Multi-cloud solutions approach is increasingly finding takers as enterprises look to have a diversified range of cloud solution providers.
The advantages of multi-cloud solutions also necessitates management of these different cloud solutions. It is here that Multi-cloud management as a concept has kicked in. Simply put- it is the set of tools and procedures that allows a business to monitor and secure applications and workloads across multiple public clouds.
Ideally, a multi-cloud management solution allows IT teams to manage multiple clouds from a single interface, and supports multiple cloud platforms (such as AWS and Azure) as well as new tools like Kubernetes. Typically, it is built on open-source and cloud-native technologies, which are supported by all public cloud providers.
“Data shows 93 per cent of companies in APAC embracing a multi-cloud strategy so enterprises and digital natives alike are deploying their go-to-market strategy of having multiple local cloud providers globally,” said Lionel Legros, VP – General Manager, Asia Pacific, OVHcloud.
Importance of Multi-Cloud
Globally, many enterprises find management of multi-cloud solutions overwhelming. Considering that each vendor has a unique set of resources, customer needs and rules, companies have faced a certain amount of instability and cost increases.
Many CIOs point out that a multi-cloud solution that can be ported across multiple cloud providers’ cloud infrastructure is the need of the hour. For example- the accounting system could be on Windows Azure and the HR system could be on Google Cloud.
A multi-cloud strategy allows enterprises to select different cloud services or features from various providers. Multi-cloud Management often uses several different available architectures, such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), to attain a complete business goal.
Various cloud providers are used according to the requirements of specific workloads or applications. It will enable companies to choose public, private, or hybrid cloud options and consolidate multi-cloud to make their plan more customised.
This, in turn, ties in with their cloud strategy. Na-pajra Umpudh, Managing Director, CloudHM points out that multi-cloud management means leveraging the strengths of multiple cloud providers which will be a key to a successful cloud strategy.
In the enterprise, multicloud typically refers to running enterprise applications on platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) from multiple cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure.
They also typically include capabilities for managing workloads across multiple clouds with a central console. Many of the leading cloud providers, as well as cloud solution providers such as OVHcloud and CloudHM offer multi-cloud solutions for compute infrastructure, development, data warehousing, cloud storage, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), disaster recovery, business continuity and more.
Preventing Vendor Lock-in
Using multi-cloud solutions helps in vendor-lock-in challenges- something which many organisations in developed markets are grappling with. It addresses performance problems, limited options, or unnecessary costs resulting from using only one cloud vendor.
Different applications have different workload needs. For an individual application, a suitable cloud provider can be used. The multi-cloud management strategy also offers various security precautions that a single cloud provider’s deployment cannot provide.
A well-managed multi-cloud environment also allows various groups to comply with different IT policies while also reaping the benefits of a particular cloud provider. Additionally, it offers the flexibility to choose cloud services from different cloud providers based on the combination of pricing, performance, security and compliance requirements, geographical location that best suits the business.
Also, the ability to rapidly adopt “best-of-breed” technologies from any vendor, as needed or as they emerge, rather than limiting customers to whatever offerings or functionality a single vendor offers at a given time. Then there is the reduced vulnerability to outages and unplanned downtime (because an outage on one cloud won’t necessarily impact services from other clouds and reduced exposure to the licensing, security, compatibility and other issues that can result from users independently signing up for cloud services that an organisation using just one cloud might not offer.
Multi-cloud Management Challenges
The key to maximising the benefits of a multi-cloud architecture is to manage applications and resources across the multiple clouds centrally, as if they were part of a single cloud. But multi-cloud management comes with multiple challenges including:
- Maintaining consistent cloud security and compliance policies across multiple platforms;
- Consistently deploying applications across target environments (e.g., development, staging, and production) and various hosting platforms;
- Federating and visualizing events from logging and monitoring tools to achieve a singular view and configure consistent responses
Organisations use multi-cloud management tools – or preferably, a multi-cloud management platform – to monitor and manage their multi-cloud deployments as if they were a single cloud environment. Cloud can be a “Game Changer” but it can also be an organisation’s double-edged sword.
“One side can help you clear many rough patches, while another side can harm yourself. You should find out how to manage cloud environment while balancing between “ease of use” and limitless versus data protection and regulatory compliance,” explains Nattamol Vittayakasemsont, Senior Enterprise Architect, KASIKORN Business-Technology Group.
Moving to multi-cloud has become a Board-level priority—because CXOs recognise that modern business will run on modern apps and modern apps will need to run on a mix of clouds. Bottom line: multi-cloud means future-ready. However, many business leaders are facing manpower-related challenges in their digital transformation journey.
“With the current shortage of manpower, on-prem cloud infrastructure with onsite management is a thing of the past as enterprises move to the distributed cloud model. It is therefore critical that businesses work with cloud providers that are open, interoperable and reversible in order to ensure success in every market,” points out Legros.
A multi-cloud solution should feature a robust hybrid framework that provides a flexible multi-cloud management toolset, including a service and organisational component that delivers capabilities across on-premise and public infrastructure. Ultimately, organisations should have the ability to view and manage IT workloads across cloud providers and on- premise environments to achieve cost, security and performance.
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