With the fast pace of cloud changes, cloud lock-in remains a popular refrain. But do you know what does it mean? How can you make sure that you’re boosting your cloud investment at the same time maintaining portability in mind?
In this article, we are going to talk about how business owners and analysts will strategize the best cloud approach to maximize their ROI and gain ten times better solutions with the proper cloud architecture.
Cloud bursting! Hybrid cloud! On & Off-premises! Multi-cloud! Cloud strategists, analysts, and architects are aware of these phrases over the past ten years. Each of them makes logical sense, but in recent times, it’s the last – multi-cloud – that I’ve seen in actual practice the most.
If you are not clear about what multi-cloud is — let me explain!
What is multi-cloud?
Multi-cloud is the utilization of two or more public and/or private cloud providers to assist the IT services and infrastructure of an organization. A multi-cloud strategy typically consists of a mix of primary public cloud providers particularly, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft (Azure), IBM, and Alibaba.
Businesses that embrace a multi-cloud architecture may leverage various public clouds in combination with private cloud deployments and traditional on-premises infrastructure.
Organizations prefer the best services from each cloud provider based on values, technical specifications, geographic availability, and other factors. Each day, every organization practices multiple types of data and diverse applications. Most of the cloud vendors specialize in a particular area, so being able to use different clouds encourages companies with the agility they need. This may mean that a company uses Google Cloud for development/test while using AWS for disaster restoration and Microsoft Azure to concoct business analytics data.
What is a multi-cloud strategy?
A multi-cloud environment can combine SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS deployments from more than one public or private cloud service provider to meet an organization’s technical and business needs.
For example, many businesses initially jump into the cloud tepidly, at least one small service or application at a time. Shortly, this converts unwieldy, and you have to clean up your cloud sprawl. Hence, you need a strategy.
A multi-cloud approach empowers organizations to advance the efficiency of their IT spending and business operations by preferring an appropriate service and provider for each use case. The main concern of every organization is to reflect their needs are and align their needs with the best cloud providers applying a multi-cloud strategy. The forester industry analysts conducted an in-depth analysis of over 600 cloud strategy professionals to determine the leading use cases for multi-cloud architecture.
Below we have discussed the modern use cases for a greater understanding—
- Selectively deploying application workloads over multiple public and private clouds depends on the application and business needs.
- Combining on-premises infrastructure and services from multiple public clouds in a hybrid cloud environment.
- Evolving API-consistent cloud architecture across both public and private clouds.
- Developing data-center abilities and extending disaster recovery capabilities.
- Governing access to cloud-based data, applications, and services within a specific control portal.
- Advancing applications with components deployed to various cloud platforms.
You can have highly available apps existing in one ideal cloud solution and actually sensitive data that you don’t need to access often in a different cloud solution applying the best multi-cloud approach. This one might be slower but more secure—and that’s OK!
The continuous IT investment will optimize multi-cloud architecture and deployments to recognize actual strategic advantages and aspirations. Are you interested in a closer look at seven of the most influential drivers for multi-cloud investment?
Reasons Organizations Choose a Multi-Cloud Strategy
Recent Forrester research found that almost 80% of enterprises describe their strategy as a hybrid/multi-cloud one. Multi-cloud is quickly establishing itself to be the prospect of business across every sector. To prevent vendor lock-in, drive down costs, and ensure agility, many organizations are now looking to multiple clouds for their operational needs.
According to the same research, only 42% of organizations regularly optimize their cloud spending, and only 41% maintain an approved service catalog. So, it is always important to remember that without a strong understanding of what is being used and where organizations risk circumventing the benefits of a multi-cloud strategy and settling themselves with high budgets and security risks.
Avoiding Vendor Lock-In
Vendor lock-in occurs when an organization faces too much complexity to transfer its business apart from one cloud service provider to another provider or even bring its data back on-premises.
Organizations that rely on a single cloud service provider normally develop applications that depend profoundly on the unique potentials of that vendor. As those organizations broaden their investment in that single cloud, switching providers becomes more expensive, complex, also takes an enormous time.
In contrast, organizations that already have devoted themselves to a multi-cloud strategy purposely plan for agility and flexibility between multiple cloud providers. With the adaptability to move applications between multiple public cloud vendors, organizations are poised to take recognition of new technologies from all providers and adopt the well-functioning or most cost-effective services for specific application workloads.
Choosing a multi-cloud strategy can help your business avoid vendor lock-in, take support of new and better technologies from other providers, and adopt the most cost-effective and performance-enhanced compute or storage resources for each workload.
Overcoming Data Gravity
Data performs a significant role in daily operations for thousands of businesses. Organizations have traditionally kept their data in on-premises data centers where it could be spelled out by legacy applications, but in the cloud computing era, more are preferring to regulate data in the cloud and analyze them with cloud-based applications.
The term “Data Gravity” refers to the concept that large data sets are troublesome and expensive to move or migrate. If your organization keeps a large volume of data with a single cloud service provider, data gravity could push you to deploy related apps and services with the same provider—even when there are more cost-effective options accessible in another cloud.
