Standardizing on a single technology solution sounds good in theory, but in practice, it means compromising on a solution that’s “good enough” for every application but optimized for none of them.
Selecting multiple solutions lets you match every application with the best environment, but requires more support. However, since using cloud requires less data center support than on premises infrastructure, a multi-cloud solution can enable every application to run in its ideal environment without excess cost or complexity compared to a single on premises solution. You get the cost-effective flexibility, agility, and scalability of cloud without being tied to a single vendor solution.
Multi-Cloud Is A Strategic Solution
Many businesses end up with multi-cloud by accident, as different departments make different choices. This haphazard approach limits the value of multi-cloud, as applications aren’t necessarily matched to the best environment and the IT department supports each application wherever it ended up.
Instead, multi-cloud should be a deliberate choice, with a careful evaluation process that locates each workload in the environment that best meets its needs. It’s important to realize that this isn’t a one-time decision, either; as application demands and capabilities change, the ideal cloud provider for the application may change as well. Part of planning for strategic multi-cloud has to include planning to recognize when a workload should be migrated to a different environment and knowing how the environment and its data can be moved.
Even if there’s no expectation that workloads will be shifted frequently, knowing how to do that can be an important part of your disaster recovery plan. You can also leverage your ability to shift to another vendor as part of your cost negotiations with your cloud provider.
Managing multi-cloud can be simpler than managing multiple vendor products in your data center. One reason is that cloud environments are largely managed through configuration settings, with no physical connections or devices to set up. Automation tools allow you to ensure the same configurations are applied across every environment.
To succeed in managing a multi-cloud environment, you need to understand the environment thoroughly. Make sure you document all the communication paths between systems, including all the file transfers, data sharing, and APIs that link applications.
Pay close attention to how users work with your clouds. It’s only when you see how they use the tools that you provided that you’ll know for sure if your architecture is working. Fortunately, with multi-cloud, you’ve got the flexibility to move applications and services around if things aren’t working as you hoped.
Benefits of Multi-Cloud
The benefits of coping with this complexity are considerable. First, you’ve got the agility and scalability of cloud. Although cloud is generally highly reliable, providers have had widespread outages with major impact on customers; using multi-cloud reduces that risk. You’ve got increased flexibility to match your IT resources to your IT requirements, along with optimizing spending. With multiple environments, you can match data to environments where security is at the appropriate level for its sensitivity, rather than locating even public data in high-cost, high-security environments.
Making Multi-Cloud Work
As we said, making multi-cloud work all starts with having a strategy. Track what you’re spending, along with the resources you’re getting for that money. Make sure your in-house team has the tools and training they need to oversee each environment individually and see the entire environment holistically. Know when to get help from an experienced managed services provider like VAST IT services; you’ll spend more stumbling around and fixing failures than if you work with an expert team to set things up right the first time.