From large enterprises to startups, businesses of all sizes have adopted cloud computing because of the substantial benefits that help their businesses operate from almost any location globally. Cloud assets, applications, software, and more are often distributed across several cloud environments. Multi-cloud environments use multiple cloud computing and storage services as one network architecture. A typical multi-cloud architecture uses two or more public clouds and private clouds to create an environment that eliminates the reliance on any one cloud provider.
With a typical multi-cloud infrastructure consisting of two or more public clouds and private clouds, in some cases, a multi-cloud environment eliminates the reliance on any individual cloud provider or instance. This distribution of computing resources minimizes the risk of data loss and downtime and increased storage and computing power.
However, each cloud vendor has its own set of resources, rules, and customer needs, making a multi-cloud environment a dynamic amalgamation of many different environments, resulting in instability, chaos, and spiraling costs. This is where multi-cloud management comes in.
What Is Multi-cloud Management
Multi-cloud management comprises a set of procedures and tools that let businesses monitor and secure applications and workloads using multiple public clouds. An ideal multi-cloud solution will have a single interface and support multiple cloud platforms and new tools such as Kubernetes.
As mentioned, the beauty of using several cloud services providers is that an organization can benefit from each provider's strengths while optimizing cloud usage and costs. But this is also a challenge since the more providers a business uses, the task of managing them becomes more complex. Multi-cloud management solutions and strategies are used to streamline and simplify management by offering a centralized platform that integrates with other technologies and tools.
Things You Need to Understand about Multi-cloud Management
If your organization operates in a multi-cloud environment or is considering using one, there are five key issues to understand: performance, security, visibility, automation, and cost.
The more platforms that make up a business's information system, the more challenging it is to monitor how they perform and resolve any performance issues before affecting the customer experience or productivity. A well-put-together multi-cloud management solution should let businesses easily keep tabs on and manage performance in virtual, physical, and cloud environments such as mobile, web, and on-premises applications.
Reliable availability is one of the many reasons organizations use a multi-cloud strategy. Workloads need to be duplicated and seamlessly migrated if one environment fails to fully realize this benefit and other benefits of a multi-cloud environment. An effective multi-cloud management solution will handle this with no interruption to the business or productivity.
It can be challenging to keep security policies consistent when using more than one cloud provider. And the complexity of a multi-cloud environment can lead to security gaps and leave businesses more vulnerable to attacks. A traditional approach to security and compliance may come up short in a multi-cloud environment, or security may be ignored in the push to implement new applications. A managed approach handles potential security holes proactively instead of reactively.
In addition, cloud management services offer features such as automation and security monitoring. This includes the ability to enact security policies throughout the platform, significantly reducing the challenges of keeping the cloud infrastructure secure. This not only reduces security breaches but lowers the cost of patching them and the cost of compliance.
When an organization uses many different information systems, they often need to share data. Many public and private cloud environments have non-standard or limited communications protocols. As multi-cloud environments become more complex, keeping track of their locations and co-dependencies becomes more challenging. It is virtually impossible to manually address all these challenges at the scale common to many organizations.
Without a multi-cloud management solution, it is hard to keep tabs on workloads and know what is running if the multi-cloud environment encompasses multiple cloud providers. A multi-cloud management solution will provide visibility throughout the entire multi-cloud environment so that organizations get the benefits they expect.
If multi-cloud environments seem like they have a lot of moving parts, that's because they do. And while they offer many benefits, they can make job and workflow scheduling and the development of new services and applications more complex than they already are. A multi-cloud management solution can automate these activities and apply batch processes across essential business applications to make sure complex workflows are processed and completed on schedule.
A significant benefit of cloud platforms is the ability they give businesses to easily scale their use — up or down as needed — so they only pay for what they need. Companies can also take advantage of cost savings and discounts offered by different cloud providers. However, it is easy to lose track of costs as the environment increases in complexity.
Added to this, accurate forecasting of capacity requirements and choosing the pricing options that are most cost-effective for your business and its requirements is also a challenge. Mixing and matching vendors increase this challenge. Multi-cloud management helps companies keep track of usage and costs and use intelligent data analysis to lower costs.
A multi-cloud operating environment offers businesses the flexibility to tailor information systems to their business's unique needs. However, these environments require oversight and management to achieve optimal results.
Challenges of Multi-cloud Management
Even though multi-cloud management has numerous benefits, it can be a challenge to implement. Below are some of the possible roadblocks to implementing a cloud management solution.
Increased complexity is the most fundamental challenge of taking a multi-cloud approach and one that multi-cloud management addresses explicitly. But because these environments are so complex, it can be challenging to understand the complexity so that an effective management solution can be implemented.
Integration between Different Software Environments
If multi-cloud management is effective, businesses must have applications that can easily move across environments without causing integration issues. This is a challenging task due to the differences between cloud platforms. However, new technologies such as containers help get around this challenge and offer easier portability between public cloud providers.
What Multi-cloud Management Services Entail
An increasing number of businesses use multiple public service provider or a hybrid system that includes public and private providers. The approach reduces dependency on any single provider and lets businesses leverage the strengths of each provider as well as optimize usage and costs.
Using a multi-cloud strategy for your business has a lot of advantages, but it adds an extra layer of management complexity. A multi-cloud strategy gives businesses more flexibility, agility, and choice but can be challenging and complex to manage. And if multi-cloud adoption is done in an ad hoc manner instead of a planned one, the complexities are even more significant and more problematic. This is where multi-cloud management services come in, especially for small and mid-sized businesses.
Key benefits of a multi-cloud management service include:
Less unplanned downtime
Improved global agility
Simplified management and higher network capacity at a lower cost
Improved alignment between IT and the business environment
Multi-cloud management services enable businesses to use multiple public clouds from many different vendors for their IT needs.
A multi-cloud management service provides:
Application dependency mapping
Workload migration and planning: I/Oo footprint and cost analysis
Cloud application security
Hybrid/multi-cloud disaster recovery
Backup to the cloud for on-prem or in-cloud workloads
Application rationalization and refactoring
Simplify multi-cloud operations
Cloud recurring billing portal and instance optimization reporting
If you plan to move your business to the cloud or are looking for new multi-cloud management service, you've come to the right place. We handle everything from the initial strategy to building your cloud infrastructure from the ground up if needed. Contact Flagler Technologies to discuss your business needs and how we can help.