Supporting a Multi-cloud Strategy: Key Considerations

Published on July 14, 2021 by

Andrew Sweeney

2020 saw growth in investment in cloud infrastructure as it overtook on-prem spending for the first time. It also saw the rising appeal of a multi-cloud strategy as adoption grew 70% year-on-year, perhaps driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire to make resources available for an ever-more distributed workforce.

Why choose a multi-cloud strategy?

A multi-cloud environment refers to placing applications and workloads with more than one public cloud service provider (CSP) rather than leveraging private (either on-prem or in a co-location structure) and public cloud facilities – known as the hybrid cloud.

Enterprises choose to distribute their applications and workloads among multiple CSPs for a number of reasons:

  • Agility: Having a multi-cloud vendor strategy avoids enterprises being locked-in to one CSP, so they can quickly move to other providers to take advantage of better cost structures or capabilities. It also allows them to choose CSPs that best-fit their unique and varied needs including availability, performance, regulatory requirements, and more.
  • Optimize Workloads: Today’s applications are able to span multiple CSPs and consume services across multiple clouds, so enterprises can optimize workloads between those environments.
  • Ownership: Some enterprises may feel that by working with one CSP, they are losing some control, but by working with many, no single CSP is managing their resources and they therefore retain operational control. It may be that governance policies dictate that they must operate in a multi-cloud environment for this reason.
  • Resilience and availability: Enterprises can incorporate a disaster recovery plan by making sure their data is backed up by more than one CSP and, as a result, ensure end users and business applications always have access, even if there are issues with one CSP.
  • Performance: Enterprises may choose a variety of CSPs purely based on their geographical proximity to their customers and users for latency reasons.

While a multi-cloud structure sounds appealing, you should be aware of all the pitfalls that you will have to navigate if you choose to adopt this strategy. There are challenges associated with any data center move and migration to the cloud adds even greater complexity.

Barriers to adopting a multi-cloud environment

It’s going to take a lot of time of multiple team members to get up to speed on managing resources across a hybrid private and public cloud so moving to a multi-cloud environment could stretch resources to the breaking point.

  • Lack of visibility: While multi-cloud offers agility and cost advantages, it also means that teams need to track assets across multiple environments. You can leverage cloud management tools, but you’ll need to find a way to continually monitor and combine all that information into a centralized view.
  • Optimization: To fully leverage the capabilities of a multi-cloud strategy and optimize the placement of applications and workloads, you need to fully understand dependencies. In such a dynamic environment that requires pulling together all the information from your cloud management tools as an ongoing process.

IT infrastructure teams traditionally rely on manual processes to manage their IT environment. This means that most don’t have a clear view of all their users, infrastructure, systems and applications or the interactions and dependencies between them, at any given time across their on-prem infrastructure. Optimizing workloads between on-prem and the public cloud adds complexity, and a multi-cloud structure massively increases that complexity!

The reason? It takes time for teams to manually pull reports from multiple systems, tools and databases and combine them into a single view. By the time it’s complete, the information is already out of date. And it’s more than likely going to contain errors! To make informed decisions, teams need to collect and analyze this information constantly, and most IT organizations simply don’t have the time, resources or budget to do this.

In order to simplify this process, enterprises need to find a way to leverage common tools that allow them to easily see and manage workloads across any cloud environment. And there is a way to do this – and that involves cutting out the manual processes.

Leverage automation to cut through multi-cloud complexity

Leveraging ReadyWorks you could slash 50% or more manual repetitive tasks associated with placing and managing workloads and applications in a multi-cloud environment. ReadyWorks does this by:

  • Connecting to all your systems, databases and tools (including your cloud management tools) and analyzing data in real time in a single, centralized view.
  • Allowing you to clearly see and map interdependencies so you can understand what needs to be replicated in the cloud and as a result, allowing you to make the best decisions on where those resources should be placed.
  • Enabling you to orchestrate tools and leverage automatic runbooks to move workloads from one cloud or CSP to another giving your greater agility.
  • Providing dashboards to allow you to compile reports based on real-time information.

Schedule a demo to understand how ReadyWorks can eliminate the risks and cut the time of your migration to a multi-cloud environment by 30% or more.