A multi-cloud strategy is slowly becoming the axiom in the Cloud industry over the last few years, with research suggesting that 84% of enterprises are investigating or actively pursuing a multi-cloud strategy.
It is clear that when organizations decide to migrate all their data and applications to the cloud, they need to decide between a single cloud or a multi-cloud strategy. It may be the case that Businesses only require a single cloud if they are subject to a budget (increasingly common in the current economic climate) or do not need significant support for their applications. A multi-cloud strategy may be necessary to prevent any downtime or data loss when serving multiple applications.
A multi-cloud environment carries a greater level of sophistication but managing a multi-cloud infrastructure comes with its own unique set of challenges. Managing a multi-cloud strategy can be a gruelling process, but if done well can provide a whole host of benefits.
So, what are the main benefits?
A fundamental benefit of the Multicloud strategy is improved reliability. All public cloud providers have multiple geographic regions and multiple datacenters within each region where companies can host their applications and infrastructure. Using multiple clouds for DR & BC planning is becoming increasingly common way to mitigate IT by not limiting one’s self to one Provider.
Every public cloud vendor offers diffezrent compute and storage options at varying rates. Conducting performance analysis of the workloads on each cloud means, you can project both your performance and TCO for compute and storage options in each cloud, and importantly choose the vendor that will meet your performance requirements at the lowest cost.
Enhanced Workload optimisation
Multicloud setup is a significant benefit; it allows companies to select the cloud service that is the best fit for each of their workloads. Organizations can choose to combine cloud platforms and take advantage of the various vendors strengths and weaknesses (commercial & technical).
Moving to a public cloud platform is never easy and indeed nor is moving out of it. If organizations have all their workloads on a single cloud vendor there is always a fear of being Vendor-locked. It can be challenging and costly for enterprises to move out of an arrangement they’re locked into with a single cloud provider, mainly when they’re already using their APIs and other proprietary services.
We know the Benefits, but what are the challenges?
One of the greatest benefits of multi-cloud also presents one of its greatest challenges. Multi-cloud allows organizations to deploy the environment for all business applications, but in doing so, adds several layers of management complexity. Every vendor deployment comes with its own unique portals and processes that companies need to manage. Consider that even something as seemingly simple as Identity and Access Management can be complicated if different providers demand differing password complexities or authentication measures.
Cloud Skills Gap
The exponential growth of AWS and Azure is fuelling huge demand for architects who have mastered the platforms. In fact, AWS-certified IT professionals are commanding 28% higher salaries than their peers. Companies looking to harness the public cloud as a major pillar of their multi-cloud strategies must account for these unique skill sets, and be prepared to make the necessary investments, or alternatively, partner with a managed service provider with a proven track record of multi-cloud expertise.
Multi-cloud environments make it easier than ever to lose track of which applications are running, where and how much this costs you day to day. For example, employees may be partial to a particular cloud for certain workloads, but across your entire staff, this choice may not be consistent. This means you could end up with three, four or more of the same app, open across multiple clouds. The solution? According to Tech Republic you’re well served following apps to the cloud, rather than trying to push apps into the cloud based on falling storage or compute prices.
How do you get from A to B? If Companies are moving apps and services from an existing hybrid deployment of public and private cloud solutions and spreading them out across multiple clouds, then there will be a migration problem: How do you ensure that the result matches expectations and doesn’t simply encourage additional expenses? The right multi-cloud management solution can help you prepare automatic deployment of existing standards and policies across your new cloud network, rather than forcing you to complete this task one deployment at a time.
No discussion of multi-cloud is complete without mentioning secure environments for the cloud. As noted by Computer Weekly, it’s critical to have a detailed security discussion with your potential vendor prior to signing any SLA — find out what’s covered under provider responsibilities along with its specific response in the case of a security breach or data loss: Is the vendor prepared to help with remediation efforts or does it simply shell out a set penalty? Both options are viable, but it pays to know before you start moving data.
Multi-cloud offers businesses the ability to create powerful and secure cloud environments outside the traditional compute framework. Maximizing the impact of multi-cloud, however, means tackling the challenges of unique portals, app sprawl, migration, compliance and security head-on.
Additionally, IT is confronted with the fact that business unit owners no longer need to go through IT to acquire compute resources. Referred to by many as “Shadow IT,” the trend opens organizations to significant vulnerabilities due to a lack of oversight and adherence to standard security protocols. To bring rogue infrastructure out of the shadows, IT leaders must build relationships with business units and define clear policies for self-service IaaS solutions.
Visibility into your cloud infrastructure, workloads, and applications is a crucial success factor for effective management. Without end-to-end transparency into your assets, wherever they reside, you are just bleeding money on supporting stagnant or unused resources and provisioning more cloud instances than needed.
Achieving operational efficiency in the cloud is difficult if you rely on manual workflows. But effectively handling your workloads across multiple clouds is next to impossible unless you make automation the cornerstone of your multicloud management strategy.
Underpinning cloud-based DevOps, automation helps you streamline configuration, provisioning, and deployment of your multicloud applications to improve time to market while reducing toil and lowering costs.
Smarter Way to the Cloud is Key
As companies move their IT resources to the Cloud, they realise that an effective cloud strategy cannot succeed without appropriate and effective connectivity.
Since 2010, InterCloud has been providing simpler, more reliable access to cloud applications for multinationals. Over 50 of them have relied upon InterCloud to deliver an appropriate solution, satisfying both security and compliance needs in relation to the hybridisation of their business applications.
By providing flexible, reliable and seamless cloud access, InterCloud ensures that companies retain absolute control over their applications.
Major Cloud vendors like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google Cloud, Salesforce, ServiceNow, IBM, SAP, Oracle, Outscale and Alibaba have opted for InterCloud’s platform for precisely this reason.
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This is why InterCloud is the European leader in dedicated connectivity to the Cloud.