Multicloud is a term that describes the use of cloud services from more than one cloud provider. For example, you might use Salesforce and Workday as your software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers, IBM Cloud and Google Cloud Platform as your platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure as your storage and data warehousing providers. Multicloud gives you the flexibility to choose the best cloud services for your specific business needs and avoid vendor lock-in. However, multi-cloud also comes with some challenges, such as maintaining security, compliance, performance, and cost across multiple platforms. In this article, we will explore some of the best practices and tools for managing multi-cloud environments effectively and efficiently.
Why use multi cloud?
There are many reasons why organizations might opt for a multi-cloud strategy, such as:
- Performance optimization: You can select the cloud services that offer the best performance for your applications and workloads, based on factors such as latency, availability, scalability, and reliability. For example, you might choose a cloud provider that has data centers closer to your customers or offers specialized services for your industry or domain.
- Cost control: You can compare the pricing and features of different cloud providers and choose the ones that offer the best value for your budget. You can also leverage discounts, credits, or incentives from different providers to reduce your cloud spending. For example, you might use a cheaper cloud provider for your development and testing environments and a more expensive one for your production environment.
- Vendor diversity: You can avoid being dependent on a single cloud provider and reduce the risk of outages, downtime, or service disruptions. You can also benefit from the innovation and competition among different cloud providers and access the latest technologies and features as they emerge. For example, you might use a cloud provider that offers cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) services for your analytics and insights.
- Security and compliance: You can meet the security and compliance requirements of your organization and industry by using different cloud providers that offer different levels of encryption, authentication, authorization, auditing, and monitoring. You can also mitigate the impact of cyberattacks or data breaches by distributing your data and workloads across multiple clouds. For example, you might use a cloud provider that complies with the regulations of your region or sector for your sensitive data.
How to manage multi-cloud?
Managing multi-cloud environments can be challenging because you have to deal with multiple platforms that have different architectures, interfaces, standards, policies, and tools. Some of the common challenges of multi-cloud management are:
- Security and compliance: You have to ensure that your data and applications are secure and compliant across multiple clouds, which may have different security models, protocols, certifications, and regulations. You also have to monitor and respond to security incidents or threats that may affect one or more of your clouds.
- Deployment and orchestration: You have to deploy and orchestrate your applications and workloads across multiple clouds in a consistent and efficient manner. You also have to manage the dependencies, configurations, versions, updates, patches, backups, restores, migrations, scaling, load balancing, failover, recovery, etc., of your multi-cloud resources.
- Monitoring and optimization: You have to monitor the performance, availability, health, usage, cost, etc., of your multi-cloud resources and optimize them according to your business goals and service level agreements (SLAs). You also have to troubleshoot any issues or problems that may arise in your multi-cloud environment.
To overcome these challenges, you need to adopt some best practices and tools for managing multi-cloud environments. Some of these are:
- Use open-source technologies: Open-source technologies are software or hardware that are developed by communities of developers who share their code freely with anyone who wants to use or modify it. Open-source technologies are usually compatible with multiple cloud platforms because they follow common standards and protocols. They also offer more flexibility, customization, and innovation than proprietary technologies. Some examples of open-source technologies that are widely used in multi-cloud environments are Kubernetes, which is a platform for managing containerized applications across multiple clouds; Apache Spark, which is a framework for processing large-scale data across multiple clouds; TensorFlow, which is a library for building AI and ML models across multiple clouds; etc.
- Use multicloud solutions: Multicloud solutions are software or hardware that are designed to help you manage your multicloud environment as if it were a single cloud. Multicloud solutions usually provide capabilities such as portability , which allows you to move your applications and data across different clouds without changing them; interoperability , which allows you to communicate and integrate your applications and data across different clouds; governance , which allows you to enforce consistent policies and rules across your multicloud resources; visibility , which allows you to see and control your multicloud resources from a single dashboard or console; etc. Some examples of multicloud solutions that are offered by cloud providers or cloud solution providers are Anthos , which is Google Cloud’s managed hybrid and multicloud platform; IBM Cloud Pak , which is IBM’s suite of cloud-native solutions for multicloud management; VMware Cloud , which is VMware’s platform for delivering consistent infrastructure and operations across multiple clouds; etc.
- Use multicloud experts: Multicloud experts are professionals who have the skills and experience to help you plan, design, implement, operate, and optimize your multicloud environment. Multicloud experts can help you with tasks such as selecting the best cloud services for your needs, migrating your applications and data to the cloud, configuring and securing your multicloud resources, monitoring and optimizing your multicloud performance and cost, resolving any issues or problems in your multicloud environment, etc. You can find multicloud experts from various sources, such as cloud providers, cloud solution providers, cloud consulting firms, cloud training and certification programs, online communities and forums, etc.
Multicloud is a powerful strategy that can help you leverage the benefits of multiple cloud providers for your business. However, managing multicloud environments can be complex and challenging without the right practices and tools. By using open-source technologies, multicloud solutions, and multicloud experts, you can simplify and streamline your multicloud management and achieve your business goals.