Guest Column | July 23, 2019

Managing Hybrid Database Environments Is Key For MSPs

By Nick Harshbarger, SentryOne

8 Keys To Successfully Implementing A Pharmaceutical Process Improvement

One of the predominant business decisions in technology today is not if a database workload will go to the cloud—but when. That timing is likely a moving target in most environments. Workloads will move to and from the cloud for many reasons—some good, and some not so favorable.

Many enterprises are implementing hybrid cloud approaches that use a mix of public cloud, on-premises computing and private cloud services, and which offer increased agility and scalability. These approaches have far-reaching consequences for their data platforms.

The need to constantly evaluate the best environment for a workload makes the concept of hybrid data platform environments a hot topic in most companies. Businesses need to evaluate the pros and cons of migrating data workloads to the location that offers the optimal performance and the associated costs. Because business conditions are ever-changing, your thought process should be focused on technologies that give you the most options and maximize business value.

Seamless Monitoring On-Premises And In The Cloud

The need to move databases from one location to another with minimal interruptions — meaning that everything looks the same regardless of where the database lives — reminds me of an observation made by Charles F. Kettering, the American inventor and longtime head of research at General Motors: “People are very open-minded about new things, as long as they’re exactly like the old ones.”

Enterprise data professionals want to experience the benefits of moving database systems to the cloud, but they worry about potential disruptions in data delivery. They also have concerns about their ability to validate their data and prevent security breaches in the cloud. This is where savvy and experienced MSPs can step in and offer the right expertise to guide their enterprise customers.

One of the critical considerations in ongoing cloud migrations will be providing the data professional the same monitoring, actionable information, and performance tuning capabilities for a database management system workload regardless of where it's being run. This information minimizes the risk and guesswork of workload performance while providing assurance that it will be cost-effective. And the choice of cloud provider shouldn't affect that monitoring process. As an example, SentryOne has had a long-standing relationship with the Amazon Web Services engineering team, resulting in some of the most powerful monitoring available for Amazon RDS for SQL Server and Amazon EC2.

This ability to support a database management system or data warehouse both on-premises and in the cloud is a key consideration when companies and MSPs are looking at tools to support the dynamic nature of the modern hybrid data environment.

The ideal cloud database transition involves four steps: (1) evaluate a workload’s performance on-premises to ensure it’s ready for a cloud migration; (2) optimize the performance as needed, including proactively tuning the data engine to run better and faster; (3) lift the data to the cloud provider, be it Amazon AWS or Azure; (4) monitor the database in the cloud to ensure it’s performing efficiently, including data testing and validation.

A Big Opportunity For MSPs

Migrating databases from on-premises to hosted cloud services or hybrid cloud environments can be slow and painful. Enterprises can face significant costs re-architecting databases for the cloud and challenges ensuring data integrity.

DBAs and other data professionals are often overworked and are too busy putting out fires to address issues with their database systems proactively.

Smart MSPs have an opportunity to expand their support and earn more recurring revenue from their enterprise customers by offering services and solutions that take the pain out of complex hybrid cloud approaches that are becoming more prevalent.

Keeping pace with the rapid change in data platform technologies is hard enough. MSPs offering managed database services should make sure they’re aware of the monitoring solutions available that support a dynamic hybrid data platform so that they can point their customers down the right path.

Nick Harshbarger, SentryOneAbout The Author

Nick Harshbarger (@nicharsh) is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Channels for SentryOne and is responsible for leading the SentryOne Global Partner Network.