CompanyMay 9, 2019

Modern Apps and Hybrid Cloud—The Perfect Combo

Aaron Ploetz
Aaron PloetzDeveloper Relations, DataStax
Modern Apps and Hybrid Cloud—The Perfect Combo

Modern apps and hybrid cloud have become buzzwords in the database community. Buzzwords can sometimes be misleading as they don’t always pertain to things “buzzworthy,” but in this case, both modern applications and hybrid cloud are deserving of their buzzword status, and they also happen to be complementary, each allowing the other to be powerful tools for digital transformation.

But first—let’s make sure we are clear on our definitions.

What is a modern application?

Modern applications embody three characteristics that set them apart from legacy applications. A modern app is:

  • Secure: Customers expect companies to protect their accounts from bad actors and fraud. Modern apps are built with security in mind to prevent data breaches and headaches for customers around resolving errors with their purchases, preferences, and their accounts due to bad actors.
  • Highly available: Customers are worldwide and often on the move. Modern apps need to follow these people where they are and be available no matter what time zone or time of the week. Downtime of applications cost businesses millions of dollars, no matter if it is a planned outage or unexpected. Modern apps need to be resilient to common disruptions in infrastructure or hardware.
  • Highly responsive: Customers demand instant response to searches and insights. In fact, Google has found that more than half of your website visitors will abandon your site if you keep them waiting for more than three seconds.

Typically consisting of a collection of independent microservices, modern apps are designed for today’s fast-moving, ever-changing business environment. To remain competitive and relevant, modern apps must offer five foundational attributes represented by the acronym CARDS:

  • Contextual – Users are provided with information that is relevant to them
  • Always on –The application is continuously available (not just mostly available)
  • Real time – The application responds instantly to users’ requests and input
  • Distributed –The application is geographically distributed, possibly across different cloud regions or data centers, or, quite often, across a hybrid cloud
  • Scalable – The application must be capable of scaling to meet peak demands

What is hybrid cloud?

Hybrid cloud is a combination of public or private cloud and on-premises data center(s). Many modern apps also use third-party cloud services. Hybrid cloud architectures enable organizations to select the specific cloud services that best serves the needs of any given application.

The advantages of hybrid cloud

A recent Forbes article declared, “Hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud are quickly becoming the new norm for enterprises.” And the many benefits that the hybrid cloud provides is fueling a massive adoption rate. MarketsandMarketsresearch indicates that the cloud market will more than double in the five-year span from 2018 to 2023, reaching a global market value of nearly $100 billion.

Just what are the hybrid cloud benefits that are driving such growth rates? In general, a hybrid cloud mix of public and private cloud services can provide three big benefits:

  • Organizational agility: Distributing data across both public/private clouds and on-prem provides organizations with the best benefits of each. This agility helps organizations derive the maximum potential from their IT infrastructures.
  • Security: Though it may seem counterintuitive, hybrid cloud environments provide security that equals and even exceeds the security of traditional private cloud infrastructures.
  • Lower costs: Shifting much of an organization’s heavy data demands to a public cloud can free up considerable internal resources of both personnel and equipment.

How hybrid cloud complements modern applications

Compare the benefits offered by hybrid cloud to the distinguishing characteristics of modern apps. The flexible and evolving nature of modern apps, for example, is served well by the organizational agility offered by a hybrid cloud environment. Modern apps need to support the business as quickly as the business evolves—without massive rewrites and large-scale development efforts.

Security, too, is an ever-increasing concern for most organizations; hybrid cloud supports the greater focus upon security that is built into most modern applications. And the lower operational costs enabled by hybrid cloud supports the lean efficiency that is always a developmental goal of modern application architecture.

Consider also that modern apps must be capable of functioning across different environments. Supporting a single modern app may draw upon both internal and external resources and multiple databases. Hybrid cloud provides the adaptability necessary to support the dynamic and often evolving needs of a modern application.

A hybrid cloud environment also supports and enables the agility that so many modern enterprises seek. Organizations can design and implement each application with the most suitable mix of public and private clouds while still using their on-prem data centers. The hybrid cloud provides organizations with a best-of-all-worlds opportunity for managing the accessibility of data according to the needs of each individual application.

And, perhaps most importantly, the hybrid cloud supports unprecedented visibility and insight into the performance of modern applications. Effectively monitoring application performance is more important than ever before and enables the developmental agility and workload adaptability sought in modern applications. Effective performance monitoring is also key to achieving and maintaining the high standards of customer service that are essential to competing effectively in today’s business environment.

Getting started in hybrid cloud

As noted above, hybrid cloud adoption rates are soaring worldwide. More companies than ever before have discovered—and are currently enjoying—the many benefits provided by a hybrid cloud environment. So if your company has not yet transitioned to the hybrid cloud, odds are good that you soon will be.

But when you make that transition, be aware that the hybrid cloud does have the potential to create some data-related problems. The possibility of developing data silos is an example, as is the potential for data governance challenges. Data management challenges are solved with the adoption of an active everywhere database.

Turn the combo of modern apps plus hybrid cloud into a trio by adding an active everywhere database, and you’ll accelerate your time to market with your modern apps by using the benefits of hybrid cloud with the benefits of an active everywhere database.

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