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Multi-Cloud: 6 Steps To A More Efficient IT Environment

Multi-Cloud: When people talk about cloud computing, the IT sky is more overcast than blue in summer. There is hardly a company today, that does not rely on the multi-cloud or has taken the first steps behind it. According to the Rights Cale 2019 State of the Cloud Report, 94 per cent of the companies surveyed use the cloud. Sixty-nine per cent pursue hybrid approaches and use both private and public clouds.

Large companies, in particular, rely on the multi-cloud, with the proportion of hybrid clouds (combination of public and private clouds) growing at 58 per cent. This development inevitably also drives up costs. estimates that spending on cloud infrastructures as a service will more than double between 2018 and 2021, rising from 43.7 billion US dollars in 2018 to 89.5 billion US dollars by 20211.

Multi-Cloud: Define Objectives In Advance

Anyone who clearly defines why the path to the cloud is necessary for their own company has already taken what is perhaps the most important step. If the express goal is rapid application deployment, companies should define budget quotas and security rules. This is the only way they can automatically provide the majority of inquiries, on average over 80 per cent, in a few minutes. If the multi-cloud strategy improves IT efficiency and reduces infrastructure costs, it is worth using public clouds for workloads that can be expanded or reduced as required.

Whatever the actual goal, companies should think carefully about the core areas in which the cloud can provide them with added value. It can be said that cloud computing offers companies significantly more flexibility to adapt more quickly to changing business environments or new market segments. Vendor loyalty is also important here. Companies need a certain amount of leeway to take advantage of prices, discounts, functions or service levels. Restricting yourself to the native services of a single service provider is only recommended if a migration strategy is in place that takes into account the problem-free change to another provider.  

Use The Cloud Portfolio As Desired

On average, a company operates around five clouds, in which the majority of the workloads run. Applications do not necessarily have to be ported across all clouds. The selection of applications based on the “lowest common denominator” principle, in which only services are used that are identical in every cloud, is by no means a reality. When it comes to portability, the multi-cloud offers different approaches.

Portable apps, for example, are developed based on a templating approach and can thus be operated in a certain set of clouds. If native cloud services are to be used in parallel, the respective applications and the deployment orchestration for each specified cloud can be mapped to suitable comparable services. This has considerable advantages, for example, for large batches or workloads that run much more cheaply in the cloud. Some companies can also use containers like Docker for ease of portability.

Safely Avoid The Pitfalls Of The Multi-Cloud

Three of the most common stumbling blocks to the cloud are governance, costs, and IT culture. Public clouds require smooth governance that integrates and automates the necessary controls. IT teams can then provide cloud resources just as quickly as cloud providers offer them. Smooth governance combined with automation can ensure that employees receive fully configured stacks or applications in public or private clouds even faster. This not only brings agility but can also be an effective weapon in the fight against shadow IT.

Unfortunately, the agility of the cloud often costs companies dearly. If there are no governance processes, unnecessary cloud expenditures can only be discovered late or not at all. The cloud is more cost-effective with variable costs and monthly billing cycles if appropriate management processes are established. Automated solutions for optimizing benefits and costs direct the various expenses in the multi-cloud into controllable channels.

Competencies For The Multi-Cloud Strategy

Multi-cloud and cloud cannot be lumped together. Companies that use multiple cloud providers are therefore required to develop new skills in terms of architecture, governance, and development and orchestration. The complexity increases significantly. For example, managing the costs of a multi-cloud strategy requires more data than any other type of IT expense. A single monthly bill from a cloud provider can have millions of line items, with each provider having tens of thousands of SKUs. Prices not only differ from provider to provider but can also change very quickly. Only very few succeed in fully exploiting the various promotional prices from cloud providers.

Multi-Cloud: Rethinking The Company Structure

“VP of Cloud”, cloud team or cloud competence center – regardless of the title, companies are well-advised to introduce a contact point for the definition and implementation of cloud guidelines that also keeps an eye on cost management between teams and business units. Cloud governance activities come and fall with the involvement of many business units and teams so that executives must intervene to help set, approve and communicate the appropriate priorities.

Cloud architects are also required for the strategic alignment and use of the cloud. You are responsible for defining and developing cloud processes and architectures and acting as a contact point for coordination and cooperation in cloud decisions.

Automate Multi-Cloud Via The Cloud Management Platform

Cloud management platforms (CMP) are an important basic technology for better managing multi-cloud environments. CMPs help to create virtualized environments in the cloud and create a central overview for clouds as well as virtual and bare metal servers, support container usage, determine cloud resources, and simplify multi-cloud brokering. There are several criteria to consider when choosing a suitable platform: The CMP should not prevent companies from accessing the native services of a cloud provider. Rather, the goal is to provide an expandable approach – regardless of whether the applications come from cloud providers or third-party providers. It should also support the management of workloads,

No matter what phase of the transition to the cloud companies, it is important to implement the multi-cloud in a concrete plan. Only in this way can the growing challenges of a multi-cloud environment be mastered and converted into a real competitive advantage. 

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