Many organizations implemented a digital strategy using the cloud to boost productivity, reduce costs, and increase their scale. Cloud migration simplifies workflows and makes it easier to find and share them securely, leading to digital transformation.
The process of tracking, securing, and optimizing multi-cloud deployment is called multi-cloud management. A vendor’s cloud service to multiple customers is called a public cloud. However, a multi-cloud strategy includes numerous clouds from different vendors. Each vendor has various features and tools for managing cloud services and has its APIs and different service level agreements (SLAs). Multi-cloud is similar to hybrid cloud, but an essential difference between them is that there are several cloud environments in multi-cloud. Still, they could be separate and run different workloads. In a hybrid cloud, there is more than one cloud environment, tightly integrated that allows seamless transfer of data and workloads between clouds. Most businesses use many public cloud service providers to avoid dependency on a particular vendor and take advantage of each provider’s strengths. Key technologies to enable multi-cloud management are containers and Kubernetes. As containers bundle apps with their dependencies in a lightweight package, it gets easier for developers to build apps to be deployed on the cloud. These containers are effectively managed, deployed, and automated by Kubernetes. Multi-cloud deployments are relatively low despite being increasingly common because tools and practices for managing multi-cloud are still developing.
Tools for Multi-Cloud Management
There are a few tools built specially to manage a multi-cloud environment. Following are some essential tools used in multi-cloud management:
1. Embiotics Commander
One of the most respected multi-cloud management tools, Embiotics Commander, is rated high by the customers. It supports multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud environments. It incorporates cloud expense management and is designed for use in environments utilizing Microservices, containers, and DevOps. Embotics Commander also includes orchestration capabilities and automated provisioning, and integrated governance.
2. Flexera (Right Scale)
Flexera offers correct scale solutions as the Flexera cloud management platform and has received good reviews for business users. Flexera is based on an easily expandable plug-in architecture. Flexera provides a single view of all public and private cloud resources. Blueprints are used to simplify and automate cloud orchestration. Flexera includes Flexera Optima cloud spend software.
It is a highly advanced platform that uses analytics-driven orchestration such as cloud bill analysis, continuous cloud optimization, and reserved instances. It is extensively used to monitor cloud service platforms to decide its best use.
It is an app-centric tool, offering an automated and orchestrated framework. Morpheus provides users with specific data instead of generic data, thus saving time. It is used mainly for data management, solving cloud locks, and shadow IT across clouds. Morpheus’s key features are one-click, self-provisioning, and codeless integration.
Scalr helps to standardize usage, control costs, and allow users to choose the best cloud services according to their needs. As Scalr is designed keeping enterprise-scale in mind, it provides unmatched flexibility and efficiency. Scalr allows you to build your custom policies and a compliant cloud environment. It best suits organizations with many offices, departments, and sites.
Multi-Cloud Management Challenges
- Increased complexity: This is the foremost challenge of multi-cloud management; as multi-environment is very complex, it gets difficult to handle and implement an effective management solution.
- Integration between different software environments: Organizations must build apps that can move across environments without integration issues for effective multi-cloud management. This isn’t easy, given the difference between each cloud platform. Containers can be used to overcome this challenge as they provide portability between different cloud platforms.
- Security: Different security policies are there for each cloud, and vendors have different safeguards. As a result, we need to devise a method for implementing a uniform, efficient security policy across all cloud resources. Hence multi-cloud environment needs a robust security framework.
- Costs: multi-cloud management, if not done correctly, is a reason for unwanted expenses. As you have integrated many cloud services into your app, the chance of you not utilizing all their benefits is high. Therefore you end up paying for services you have not even accessed.
- Compliance: As cloud computing divides planning and approval processes into various sections, it often leads to compliance issues resulting in shadow IT, budget overrun, and security issues.
Best Practices for Multi-Cloud Management
Prepare realistic goals: Preparation is key to taking advantage of multi-cloud benefits. You must recognize the ideal platform for each project and prioritize your requirements appropriately. It would be best if you also had the right people with the suitable skill set and have goals that are flexible and realistic for your evolving cloud landscape.
Securing the network: Companies often operate in a single cloud environment by ensuring the perimeters of the network but allowing traffic to flow within the network. However, you can’t do this with a multi-cloud strategy as you no longer control network perimeters. Hence, you have to secure the inside of the network as well.
Standardized consumption: Each unit in a multi-cloud environment might use services from various providers like Azure, AWS, etc. Units often pay for these services in multiple ways. Hence it is essential to chart each department’s usage and increase or decrease resources accordingly.
Collect and consolidate data: You need a cloud management platform capable of accessing data to collect and consolidate it across multiple clouds and viewing it across a single pane display. Companies often rely on cloud providers’ tools and thus create disparate data sets, so they struggle to get clear visibility into their cloud ecosystem.
Disaster recovery is vital: To avoid any loss of valuable information on the cloud, a disaster recovery plan is a must, especially for those having a single cloud provider. Engaging multiple cloud providers is advisable, so if any data center fails, you can rely on the other until the connection is restored.
Automate wherever necessary: Policy-driven automation makes managing a multi-cloud environment easier. This alerts you of integrated costs, over or underutilized resources, and asset misconfiguration. Concerns about complying with cloud security policies can be resolved by policy-driven automation.
A multi-cloud strategy is chosen by many businesses today. Multi-cloud deployment can increase reliability, reduce vendor lock-in, and boost essential business capabilities when managed efficiently.