By Raghav K.
Multi-Cloud may come across as a complex mixture of disjointed environments that procures more complexities than solutions, but it is a lot more. The rapid development and need for extensive computing power have led organizations to invest in multiple public cloud providers that can deliver high-availability computing and an elastic environment.
Network or Infrastructure managers can be overwhelmed with a multi-tool set, operational differences in practice, compliance, and security standards followed by multiple cloud providers coming together to form a multi-cloud setup.
As multi-cloud continues to mature, it will become a mainstream practice. There are enormous benefits related to the public cloud and the deliverance diversity related to multiple platforms helping with disaster recovery and unhinged availability.
"By 2023, half of the total public cloud market will be dominated by the ten biggest public cloud providers,"* – quoted from Gartner
Gartner predicts organizations shifting towards Hybrid or multi-cloud setups. CIOs are rapidly planning and escalating their strategic reforms to build a clearer picture of their business objectives, the present shortcomings, and customer promises.
"By 2021, over 75% of midsize and large organizations will have adopted a multi-cloud and/or hybrid IT strategy." – quoted from Gartner
1. Develop Skill Set
The first practice required to manage a multi-cloud setup is a proper skill set to work through the adoption phase. An average IT team won’t work in the multi-cloud architecture. You need to plan and include personnel with a specific skill set to develop your team’s skill set for any presented scenario.
2. Work on Tools
With multi-cloud moving closer to the mainstream, you need to plan and adopt tools that will go through the evolutionary process in-sync with the multi-cloud. Standard tools and solutions, such as Kubernetes and Docker, will always be there. We suggest thinking more about the subset of integration tools, such as Jenkins.
Multi-cloud is less prone to disasters, but you still need to strategize for disaster recovery in multiple scenarios. I will discuss this in the sections below.
1. Integration Framework
Integration has always been on the complex side of operations, including on-premises and multi-cloud. Integration scenarios are simpler on the same cloud infrastructure, but maintaining multi-point integration on a multi-cloud setup can create additional problems. You need to set up an integration framework that applies the proper tools and APIs to begin standardization.
2. Workload Mapping
A robust multi-cloud strategy requires the allocation of proper infrastructure with cloud services provisioned according to the business values of your organization. Mapping workloads by provisioning the right-number of resources will enable your skill-driven team to complete tasks more efficiently and extract value. Divide computing and O&M functions depending on the amount of resources they need, if it uses batch-processing, or requires sensitive data protection.
3. Utilize Hybrid Strategy
Isolation is the best established concept from the hybrid cloud. Shifting workloads to the public cloud based on requirements is the tech that drives the Hybrid Cloud. Including some Hybrid Cloud strategies with your multi-cloud setup can account for a multi-point approach for delivery.
By 2022, 55% of APEJ enterprises will deploy unified virtual machines (VMs), Kubernetes, and multi-cloud management processes and tools to support robust multi-cloud management and governance across on-premises and the public cloud. – a quote from IDC
4. Security Policies
A standardized security policy with centralized management of security operations is required while running a multi-cloud setup. When placing policies in order, compare it with a hybrid cloud or an on-premises setup, where multiple endpoints make up a system. Don’t forget to keep your customized enterprise perimeters in mind before setting up these policies.
Data Privacy is a big concern. Mishandling of data can never be good for your organization, especially when the data is traveling across multiple cloud vendor platforms. The Alibaba Cloud security suite is ranked very high in providing security and authorization for enterprises.
5. Use Analytics
A massive amount of information is generated when working with a multi-cloud setup. There are different variables and statistics related to performance, resource utilization, uptime, downtime, traffic load, and other related patterns if you can process this raw data into valuable information using data analytics.
Alibaba Cloud DataWorks is the perfect solution to implement in this scenario. You can obtain insights into the patterns of your multi-cloud practice and make reforms or set policies for better management and business intelligence.
6. Define an Effective Disaster Recovery
Multi-cloud is not prone to sudden outages. Multiple vendor services should not fail simultaneously, but there are dependencies you need to manage. There could be several interlinked systems within your multi-cloud setup. You need to have a fair idea about all of these dependencies and how they can affect the overall availability of your multi-cloud service.
Most disaster recovery scenarios are made for singular platforms. Multi-Cloud increases the level of complexity and requires a management scenario for each cloud within your multi-cloud setup. You can utilize a distributed approach, where all vendor systems are driven by their disaster recovery services.
While this might work for you, there could be data loss when crossing over vendors for different services. Coming up with a management strategy that overcomes the barrier of multiple cloud vendor services coming together can shorten the curve that may lead to error-prone operations.
7. DevOps and Multi-Cloud
While the entire topic is out of the scope of this blog, you should pay attention to managing microservices and continuous integration and delivery (CI CD) practices within your multi-cloud setup. DevOps is an industry-leading model for SDLC and provides a host of benefits for an organizations’ growth. Managing a DevOps operation on multi-cloud can offer a ten-fold boost in performance and release.
You must understand multi-cloud cannot be plugged in for every IT problem. If you opt for a multi-cloud approach, the road towards a perfect setup begins with a strategy encompassing your specific business needs and team building.
This article listed three prerequisites and seven best practices to help you understand multi-cloud management in a simpler, more productive, and less complex way. You can gain more from your multi-cloud setup and achieve cloud provider streamlining after implementing the ideas listed above. After you get over the initial challenges of a multi-cloud setup, you will reap the fruit of success.
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