Insights Blog

Get on and off your cloud – a guide to a hybrid strategy

See how a hybrid strategy might work for you.

Mick Jagger once sang, “Hey you! Get off of my cloud”. And if you’re responsible for data in your organisation– at least if you’re a ‘Stones fan – you might have this ‘60s anthem rattling around your head as you lie awake, fretting over the pros and cons of cloud and on-premise strategies. But there is no need to have sleepless nights weighing up the benefits of each when you can have both with a hybrid cloud strategy.

What is a hybrid cloud strategy?

By hybrid we mean a combination of on-premise (or private cloud) systems with public cloud deployments within the same IT infrastructure.

What’s so great about hybrid?

Apart from the obvious flexibility it gives you there are a number of compelling reasons to opt for a hybrid cloud strategy:

  • Privacy and data protection: Manage sensitive or critical workloads on-premise while storing and using public cloud offerings to manage less-critical information.
  • Performance and availability: Take care of data that has to be delivered faster than you can blink using your on-premise, high-performance hardware, while making the most of your cost-efficient cloud servers for data with lower requirements in terms of response-time and availability.
  • Data locality:  By this we mean that everything has its rightful place in your storage, so why move it if you don’t have to? After all, it might be not be feasible to spend time transfering all the data located in the cloud to on-premise systems and vice-versa just to perform the analytics you need.
  • It helps control cloud migrations: When migrating your IT landscape from on-premise to the cloud a hybrid cloud approach enables a staggered approach. You can do it on a use-case basis in a controlled way without any service interruption. So you’ll get a complete view of where everything is, minimizing the risk of losing your valuable data.

Where do Exasol fit in?

Exasol’s database is perfectly for hybrid cloud strategies. The in-memory database runs on a cluster of standard servers and it has become indispensable for companies like Adidas, Olympus or Zalando for their critical data-driven business operations.

With its virtual schemas, the database gives you a powerful tool for quickly integrating and transparently accessing arbitrary data sources from both the cloud and on-premise storage.

How does it work?

Just set up one Exasol database cluster in the cloud, another one on-premise and connect both systems using our virtual schemas technology. Or connect any other data management source in your data center or cloud environments to create one transparent, virtual access layer.

A user who connects to the local Exasol database will then be able to access the data of the connected database systems, locally and remotely. So it’s completely transparent where your data is stored and managed.

cloud hybrid strategy with exasol
Get on and off your cloud – a guide to a hybrid strategy. Exasol virtual schema

 Connecting databases using virtual schemas

Think of virtual schemas as a read-only link to an external source that contains virtual tables that look like regular tables except that the data isn’t stored locally.

When a user executes a query that references a virtually connected schema and a physical schema, Exasol’s database automatically sends parts of the query to the virtually connected data source. Intelligent pushdown algorithms ensure that as many functions and predicates as possible are executed on the remote system to minimise the amount of data that needs to be transferred between the systems located on-premise and in the cloud.

It looks like a normal schema with data stored in the database the user is interacting with.  But the actual processing is automatically split across the different platforms.

This setup can also be configured in a symmetric way, where the database that is located in the public cloud also virtually integrates the on-premise tables.

Exasol cloud hybrid strategy
Public cloud vs on premise database schema

Symmetric hybrid cloud setup using virtual schemas

Try a hybrid cloud strategy for yourself

Exasol have decided to publish the virtual schemas extension as an open source project on GitHub so that additional adapters to further data sources can easily be shared and extended by the growing Exasol community.

If you’d like to see the power of the database for yourself and see how a hybrid strategy might work for you, you can download the Free Small Business Edition of the database at

Looking to outsource your data warehouse?

If you are interested in outsourcing your data warehouse and have not yet heard about EXACloud, then learn more about our fully managed database-as-a-service offering at