Multi-cloud architectures that use a combination of public, private, and hybrid cloud services can be a smart, innovative, and economic investment strategy for businesses and organizations. Multi-cloud management — the strategic distribution of cloud management tasks between a number of different providers — can help improve efficiencies, leverage the economies of scale, and shore up the resilience of the virtual infrastructure. Businesses looking to implement a multi-cloud strategy need to understand what is multi-cloud management and why they need it.
What Is Multi-Cloud Management?
In multi-cloud environments, managing applications and workloads across different public clouds require special attention because each environment has unique characteristics. A multi-cloud management solution lets IT managers control their various cloud environments from a single interface, supporting different cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc., as well as newer technologies, like Kubernetes.
By using multiple vendors for different services, organizations benefit from their respective strengths; they enable optimizations across clouds by using resources most efficiently; they help avoid lock-in issues by not relying on just one service. As organizations use more cloud providers, they face more significant challenges managing their clouds. A multi-cloud management strategy seeks to provide a single unified interface for managing multiple cloud services.
Containers and Kubernetes are essential technologies for managing multiple cloud environments. By bundling up apps, their dependencies, and required services into lightweight packages, containers make it easier for developers to create applications that are deployable on any cloud. Kubernetes make it possible for containers to be effectively managed, deployed, and automated.
What Are the Benefits of Multi-Cloud Management?
The average person uses thirty-six cloud-based services a day, which isn't surprising since 67% of enterprise infrastructure is cloud-based. Since 81% of all enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, either implemented or in the works, it's clear that multi-cloud is a growing trend.
Effective multi-cloud services simplify the deployment and operation of applications and databases across a number of cloud providers. They do this by acting as a broker between cloud users and providers to improve the visibility of cloud resources, reduce administrative tasks, and optimize IT resources. With a multi-cloud service provider, organizations see the benefits of multi-cloud deployment without the complexity by:
Reducing Strain on IT Resources
A multi-cloud management solution allows IT teams to centrally manage their applications and workloads across different public/private clouds.
Without a solution for managing workloads across the various multi-cloud environments, it is nearly impossible to efficiently and effectively manage them. In addition to offering centralized control for managing multiple clouds, an excellent multi-cloud management solution provides visibility into each cloud so that business owners can see which services are working well and where they need improvement.
Keeping security policies consistent across cloud providers is a challenge, and the complexity of a multi-cloud environment can add to security weaknesses and increase the attack surface. Managed approaches allow IT departments to address any potential security threats before they become an issue for their organization. Furthermore, the best multi-cloud management platforms offer features like security monitoring and automated enforcement of security policies, which significantly lowers the difficulty of maintaining an effective multi-cloud security posture.
It's not always easy planning for a multi-cloud strategy. Traditional companies often face challenges when using existing technology infrastructure for their business operations. Cloud computing has become an integral part of today's IT infrastructure. Therefore, a multi-cloud management solution is essential if businesses want to implement a multi-cloud strategy. With the right solution, companies can achieve complete flexibility and workload mobility across different clouds, storage systems, and hypervisor environments.
Many business owners use multiple clouds for their applications because they want access to the benefits each offers, such as lower prices. However, managing an application across several clouds can be complicated, which means it's important to keep tabs on total costs. Multi-cloud management helps businesses keep track of use and costs and can even use intelligent data analysis to optimize costs.
In addition to providing redundancy for its cloud services, a multi-cloud arrangement can offer companies protection against disasters such as outages, fires, floods, etc., because they're able to use multiple clouds instead of relying solely on one single provider. By adding a multi-cloud component to your DR plan, you provide yourself with greater levels of reliability and security because you're able to replicate your resources in another location if something goes wrong.
One of the many benefits companies look for when pursuing a multi-cloud strategy is availability. However, to truly take advantage of multiple cloud environments, IT teams must be able to replicate and seamlessly move workloads between environments, should one environment fail. Effective multi-cloud management allows that to happen.
Guide to Multi-Cloud Management
There are a number of multi-cloud management solutions and strategies, but the most successful ones have quite a few common features. Hands down, the most powerful commonality is compatibility with containers. This enables workloads to be easily moved across multiple cloud providers than virtual machines. Therefore, a solution that supports containers and Kubernetes is essential for robust multi-cloud management.
Another critical feature of effective multi-cloud management is automation. This lets IT teams deploy, monitor, and secure applications reliably and quickly. It also allows them to scale operations without becoming overwhelmed. Automation can help businesses manage the complexity of multi-cloud environments.
Challenges of a Multi-Cloud Approach
Although the multi-cloud approach has definite benefits, it can be challenging to implement. Potential roadblocks and how multi-cloud management addresses them include:
Increased complexity: A multi-cloud environment is inherently more complex than single cloud deployments, so it may take some time to understand its complexities and develop a strategy for managing them effectively. A multi-cloud management solution addresses this most fundamental challenge of using multiple clouds by allowing administrators to manage them from a single console.
Integration between different software environments: In order to manage multiple cloud competing services effectively, businesses must create applications that can easily move through environments without integration issues. This is a challenging task considering the differences found on each cloud platform. As previously mentioned, containers are the latest technology designed to get around this challenge, offering better portability between public cloud providers.
Multi-Cloud Services from Flagler Technologies
Businesses are under competitive pressure to offer services across multi-cloud, multi-device, and multi-channel environments with high accuracy and speed and at the lowest cost. Developing a multi-cloud approach can hugely benefit many businesses that depend on the cloud for vital pieces of their IT infrastructure. With new solutions for multi-cloud management strategies continuously being developed, businesses have to make sure they are getting the ideal capabilities across storage, security, networking, application deployment, and management platforms.
And although gaining in popularity and becoming increasingly common, multi-cloud deployments are still relatively new. The tools and best practices for managing multiple public clouds at the same time are still developing. And while it is possible for an internal IT team to manage each public cloud separately, this can be time-consuming and is not an ideal situation. They will need a multi-cloud management solution, which augments reliability and enhances essential business capabilities.
Multi-cloud management is the framework that aligns any modernization strategy and positions businesses at the hub of the digital future. Flagler Technologies can simplify many aspects of multi-cloud management to help businesses overcome the significant challenges of a multi-cloud strategy. If your business is looking to deploy a multi-cloud strategy for your business, contact Flagler Technologies to learn more about how multi-cloud management or any other cloud services can benefit your business.