Clay Jackson Talks Moving Data to the Cloud at Data Summit Connect Fall 2020

The last day of Data Summit Connect Fall 2020 opened with Clay Jackson, senior database systems sales engineer, Quest Software, who discussed tools and techniques that will make any organizations’ journey to the cloud simpler and easier.

Videos of presentations from Data Summit Connect Fall 2020, a free series of data management and analytics webinars presented by DBTA and Big Data Quarterly, are available for viewing on the DBTA YouTube channel.

As customers with existing data consider moving that data and applications to “the cloud,” it rapidly becomes apparent that, just as in real estate, it’s all about location.

A move to the cloud is most typically a journey accomplished over time, and not a “big bang.” For at least a time, customer data will need to be accessible from both legacy and cloud-based applications.

Since cloud vendors charge for data movement, customers need to understand and control that movement.

Also, there may be performance or security implications around moving data to or from the cloud. A hybrid approach to the cloud may be best, according to Jackson.

When looking to the cloud, some essentials include:

  • Provides on demand resources
  • Has broad access
  • Has the ability to share resources
  • Scaling elasticity
  • Services can be measured as a “pay as you go” system

There are several different cloud service models to choose from, he explained. Organizations can go with software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (Paas), or infrastructure as a service (IaaS). There is also a variety of deployment models including private, community, public, and hybrid.

The top cloud initiatives for 2020 as reported by Flexera’s 2020 State of the Cloud report, the majority of respondents want to optimize existing use of the cloud and save costs, he said. Additionally, organizations want to migrate more workloads to the cloud, expand use of containers, or progress a cloud-first strategy.

However, there are broad challenges when moving to the cloud such as lack of visibility, data theft/breaches, lack of control, data in transit, and compliance, Jackson said.

There are also a host of performance challenges including lack of network bandwidth, network latency, disk space, CPU cycles, and memory.

“Location matters,” Jackson said. “One size does not necessarily fit all.”

Businesses should consider challenges specific to the project, he explained. This includes:

  • Performance
  • Network traffic
  • Compliance: HIPAA, PCI, SOX
  • Availability
  • Cost

“Make sure your data is replicated on two different data centers just in case something happens,” Jackson said.

The public cloud is the least expensive because businesses will be sharing resources. However, it is the least secure because of this, he said. Network traffic may also be an issue and resources are not unlimited.

A community cloud is more secure than public cloud, but it may cost more. It can be easy to move data and expand the system. Network traffic is still an issue.

A hybrid cloud can give companies the best of all worlds. It can be on-prem or not but does allow putting the data where it’s needed, he said.

Data can be synchronized in multiple places, which can mitigate security issues. Data analysis tools within the cloud can find sensitive data and mask it. Users can develop data models and generate/execute scripts.

“You want to be proactive, you want to know what’s going on in your on-premise environments so you can make changes,” Jackson said.