Be Smart About Multicloud Choices to Get the Multicloud Benefits
Multicloud is an effective strategy, but businesses need to be smart about how they implement and manage it in order to achieve the desired benefits. The accidental multicloud infrastructure some organizations end up with from haphazardly making cloud choices are far different from deliberately constructed multicloud environments based on sound technical planning.
Before considering how to use multicloud effectively, it’s worth taking a minute to think about why you would want to. After all, cloud is a big undertaking on its own, and introducing multiple cloud providers adds complexity and potentially additional cost. So why would you opt for multicloud?
The potential benefits include:
- Best-in-class technology. When you have multiple cloud providers, you can choose the environment that best meets the need of each individual workload.
- Increase disaster readiness. Cloud comes with high availability built-in, but even cloud providers have access. If you have workloads deployed with multiple cloud providers, an outage with one provider doesn’t shut down your business.
- Decreased vendor lock-in. Multiple cloud environments that can run your workloads mean you aren’t tied to any one vendor. If their costs go up or their quality of service goes down, you’ll have an easier time shifting away from them.
- Improved data management. With multiple clouds, you have greater capability to control your data and ensure you meet data sovereignty and compliance requirements. You can also fine-tune data and workload locations to keep them close to their users and provide better performance.
- Greater cost control. Using multiple clouds allows you to choose the lowest-cost option that can meet your technology needs. This may not be the same provider for every workload.
Develop a Multicloud Strategy
The key to getting those benefits from multicloud is to know your goals and plan how you intend to use it.
There are two basic ways to use a multicloud environment:
- Best-in class technology. With this approach, you opt for distributed cloud workloads where each component is deployed to the cloud that provides the best or most cost-effective technical solution.
- Disaster recovery. In this approach, the multicloud environments are exact copies, to the extent the technology supports that. The environments may be used for load balancing during routine operations and provide redundancy that ensure you can continue operations if a cloud provider has an outage.
Multicloud Management Challenges
Whichever goal you have for your multicloud environment, managing multiple clouds requires overcoming these challenges:
- Multiple management portals. Every cloud provider has their own portal and they can provide a view only of their own instances. You likely need a third-party tool to provide a consolidated view.
- Multiple skills required. Every cloud is different and requires a different set of skills. Because cloud is still new to most organizations, ensuring an appropriate level of knowledge across multiple platforms is difficult.
- More security and compliance risks. Because each cloud provider is different, ensuring standards and policies are consistently applied is difficult.
- More spending. When your cloud requirements are split across multiple vendors, so is your spending. It’s difficult to get a consolidated picture of what’s going on and to confirm that you are spending effectively.