Managing the Multicloud
Organizations across the globe are embracing digital transformation while modernising their business processes and optimising IT infrastructures. It brings technologies like cloud computing to the forefront in addition to their automation, orchestration and data analytics. But as organizations move from static, on-premise infrastructure to dynamic cloud services and hybrid infrastructures, they face several challenges on the way that must be addressed by the IT operators, networking teams, security teams, and developers. With this blog, we will take a deeper insight into some of the major challenges faced while adopting or managing multi-cloud and how organizations can manage it efficiently. Let’s get started!
Re-Platforming: Technology re-platforming is a major challenge for multi-cloud adoption. Traditional data centres used to be largely homogeneous just like heavy open source with OpenStack, or more of a proprietary platform with VMware. But these days, we see a lot of standardization around a single platform within the private data centre. Each of these platforms is API-driven and has a different set of APIs which makes it hard to dictate to your cloud vendors since there’s no standardization as such.
Moving to Self-Service: Most organizations are not actually empowered enough to adopt multi-cloud. It takes a lot of effort right from filing a ticket to waiting and then orchestrating across many different groups. But how does one can empower the end development teams so that they can deliver their applications without necessarily waiting weeks to months? It’s equally important to think about the key personas involved in this transition.
The Lifecycle of Provisioning in the Hybrid Cloud: When you think of provisioning infrastructure, it’s easy to only think about it in the Day 1 context I.e., you don’t have anything running, you want to provision and have your initial set of VMs or servers or containers running. But provisioning needs the full lifecycle — it’s not just the Day 1 provisioning but it’s the Day 2 patching, Day 2 upgrade, scale-up, scale down, and deploying new versions. And finally, decommissioning on Day N. Hence, it’s the full lifecycle when we talk about provisioning.
The Challenge of Securing Infrastructure: Security teams experience constant pressure to secure all of their infrastructures that have multiple different layers. The underlying infrastructure has access to your VMs and databases in addition to higher-level applications. Organizations need to focus on how to provide credentials like database, username, password, API tokens, and certificates to the apps themselves. Also, check if your application needs to encrypt data, certificates or any way of managing data at rest while managing data at transit.
Multicloud Cost Management: Organizations using multiple clouds find it difficult to put a cap on costs as cloud pricing is complex and fast-changing. Also, the billing models vary between cloud platforms. Still, cloud services are easily accessed and provisioned, mostly by business units acting independently or the IT department. This particular combination can result in unexpected and uncontrolled costs.
Leading public cloud providers i.e., Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform offer native tools that can be used to manage costs. These tools can also suit organisations looking to limit themselves to one public cloud platform. But most people prefer third-party tools as they potentially do a better job of multi-cloud cost management.
Which Features to Consider While Managing the Multi-Cloud Platform?
Service Provisioning: The platform you choose must be capable of launching and allocating cloud services on demand. Not only this, but it’s equally important that the tool translates a provisioning request either from the console or an API while further translating it into the target cloud’s cloud-native API within the multi-cloud architecture. It will help the users get the best of services from your application.
Service Monitoring: A CMP should be able to measure and visualize applications and network-layer performances between all types of clouds i.e., hybrid cloud, private cloud, and public cloud services. It includes various processes such as reporting occurrences to determine the future use of that service, reliability, cost metrics, etc. It will help your organization to understand how to utilize various cloud services.
Service Performance: The feature to monitor service performance and then logging the resulting data also plays an important role while managing the multi-cloud. They can be blacklisted until the issues have been resolved if you have poor-performing services. It will help you understand how to prioritize your services better.
Service Governance/Policy: Service governance is the functionality to define and leverage policies around the use and execution of any service. This functionality will provide you with a deeper insight into how well equipped a cloud service is and what applications are best suited to its services. Hence, service governance is an audit of the many services that your multi-cloud environment offers.
Organizations need a robust multi-cloud management platform to automate tasks and optimize costs. The adoption of these platforms among end-users is driven by the rising need for various applications. And having a comprehensive multi-cloud management platform on your side, allows you to significantly reduce your dependency on a single provider while utilizing the best of cloud services.
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