Overcoming data gravity is as manageable as utilizing a cloud-attached storage solution that combines multiple clouds simultaneously. The best solutions minimize latency by hosting your data close to cloud data centers.
Better workload optimization
Whenever you approach any public cloud service provider, they offer their blend of physical infrastructure components and application services with versatile functionality, usage characteristics, terms & conditions, and pricing. They also release new features regularly to make their services more efficient, cost-effective, and attractive to customers.
Henceforth single cloud provider can’t claim to provide cost-optimized services that cover every potential business need or use case. But when you switch to a multi-cloud strategy, you can choose the most suitable cloud service provider for each application or workload, leading to enhanced application performance and improved cost-efficiency.
Elevating application performance
When cloud-based application services are released from servers at separate locations, data must travel across several network nodes before entering the user. In this pathway, slow data transfers may degrade application performance and negatively affect the user experience because of high network latency.
The market leaders of public cloud service providers (AWS, Azure, & Google Cloud) operate multiple data stations in geographically different regions, establishing a network of availability hotspots that deliver high-speed service to worldwide customers and users. By affirming a multi-cloud strategy and leveraging cloud services from the above one vendor, organizations can enter new geographies and implement better application and data performance for their users, wherever they are located.
Curbing Shadow IT
When autonomous business units within an organization select any technological solutions without the supervision of the IT department, shadow IT happens. Shadow IT leads to security concerns, notably whenever staff members use unsecured platforms outside of the organizational firewall to transact sensitive data. Based on the Gartner prediction in 2020, 30% or more successful cyberattacks will target Shadow IT resources within enterprise organizations.
Organizations that are now adopting a multi-cloud approach can speed up their adoption of cloud services that drive employee productivity and collaboration, reducing the inducement for employees to execute new technologies without going through the channels.
Enhance disaster recovery capabilities!
A good number of public cloud service providers offer 99.5% uptime as part of their service level agreements — yet unplanned brownouts happen, and they can be extremely costly. According to a 2019 IT survey, it has been observed that organizations experienced an average of 830 minutes of unplanned downtime during the year, with an average cost of $5.6 million.
Organizations can respond to unplanned service outages by failing over their workloads from one public cloud to another with the help of a multi-cloud strategy. We provide our clients a customized solution on their failover models based upon application-specific needs, taking advantage of trade-offs between cost and performance to achieve a fully optimized disaster recovery strategy.
Meeting regulatory compliance and requirements
More organizations than ever now desire to meet regulatory compliance provisions referred to as data localization or data residency. Data localization laws may prohibit organizations from exporting data about a nation’s residents to other countries, requiring that the data be processed and locked away in the same region where it was collected.
Organizations can observe data localization or residency laws through a multi-cloud strategy by taking the assistant of cloud service providers with regional accessibility zones and data storage infrastructure.
Why should you choose Inovar to run your strategy?
Multi-cloud strategies are inherently complex. Legacy systems, disparate data sources, and different applications may start creating a unified plan for a momentous task. That’s why, to have multi-cloud perfect, more and more companies are searching for partners to help. The bespoke partners known as managed services providers help organizations embrace the cloud with speed, accuracy, and security.
There are many service providers out there. How do you understand which one is most competent for your organization?
According to the latest Forrester Wave: Multi-cloud Managed Services Providers report, enterprises should consider managed services providers that meet three criteria:
First, the provider should be able to uphold the organization during its entire cloud journey, from initial planning to migration, execution, and monitoring. At Inovar, we provide end-to-end services. We always try to know our pain points, requirements and suggest to you the best-suited solution. We offer you the supervision that you need to select the right capabilities to accomplish your business objectives- from cloud services to deployment, operation, and management.
Secondly, providers must have the strength to invest in capability expansion and continually be improving their efficiencies. Cloud is one of the broadest platforms where technology is emerging constantly. Considering this fact, we always keep an eye on what is coming and suggest the best design strategy for resilience and success for years to come.
We maintain an atmosphere where you can promptly innovate, develop, obtain the ideal data at the right time, transfer workloads around as required, and draw full advantage of the latest progressions in AI, automation, analytics, and more so you can constantly iterate and enhance everything from applications to business processes. Starting from setting up your strategy to apply the best-automated approach, we try to ensure real-time optimization and help you build the skill sets you need to become more cloud-native.
Third, providers must have explained qualifications and associations with primary cloud suppliers. Our vendor-agnostic strategy lets you connect with the best services from well-known providers: Inovar multi-cloud platform is accredited by partners including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure for superb delivery and compliance to industry standards. Here you can find multiple options on the combination of vendors and get what you need.
Since most organizations are in business to generate money, we can safely say a multi-cloud strategy contributes to cash flow by taking care of money. Usually, challenges and solutions become more complicated when people address them sound more complex. But having the most suitable plan and the best people will ensure that your strategy lives for a very long time. If you are also looking for the same please reach out to us, we would love to collaborate.
