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Multicloud Management: Best Practices

Multicloud management

Since no single cloud vendor can provide the perfect solution for a particular business situation, the best way to maximize the benefits of a cloud environment for your organization is to work with several cloud providers and monitor all of them simultaneously.

Statistics from the 2017 RightScale State of the Cloud Report show that 85 percent of organizations now have their business applications running on two or more clouds. This indicates that more and more businesses are beginning to implement a multicloud strategy.

These organizations are enjoying the benefits of a multicloud environment – which includes the ability to continue operating when a cloud provider suffers an outage, and the flexibility and improved operational capability that comes from enjoying the best of what each cloud provider offers. However, there are downsides.

Managing a multifaceted environment where workloads are spread on several clouds, each with its own user interface, access protocols and feature set, can be very challenging. To make the job of multicloud management much easier, it’s best to adhere to certain best practices.

Let’s take a look at some of the best practices of multicloud management.

Automate Policy Across Cloud Environments

The most efficient way to use multiple cloud services is having standard policies that automatically applies across each environment. Such policies should cover areas such as reporting, security, compliance/regulation, traffic flows, data storage, workloads and virtual servers.

Standard policies also make it easier to make changes and apply updates seamlessly across all environments.

Identify Apps That are Best Suited to Cloud Environments and Match Them with Appropriate Services

Some apps are more suited to cloud environments than others. For instance, traditional apps are usually monolithic, run on VMs, use scale-up architecture and are more challenging to deploy and maintain. On the other hand, cloud-native apps are more service-oriented and modular, and based on scale-out architecture.

They are made up of collections of services and containers, making them much easier to move, automate and scale. As such, when moving these apps to cloud environments, it’s a good idea to match individual apps with the cloud service that best suits them.

For instance, VMware designed its Enterprise Hybrid Cloud to primarily host traditional apps while its Native Hybrid Cloud is intended for microservice-based, modular systems.

Adopt an Integrated Data Center Management System

Organizations should adopt an integrated data center management system specifically designed for virtual environments. This is the only way to ensure that the company’s applications, operations, security, network, storage, and server teams work seamlessly, as a single unit to achieve overall organizational objectives.

Enterprises that maintain the structures and boundaries that exist in traditional physical infrastructure environments will continue to struggle with the transition to hybrid multicloud environments.

Choose Cloud Vendors with Quick Response Times

When trying to integrate and work with different cloud services, there will be unforeseen situations and times when things go wrong. Having a provider with topnotch customer support who understands your needs and responds quickly and positively is essential.

Automate Monitoring and Maintenance Tasks

The major reasons why most businesses move to the cloud is more efficient operations, automation and cost savings. To leverage these benefits when working with multiple cloud services, organizations should automate monitoring and maintenance tasks to reduce the amount of human oversight needed.

Map Networks to Determine Where Cloud Services Best Fit

Before transitioning to a cloud environment, businesses should take a holistic look at their network to identify areas that can benefit from cloud services. This provides a clear insight into what the cloud’s role would be in the overall system management strategy and helps them to effectively utilize the offerings of cloud service vendors to achieve organizational goals and business objectives. By so doing, companies can avoid having to backtrack and fill up gaps in the data needs of customers and business managers that were missed.

It is also a good idea to strategically use in-house data centers. Due to the proliferation of cloud service vendors and solutions and the attendant reduction in the cost of their services (due to economies of scale) data centers have begun to shrink. However, their demise is not imminent – yet.

For various reasons ranging from insurance, compliance, security and a host of other factors, some systems should remain in-house. Also, traditional apps that are old, almost due for overhaul/reinvention, and consume a lot of space/processing power are best left at in-house data centers. It is best to avoid an attempt to lift and shift such in-house apps to a cloud platform.

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