Cloud Computing|Hybrid Cloud|Hyper-V|SQL Server|Virtualization

The Hybrid Cloud Database Benefits

Hybrid cloud adoption has been one of the hottest trends in IT over the past year. Recent IDC research shows that 80 percent of enterprise IT organizations are now preparing to move to a hybrid cloud-based IT model. Further, IDC reported that 70 percent of IT decision-makers say they will always have a mix of traditional IT and cloud architectures. In a hybrid environment, the ability to scale and be agile is crucial for the business to succeed. Databases are one of the more challenging technologies to move to the hybrid but there are serval benefits for doing so.

One of the main reasons that hybrid cloud databases are growing is in response to the massive data growth that all businesses are facing today. Gartner has estimated that data is growing at a rate of 30 to 50 percent per year. Likewise, according to IDC data is expected to double every two years for the coming decade. The cloud and the hybrid cloud can be an effective measure to stem the need to continually buy more local storage capacity for your local databases. The hybrid cloud offers virtually unlimited storage capacity at reasonably low costs.

Hybrid Cloud Backups

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Database backups are one of the easiest areas to benefit from hybrid cloud technologies. Using the hybrid cloud backups frees up local storage requirements and serves as an offsite backup repository providing built-in disaster recovery protection. Some enterprise databases provide a number of different hybrid cloud integration options. For instance, SQL Server provides a couple of different hybrid cloud database backup options. SQL Server’s built-in backup facility includes a Backup to URL option that allows you to easily direct database backups to the cloud. The URL points to an Azure blob file and provides the name and location of the SQL Server backup file. In addition, another feature called SQL Server Managed Backup to Microsoft Azure manages and automates SQL Server backups to Azure Blob storage. Some third-party backup products also provide backup integration with multiple cloud providers.

Hybrid Cloud Stretched Databases

Stretched databases that extend on-premise databases into the cloud are another way that enterprise databases can benefit from the hybrid cloud. SQL Server’s Stretch Database feature enables you to take advantage of the hybrid cloud for extended database storage. Stretch Databases can be a good hybrid cloud option when you have large amounts of infrequently accessed historical data that you need to keep on-line for a long time. Stretch Databases can seamlessly move that cool data from on-premise to Azure enabling you to provide longer data retention times on low-cost Azure storage yet still allowing the data to be queried.

Hybrid Cloud Database VM Server Replication

Using Hyper-V Replica or other third party replication technologies with the hybrid cloud can also provide a disaster recovery solution for your production databases. Hyper-V Replica can replicate the changes from your on-premise database VMs to the cloud enabling those VMs to rapidly come on-line in the event of a site or other local server failure.

While at first, the cloud may not seem like a great fit for enterprise databases the hybrid cloud can provide several benefits for your production databases including backups, extended storage, and DR protection.



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Michael Otey is president of TECA, a technical content production, consulting and software development company in Portland,
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