In today’s hybrid cloud environment, we tend to think of compute as being agile, data decidedly less so. Yet data, and the information and value it contains, is one of the most critical assets an organization has.
Data could be considered an asset on most corporate finance reports. If you doubt this, ask your CEO and CFO what would happen if all your corporate data were lost. In most cases, companies would cease to exist.
The cloud raises new questions for how businesses view data. How do you keep track of your data both inside and outside the data center? What controls are in place for your data in the cloud environment? Do you have line of sight to your data at all times? How do you secure your data from unauthorized access and unauthorized environments in hybrid cloud domains?
For most businesses, the answers to these questions are neither positive nor reassuring. With this in mind, let’s agree that data is different and therefore needs to be treated differently from compute. And yet, when it comes to the cloud, we tend to just let data go along for the ride.
Imagine if, instead, our data could seamlessly and securely integrate across whatever IT environment we build, for the lifecycle of our data. This requires the adoption of a data fabric strategy. A data fabric works to encapsulate your data to help you view, control, manage, access and move it through the hybrid cloud. In building your data fabric, there are three factors to consider:
Data Management: This critical component is fast becoming the single most difficult challenge facing data center managers. Proper data management enables end-to-end monitoring and orchestration of your data, providing strategic insight across your entire hybrid cloud environment.
Data Mobility: The value of data mobility is found at the intersection of cost, performance, efficiency of operations, feature sets and service level agreements. A key challenge is ensuring that data has agility, and can seamlessly move or be replicated between disparate cloud infrastructures. Typical storage management systems are adept at moving data within the storage infrastructure domain but fall down once data is created or moved outside the confines of the corporate data center. Providing the ability to move and access data across domains is a key advantage of the data fabric strategy.
Data Services: Disparate data sets stored in separate and distinct architectures and protocols create a tangled and locked web of information. Data services via a data fabric strategy can be the key to unlocking a host of valuable insight to both analytics applications and data center managers. Understanding the value of data sets, recognizing their importance and exposing the critical elements to the appropriate storage tier is key to providing valuable data services.
Looking forward, the creation of a data fabric strategy requires a long-term view of how organizations manage data. Data can no longer just piggyback on compute.