How To

Hybrid Data Architecture: Benefits, Challenges, Best Practices


The current IT landscape is overwhelmingly complex and rampant with data proliferation. The only way for modern organizations to fully keep pace with growing data demands is with a competitive and simple-to-use data management solution. Deploying hybrid data architecture on a user-friendly cloud platform will provide the level of freedom that IT teams truly need.

 Key Takeaways:

  • Hybrid architecture for data management enables data mobility as well as options for increased security and scalability.
  • There is a level of complexity that companies must acknowledge and solve when striving to get the most out of a hybrid solution.
  • Best practices for implementing hybrid technology include embracing unified storage solutions and being mindful of which cloud platform suits the business’s specific needs.

What Is hybrid data architecture?

Data architecture refers to the methodology of data management. A data architecture strategy can determine how data flows through storage systems as well as the location of data when it is at rest.

A hybrid data architecture is a management method that utilizes both on-premises datacenters as well as the public cloud for storing data. This combination of private and public cloud resources is itself a hybrid cloud methodology.

While managing data strictly in the physical datacenter ensures absolute control and the highest level of security possible, there is a limit to how much an organization can scale its on-premises presence. The public cloud, on the other hand, enables excellent flexibility and growth potential at the risk of succumbing to propriety and network exposure.

Hybrid data management allows for seamless sharing, accessing, and transitioning of data between on-premises and cloud locations, making it possible to get the best of both worlds.

Benefits of hybrid data architecture

The most immediately apparent benefit of operating in a hybrid data architecture is the ability to seamlessly move data across locations. As goals and demands change, IT administrators can place certain data workloads in the most optimal location in terms of cost efficiency, performance, and responsiveness.

This mobility of data also facilitates strong data security. The most sensitive data can exist on-premises where the enterprise has the greatest amount of control, while other workloads can flourish in the cloud where growth and scalability can occur with minimal resistance.

By placing less-critical workloads in the public cloud, organizations can reap cost savings by way of lessening their physical hardware burden. Conversely, strategically maintaining certain types of data in the private cloud can lower platform fees by minimizing the need to requisition more public cloud resources.

As another benefit, adopting hybrid data architecture naturally shifts an organization’s methodology toward a data-driven approach. Being data-driven and data-centric enables more informed decision-making as well as freedom of choice at all levels of the enterprise.

Challenges of hybrid data architecture

The biggest challenge that comes with implementing and operating in a hybrid environment is complexity. Navigating and configuring the complicated architecture beneath a hybrid system requires a specific skill set and specialized training, so it is important to consider a cloud solution that guarantees a layer of abstraction to simplify the process of managing the environment.

Compatibility can be another obstacle that organizations must overcome when adopting a hybrid data architecture. When integrating a public cloud platform with the physical datacenter, it is crucial to ensure that legacy hardware is compatible with the new platform and that the data itself is compatible with the cloud as well.

IT leaders must also think ahead when it comes to new data insights that become available thanks largely to hybrid architecture. Making the most of these unique insights can be a whole new challenge in itself.

Despite these inherent challenges that come with hybrid data architecture, an analysis from Mordor Intelligence places the hybrid cloud market size at an estimated $129.43 billion in 2023. This figure illustrates the reality that hybrid operations are a necessity worth overcoming any barriers to entry.

Hybrid data architecture best practices

Keeping in mind that the hybrid cloud can be so complex, the most important best practice to follow when planning a hybrid strategy is to operate on a cloud platform that accommodates the hybrid approach by design and makes it as simple as possible to move data when necessary.

The ideal cloud solution should reduce the operator’s exposure to the underlying complexity of the hybrid environment by making it possible to control and manage the entire network from a single, accessible control plane. This principle of centralization promotes not only simplicity but also security and operational efficiency.

Another best practice is to utilize unified storage solutions as an alternative to traditional storage servers to overcome growth challenges that can arise in data management. Without the unification of storage, growth challenges can multiply exponentially. With proper data visibility, insights and governance, however, IT admins can proactively address these challenges of hybrid data architecture before issues arise.

The platform that supports hybrid data architecture

A hybrid data solution brings invaluable benefits to organizations that follow the best implementation practices. Despite the improvements to mobility, security and decision-making that come with a hybrid structure, however, there are challenges to consider in the form of complexity and potential incompatibility.

Nutanix Cloud Platform (NCP) provides the infrastructure-level support that organizations need when building a hybrid architecture. NCP also grants freedom through simplicity by placing a layer of software abstraction between the platform operator and the underlying complexity, making it possible to easily manage an entire hybrid environment via a unified control plane.

Freedom is the ideal goal for enterprises that adopt hybrid data architecture. With a comprehensive solution for managing data across multiple types of locations, an enterprise can shape its own strategies for overcoming the challenges of massive data proliferation that are so common in today’s IT landscape.

Learn more about building a private cloud in preparation for hybrid architecture as well as how to get the most out of cloud-native computing in the hybrid setting.

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