An ancient proverb warns, “don’t put all your eggs in the same basket,” and when it comes to the use of multicloud, it seems many organizations have taken that to heart. Today’s customers demand IT that responds faster, delivers a secure and cost-effective service that is easy to consume, and can respond to changes in business demand quickly and effectively. Because traditional hosting strategies cannot respond to real-time changes in demand, MSPs have had to move towards a multi-cloud strategy, where they can deploy workloads either internally on their private cloud, on one of the public cloud providers, or hybrid infrastructures, where the workload spans both private and public clouds. Increasingly, organizations are opting to deploy their applications on multiple cloud platforms. While this deployment model offers many benefits, it can also present some serious management challenges. This blog aims to provide an overview of the opportunities and challenges of multicloud and the way forward.
CHALLENGES OF MULTI CLOUD MIGRATION SOLUTIONS
Multiple vendors: Multiplying your cloud environments typically means multiplying what is required to effectively run those environments over the long haul. The higher the number of SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS solutions leveraged, the higher the in-house skill sets required to manage, develop, and maintain these programs.
No cloud support in legacy tools: Most organizations have their own monitoring tools which they use for in-house data centers. However, most legacy tools were not designed for cloud monitoring. While some legacy vendors have updated their monitoring tools to provide some cloud support, most fall short of providing the level of detail and comprehensive capabilities that many enterprises are seeking.
Cloud Sprawl: Cloud sprawl occurs when users fail to decommission unused cloud computing instances or services. It creates resource visibility issues that affect cloud bill. Therefore, when adopting a multi cloud strategy, organizations should prevent app sprawl.
Data governance & compliance: The biggest challenge in the multi-cloud is to understand where the data resides physically. There is a huge probability of making mistakes and running an application in an unapproved environment. Organizations need to define standards for the consumption of cloud services and resources, just like they define for their business processes.
Managing complexity: Running several clouds not only requires skills but also manpower and time. Simple things such as resource provisioning can become complicated if vendors use different methods or measures. Each vendor has their own portals, APIs, and processes and that also needs to be considered.
Multi cloud architectures utilize public, private and hybrid cloud services can be a smart investment strategy for many businesses, especially mid-market. With the strategic distribution of cloud management tasks between multiple providers, multi cloud adoption can help to achieve greater efficiencies. Let’s take a look at the advantages of using multicloud:
Avoids lock-in with one vendor: Cloud providers launch new services and change their prices frequently. And even if find that cost has increased, or there is a better deal available with another cloud provider, you are locked into a single provider and not be able to easily take advantage of better opportunities. However, with a multi-cloud approach, your organization can retain the power, not the cloud vendor. Having a multicloud approach from the beginning allows your developers to create apps that will work on multiple platforms, giving you maximum flexibility to take advantage of the best prices or capabilities of different platforms.
Competitive Pricing: With a multicloud approach, organizations have the freedom of comparing different providers and securing the best available rates based on their specific IT needs. As organizations are not limited to any single cloud provider’s terms, they can select the best vendor based on its offerings such as payment flexibility, adjustable contracts, customizable capacity, and other important elements.
Bolsters Resilience: Multicloud approach helps to protect an organizations’ critical business applications and data by offering redundant backup and recovery capabilities which provide business continuity in-case of an emergency, e.g. a failed disk, power outage or natural disaster. Adding a multi cloud piece to your disaster recovery strategy provides a much-needed level of reliability and security by offering an ability to replicate the resource at a place away from the disaster area.
Effective data management: Instead of dumping all the data into one cloud, a multicloud approach helps to diversify and take advantage of the right service for the right function. For example, there might be an enormous volume of customer data that does not go through processing but is vital for the sales funnel. Having a multicloud approach helps to secure such sensitive data.
Ensures Flexibility: Business requirements keep changing each day, and when the organization gets bigger and certain elements in the cloud are no longer required, you can scale them down to a local server. Giant cloud-hosting environments usually do not make a point of catering to your individual business unit needs. Having a multicloud approach allows you to match your needs to the solutions that fit the best and alter them as and when required.
Should Multicloud Be a Part of Your Cloud Transformation Strategy?
So, where should one go from here and do any of the discussions above clarify anything? Well, cloud is not a one-size-fits-all solution, different organizations have different requirements and their own path to cloud.
These days, many organizations have been following a multicloud approach by putting some of their workloads in Amazon Web Services (AWS), others in MS Azure and some Google cloud. This way they are not locked in to one provider, or they have an option to switch between providers if one provider decides to raise their rates.
Some organizations use a multicloud strategy for more than just mitigating risk. They might put different applications in different providers’ clouds because of lower costs or better performance. That is a shift that has happened as cloud has become more popular. Multicloud today is much less about resilience and hedging bets and more about matching workloads to services.
But there are pros and cons to a multicloud strategy as we discussed above. Organizations need to learn how each cloud provider they are working with caters to their requirements, as the cloud industry still largely lacks standards and various providers have different capabilities and APIs. Therefore, enterprises will have to weigh up for themselves whether the extra administrative burden involved is balanced out by any cost, performance or resiliency improvements they might gain.