Is It?  One of the biggest draws of the hybrid cloud model is the ability to quickly scale and meet the rapid demands of more application users and growing data volumes. The key is to avoid idle compute resources and elastically expanding or shrink a database deployment so its capacity matches either current or forecasted demand. 

 

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