As cloud adoption is ever-increasing, it is becoming increasingly risky for businesses to host all of their applications and data on a single cloud provider. Risks can be mitigated through multicloud deployment, which distributes resources across multiple cloud providers.
What is a multicloud deployment?
Multicloud refers to a deployment that depends on cloud services provided by two or more cloud providers. This involves having workloads in multiple cloud providers.
Multicloud deployments also involve a calculated approach to designing and deploying resources to ensure that application architecture and the strengths of potential infrastructure vendors are complementary.
SEE: Multicloud Explained: A Cheat Sheet (TechRepublic)
Benefits of Multicloud Deployment
One of the main benefits of a multicloud deployment approach is that it ensures that critical services do not experience outages when a cloud provider experiences an outage. Such resiliency is crucial for systems and applications that need to serve end users around the clock.
The needs of today’s businesses are constantly changing. Multicloud deployments allow organizations to remain flexible and agile in the face of constant and rapid change. It also allows organizations to meet different data needs and ensure that data is available.
Organizational IT compliance requirements in the areas of privacy and data sovereignty often vary. When dealing with data that involves strict data security measures, multicloud deployments allow organizations to store sensitive data in a hardened private cloud and control how public cloud environments query it.
Avoid vendor lock-in
Multicloud deployments allow businesses to not be tied to a single vendor, as the alignment between a vendor and a business can change over time. Misalignment can lead to increased costs and inefficient service delivery. Also, switching providers due to this misalignment can be costly and time-consuming. Multicloud environments limit organizations’ exposure to vendor lock-in.
Multicloud deployments can provide an organization with the means to optimize the costs of cloud technologies and the reliability of workloads. Because cloud providers vary in offering and cost, organizations can choose providers that cost-effectively align with their strategic initiatives.
Disadvantages of Multicloud Deployment
A single cloud provider can introduce a steep learning curve for teams due to the processes and systems IT teams need to learn in addition to the familiarity with the services these providers introduce. Now consider the impact of adopting more vendors. It can be difficult to ensure that teams remain competent in all environments.
Overall, cost proves to be a challenge for multicloud deployments. Additional cost is generated by the additional traffic and management layer between cloud environments. Unnecessary expenses can arise when organizations fail to grasp cost differences between cloud providers.
Additionally, the cost of hiring and training staff for all cloud environments and the cost of idle resources that can go unnoticed in complex cloud environments show that costs can easily spiral out of control without proper management and oversight.
Considerations for Multicloud Deployment
A number of considerations must be made for a successful multicloud deployment. These include infrastructure, operations and applications.
A multicloud deployment plan should be specific to the target infrastructure based on the current and future needs of different stakeholders. The plan should also consider the impact of advanced technologies such as software-defined infrastructure, virtualization, etc.
The deployment plan should consider a multicloud deployment that supports these advanced infrastructure technologies in complex hybrid and multicloud environments. It is also crucial to determine how required data format conversions will be performed when moving data across public cloud and on-premises environments. This consideration always applies to the transit of data between different cloud providers.
It’s also important to consider whether a potential multicloud deployment supports infrastructure self-provisioning as much as possible. These include infrastructure-as-code (IAC) models, especially since cloud vendor IAC tools are vendor-specific and often difficult to manage in multicloud environments.
Finally, data stored in containerized environments must be properly managed and secured. Containerized environments benefit multicloud environments because they run code the same way regardless of the deployment infrastructure.
A multicloud deployment plan should address a number of operational issues. There needs to be an understanding of the impact of the deployment on the IT landscape and where new roles may need to be established.
For example, business relationship management roles may need to be introduced to ensure that business needs and IT services work in harmony. These roles should also be created with multi-cloud security and access control in mind.
One of the biggest challenges facing multicloud deployments is cost management. Therefore, the deployment plan should incorporate a cost management process to manage both current and future sizing.
It should also be easy to move data from one cloud to another when needed. Users should consider multicloud deployment tools that address data replication and synchronization and multicloud data transfer in a cost-effective manner.
Organizations should also consider multicloud deployment tools that manage and deploy the entire data fabric from a unified dashboard to provide transparency across the spectrum of multicloud end users. This transparency should also cover billing and pricing models for these end users.
For an effective multicloud application deployment, teams should assess which applications and workloads are best suited for specific cloud platforms. This can be determined by the availability of specialized computing, the ease of integrating a cloud provider’s services and resources with other cloud environments, and the geographic locations of the provider’s data centers.
Securing and protecting data should be a priority, as data security is one of the biggest challenges in multicloud deployments. The deployment of multi-cloud applications should be complemented with effective authorization and authentication features to secure data.
Encrypting data at rest and data in transit is one of the approaches that could be taken to securing data. Additionally, this data should be protected from corruption and loss and should be considered in a multicloud deployment plan.
Additionally, standardization and coordination of development stacks across multiple clouds should be considered to ensure consistent and interchangeable deployments across multiple clouds. Considering continuous integration and continuous delivery solutions for multicloud environments can ease the transition to multicloud environments and make multicloud application deployment more consistent and manageable.
SEE: iCloud vs. OneDrive: Which is better for Mac, iPad, and iPhone users? (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Flexera Cloud Management Platform
Flexera is a cloud management tool with a wide range of discovery, operational monitoring, management, governance, model-based provisioning, orchestration and automation, and cost optimization in multi-cloud environments and virtual servers and bare metal. It is suitable for, but not limited to, small and medium-sized businesses that need a powerful orchestration engine and workflow automation capabilities.
VMware’s multicloud solutions offer businesses the ability to seamlessly migrate to the cloud without having to recode their applications. They allow them to modernize their infrastructure and operate consistently across multicloud, data center, and edge environments. VMware offers many multicloud products, including VMware Cloud Foundation, Tanzu, Cloud on AWS, vRealize Cloud Management, CloudHealth by VMware Suite, and many more.
Azure Arc extends the Azure platform to enable users to build applications and services that can run flexibly in multicloud, edge, and data center environments. Arc runs on new and legacy hardware, embedded systems, IoT devices, and Kubernetes and virtualization platforms.
Nutanix Cloud Manager Cost Governance
Formerly known as Nutanix Beam, Nutanix Cloud Manager Cost Governance is a cloud management platform that gives organizations visibility into cloud consumption patterns and provides solutions for cost management and security optimization . Nutanix Cloud Manager Cost Governance also simplifies and drives multicloud governance. Cloud teams looking for insight into their spend will find great value in this tool.
Mist is an open source multicloud management platform aimed at simplifying multicloud and providing a unified interface for multicloud management. Mist supports all relevant infrastructure technologies such as private and public clouds, containers, bare metal servers and hypervisors.
Deciding whether or not to move to multicloud
Organizations should keep an eye on multicloud if they’re looking for options that single vendors don’t offer. If you are interested in flexibility, resiliency, and control of applications and data, you should consider a multicloud deployment. However, since multicloud deployments are large-scale transformation efforts for any business, the deployment plan should be executed in an agile manner.