It surely must have happened to you more than a few times that you heard an expert say that “multi-cloud is the future” and that “it can bring virtually any company plenty of benefits”. And who knows, maybe your business already belongs to the 90% of large organizations that have built and use a multi-cloud architecture.
No matter if you’re part of this group or you are about to step into the multi-cloud world for the first time, what you need to build is a sound, future-proof multi-cloud strategy. Why? Because if you won’t, managing multiple clouds will be a real pain in the neck and you will spend more time trying to solve your IT problems than actually reaping the benefits.
Our goal with this article is to show you that you can build a flawless multi-cloud management strategy with ease if you follow a few crucial tips. But for that, we need to start with the basics and then progress gradually to more complex concepts.
What is the Multi-Cloud model?
Multi-cloud refers to an approach where a company uses several cloud computing products or services provided by multiple vendors to host its data, business applications, or entire IT infrastructure. Thus, a multi-cloud environment can consist of at least two private clouds, at least two public, or be a mixture of private, public, and hybrid clouds.
Why Adopt a Multi-Cloud Approach?
Basically, the goal is to spread the workload across a number of cloud so that your company can improve business performance and avoid the risk of being dependable on just one cloud solution (reduce the likelihood of downtime or losing data). But that’s not all!
Going multi-cloud also means that you can choose the best bits and pieces of the best clouds available on the market and thus create the ultimate IT infrastructure for your company. You don’t have to be limited by just one technology. This is why multi-cloud is said to be a major driving force of growth – as it can provide you with all the tools you need to succeed.
Of course, building an IT environment using various clouds results in reduced costs as well, as in this scenario, not only are you paying only for those elements that you’re actually using, but you are also allowed to mix and match clouds to your liking and thus create a combination that is both powerful and affordable.
Sounds wonderful, right? And it is – provided that you know how to take care of the clouds you use and how to make them work in unison. This is where the multi-cloud management strategy enters the conversation.
What is a Multi-Cloud Management Strategy Exactly?
Overall, a multi-cloud management strategy, as the name suggests, is about having the right tools and well-established procedures that will allow you to monitor and manage all clouds in your IT ecosystem efficiently and effectively.
Creating a successful multi-cloud strategy involves assigning a group of IT professionals – in-house or external – to oversee your multi-cloud infrastructure 24/7, define and execute proper security protocols, define format for storage and networking, as well as implement and follow intelligent workload distribution strategies.
What Are the Main Challenges in Multi-Cloud?
If you’re yet to use a multi-cloud environment, or you’re to change one or several clouds in your existing multi-cloud architecture, you must take into account the aspect of data transfer. In other words, you should be able to migrate freely between clouds of your choice and be 100 percent sure your data stays intact, complete, and secure in the process.
To make it so, you need the right migration tools and a group of well-trained IT specialist who know how to use them… or you can team up with a multi-cloud migration services provider that will take the responsibility of moving your data from one cloud to the next.
The security of your data must be ensured not only during the migration process, but also when you’re using the clouds. This means that you have to be fully aware of all of the encryption standards and security procedures associated with each cloud you use and educate your employees on the use of your cloud services so that the company is not exposed to any threats.
When the clouds you use are connected to help facilitate your business operations, you must make sure that each connection is safe and that there are no weak spots or vulnerabilities that can be exploited by unauthorized 3rd parties.
It can be quite difficult to monitor and manage your overall cloud storage when your systems and applications use storage from multiple cloud service providers at the same time. Not to mention that data synchronization between several clouds can also be a big problem when the infrastructure is not designed and developed correctly.
This is to say that building a successful multi-cloud management strategy must also be about establishing clear rules that will help you determine, for example, how much space and computing power you have and how much you need, how the clouds communicate with each other, and who takes responsibility for storage provisioning and cloud orchestration. Without it, all of your clouds will fall to the ground.
Daily management of your multi-cloud environment may pose another significant challenge because a cloud, like every other software-defined product, can fail and thus leave you to twist in the wind at the worse possible moment. If you’re not prepared for such an incident, your business may suffer loss of data, loss in performance, reputational damage, legal penalties – the list goes on and on.
Thus, when developing your strategy, you must create procedures that, when followed during a cloud failure, will help you come out unscathed. Plus, you will also need to appoint someone to be the overseer of your clouds; somebody who will have the tools and the knowledge required to make sure your multi-cloud infrastructure is in top condition at all times.
And the Most Efficient Way to Make Multi-Cloud Work Is…
… to choose a trustworthy, multi-cloud management services provider. Why? Because, as you’ve read above, there is a big difference between using a multi-cloud environment for gaining a business advantage and getting every piece of the cloud puzzle to match with the rest. Joining forces with an external multi-cloud management services provider is your chance to reap the benefits without worrying about whether the clouds are set up right or if your data is safe. It’s no longer your concern.
Want to know more about how it works? Click HERE to find out more about the multi-cloud management services we provide and learn what we can do to take responsibility for the clouds off you and make sure they all operate as expected.