Modern data integration and virtualization capabilities further simplify the use of multi-cloud technologies, says the data virtualization firm.

The third annual cloud usage survey of data virtualization firm Denodo has revealed statistics showing that hybrid cloud configurations were the center of all cloud deployments at 42%, followed by public (18%) and private clouds (17%) at the time of the Feb 2020 study.

The survey involved over 250 worldwide business executives and IT professionals from a diverse group of technical backgrounds. Its highlight finding is that hybrid and multi-cloud architectures have become the de-facto standard among organizations, with more than half (53%) embracing them as the most popular form of deployment.

According to respondents, the advantages of hybrid cloud configurations include the ability to diversify spend and skills, build resiliency, and cherry-pick features and capabilities depending on each cloud service provider’s particular strengths, all while avoiding the dreaded vendor lock-in.

Year-over-year, the use of relatively-new container technologies increased by 50% indicating a growing trend to use it for scalability and portability to the cloud. DevOps professionals continued to look to containerization for production, because it enables reproducibility and the ability to automate deployments. About 80% of the respondents were leveraging some type of container implementation, with Docker being the most popular (50%) followed by Kubernetes (40%) which is gaining steam, as is evident from the consistent support of all the key cloud providers.

As a foundational metric for demonstrating cloud adoption maturity, 78% of respondents were running some kind of a workload in the cloud. Over the past year, there had been a positive reinforcement of cloud adoption with at least a 10% increase across beginners, intermediate, and advanced adopters. About 90% of those embracing cloud were selecting Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure as their service providers. But users were not just lifting their on-premises applications and shifting them to either of or both of these clouds; more than a third (35%) said they would re-architect their applications for the best-fit cloud architecture.

Most popular cloud tools

For the most popular cloud initiative, analytics and business intelligence (BI) came out at the top with two out of three (66%) participants claiming to use it for big data analytics projects.

AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud each has its own specific strengths, but analytics surfaced as the top use case across all three of them. This use case was followed closely by both logical data warehouse (42%) and data science (41%) in the cloud.

When it came to data formats, two thirds of the data being used was still in structured format (68%), while there was a vast pool of unstructured data that was growing in importance. Cloud object storage (47%) along with SaaS data (44%) were frequently used to maximize ease of computation and to optimize performance.

Further, cloud marketplaces are growing at a phenomenal speed and are becoming more popular. Half (50%) of those surveyed were leveraging cloud marketplaces with utility/pay-as-you-go-pricing being the most popular incentive (19%) followed by its self-service capability/ability to minimize IT dependency (13%). Avoiding a long-term commitment also played a role (6%).

Said Ravi Shankar, SVP and CMO, Denodo: “As data’s center of gravity shifts to the cloud, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud architectures are becoming the basis of data management, but the challenge of integrating data in the cloud has almost doubled (42%). Today, users are looking to simplify cloud data integration in a hybrid/multi-cloud environment without having to depend on heavy duty data migration or replication, which may be why almost 50% of respondents said they were considering data virtualization as a key part of their migration strategy.”