The public cloud is fast becoming the platform of choice for IT leaders and their line-of-business counterparts. While the pace of the move to on-demand IT continues to quicken, CIOs are faced with a bewildering option of providers and services. The absence of a common framework for assessing Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), combined with the fact that no two CSPs are the same, complicates the process of selecting one migration tool that is right for your organization. Majority rely on public cloud infrastructure due to a shared responsibility model such that the cloud service providers take care of the cloud itself while you focus on what’s in the cloud i.e. your data and applications. But how do you choose which public cloud provider will be helpful to your organization?
The field has a lot of competitors in it – mainly Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure dominate the cloud industry. AWS has been in the game the longest, capturing about 33%* of the market share with Microsoft in the 2nd position with 13% market shares. A superficial glance might lead you to believe that AWS has an unprecedented edge over Azure, but a deeper look will prove the decision isn’t that easy.
AWS has always had an unprecedented upper hand as it was first launched in 2002, whereas Microsoft did not step into the Cloud market till 2010. Azure was not very well received at first and there were many challenges as AWS had more capital, more infrastructure, and better, more scalable services than Azure did. Moreover, Amazon added more servers to its cloud infrastructure and made better use of economies of scale. This was a setback for Microsoft, but the tide soon changed. Microsoft revamped its cloud offering and added support to a variety of programming languages and operating systems. Thus, making their system more scalable and now Azure is one of the leading cloud providers in the world.
Both Azure and AWS technologies have, in their own way, contributed to the welfare of society. NASA used the AWS Platform to make its huge repository of pictures, videos, and audio files easily discoverable in one centralized location, giving people access to images of galaxies far away. The Azure IoT Suite was used to create the Weka Smart Fridge, – an implementation of the Internet of Things as a medical device to improve the storage and distribution of vaccines throughout the supply chain, in healthcare companies. This has helped non-profit medical agencies ensure that their vaccinations reach people who otherwise don’t have access to these facilities.
To determine the best cloud service provider, one needs to take multiple factors into consideration, such as cloud storage pricing, data transfer loss rate, and rates of data availability, among others. A few principal elements to consider for almost every organization while choosing the right tool to migrate are:
Security – Consider what security features are offered free out-of-the-box for each vendor you’re evaluating, which additional paid services are available from the providers themselves, and where you may need to supplement with third-party partners’ technology. Most tools make that process relatively simple by listing their security features, paid products, and partner integrations on the security section of their respective websites. Security is a top concern in the cloud, so it is critical to ask detailed and explicit questions that relate to your unique use cases, industry, regulatory requirements, and any other concerns you may have.
Compliance – Next make sure you choose a cloud architecture platform that can help you meet compliance standards that apply to your industry and organization. Whether you are beholden to GDPR, SOC 2, PCI DSS, HIPAA, or any other frameworks, make sure you understand what it will take to achieve compliance once your applications and data are living in a public cloud infrastructure. Be sure you understand where your responsibilities lie, and which aspects of compliance the provider will help you check off.
Architecture – When choosing a cloud provider, think about how the architecture will be incorporated into your workflows now and in the future. if your organization has already invested heavily in the Microsoft universe, it might make sense to proceed with Azure, since Microsoft gives its customers licenses and often some free credits. If your organization relies more on Amazon, then it may be best to look to them for ease of integration and consolidation. Additionally, you may want to consider cloud storage architectures when making your decision. When it comes to storage, both AWS and Azure have similar architectures and offer multiple types of storage to fit different needs, but they have different types of archival storage.
There are many motivations for evolving from an entirely on-prem infrastructure to a multiple or hybrid cloud architecture. From the very beginning of the cloud adoption process, hybrid cloud architectures allow enterprises to benefit from cloud economics and scalability without compromising data sovereignty. A multi cloud storage deployment also brings many benefits to the enterprise cloud, from avoiding vendor lock-in to accommodating mergers and acquisitions and optimizing price/performance.
Service Levels – This consideration is essential when businesses have strict needs in terms of availability, response time, capacity, and support. Cloud Service Level Agreements (Cloud SLAs) are an important element to consider when choosing a provider. It’s vital to establish a clear contractual relationship between a cloud service customer and a cloud service provider.
Costs – While it should never be the single or most important factor, there’s no denying that cost will play a big role in deciding which cloud service provider you choose. It’s helpful to look at both sticker price and associated costs. For AWS, Amazon determines price by rounding up the number of hours used. The minimum use is one hour. Azure bills customers on-demand by hour, gigabyte, or millions of executions, depending on the specific product. Serverless computing is a new cloud computing execution model in which the cloud provider runs the server, and dynamically manages the allocation of machine resources. Pricing is based on the actual amount of resources consumed by an application, rather than on pre-purchased units of capacity.
While the criteria discussed above won’t give you all the information you need, it will help you build a solid analytical framework to use when you are determining which cloud service provider you will trust with your data and applications. You can add granularity by doing a thorough analysis of your organization’s requirements to discover additional factors that will help you make an informed decision. This will be key to determining which provider will be the one that can deliver the features and resources that will best support your ongoing business, operational, security, and compliance goals.
*How to choose your cloud provider: AWS, Google or Microsoft? Revived from : ThreatStack.com