The benefits of multi-cloud management are numerous, so how do you build a solid strategy to most effectively manage your multi-cloud environment? Read on to learn more!
The business world is changing faster than ever, as new technologies and previously unheard-of concepts become the norm. Just as io registration is taking off as a domain name choice for many tech startups and SaaS, cloud adoption is increasing rapidly in many sectors, including healthcare, retail, finance, and many more.
In some instances, organizations are using two or more clouds in unison. In fact, it is estimated that in the next year, 75% of enterprise customers using cloud infrastructure will be using a multi-cloud strategy.
However, a multi-cloud strategy brings with it its own unique set of problems to work around; running costs, performance issues, and data security are just a few of the challenges which will need to be overcome. This is why it is essential to put in place a solid multi-cloud management plan.
What is multi-cloud management?
Multi-cloud management refers to the systems used in order to handle the workflow and applications across the different cloud environments.
The key aims of multi-cloud management are to offer visibility across the different cloud services, to allow for updates of the apps in use across the clouds, and to secure the data stored within them.
An effective multi-cloud management strategy will allow for the self-service of the cloud system, enable more efficient workflow automation, and allow for easy analysis of the different clouds in order to optimize the resources within them.
As stated, the benefits of multi-cloud management are numerous, so how do you build a solid strategy to most effectively manage your multi-cloud environment?
- Map the network
A great starting point when devising your multi-cloud management strategy is to map your entire network. This will allow you to see where the different clouds fit in and what roles they perform.
Different clouds from different vendors may be better suited to various tasks. It is essential to make sure that there is minimal overlap in the roles the clouds are performing; there’s no point in paying for two different services to carry out the same job.
When deciding on which cloud services to use, it’s important to factor in the compatibility amongst the different platforms and tools, as well as consider their individual complexity and how much management they will require.
- Focus on effective integration
Integration between systems can be complicated enough in an on-site scenario, but factoring in cloud environments adds even more challenges. In fact, research has shown that only a third of cloud migrations are being executed successfully. A multi-cloud environment adds even more integration points, so a robust plan is needed to make sure the process runs smoothly.
Developers require common standards across the clouds in order to make integration seamless. It’s essential to look at several key areas when considering this; information, processes, tools, and organization should all be factored in.
Furthermore, the network control, visibility, and security need to extend from on-site systems into the multi-cloud environment, so they operate as a single system with centralized management functions.
- Track costs
When it comes to successfully operating a multi-cloud platform, information is vital. This is why it’s a good idea to track not only the costs incurred from the setup and maintenance of your various cloud platforms but also the amount of usage each one receives in order to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
In the same way, you would track app metrics to see what needs to be changed in order to make your product more profitable. You should keep a log of how much time is spent managing and troubleshooting the various cloud platforms to see how profitable they are to your business.
Keep note of how the cloud reduces costs in other areas of the business and any other benefits it provides. Remember also to track integration expenses, traffic costs, labor budget, and basically any quantifiable expense.
- Invest in security
Multi-cloud solutions should always prioritize security for sensitive data and computer systems. It’s much more crucial given the threats of offsite data storage.
Who has access to what information should be checked often; role-based access restrictions guarantee that employees only have access to the data they need to do their jobs.
Standardize security practices across the organization. Educating everyone on security practices should limit threats.
Updating security software and processes reduces risks. Regularly testing security infrastructure ensures its optimal performance and identifies any flaws, much as testing a website before going live.
- Have a great disaster recovery strategy
Sometimes, no matter how much we plan to avoid it, disaster can strike. That’s why it’s essential to have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan at the ready, so if the worst does happen, you’re not caught unprepared.
Backing up data to the cloud gives you a great line of defense, and using two different cloud providers means that even if you lose access to one, you can run from the backup until regular service is resumed.
One of the most vulnerable times for an organization is during the initial migration of systems and data to the multi-cloud environment. Meticulous planning is required before carrying this out in order to ensure a seamless transition and limit any interruptions and unnecessary downtime.
Running network migration tests will help you see whether you are prepared to make the leap to multi-cloud. A great way to save time doing this is to make the process automatic, so when the time nears to launch your multi-cloud ecosystem, consider what automation testing is, and how it can help you make the migration process more efficient with workflow orchestration.
- Drive usability and share responsibility
Multi-cloud management seems like something best left to the IT department, yet the most effective operations include all key departments.
Everyone who accesses the multi-cloud should understand how it works to use it safely. If everyone using cloud tools and platforms knows how they function, misuse is less likely.
Along with this, making the multi-cloud environment simple to navigate and utilize should be a top priority for the company. The more multi-cloud is used, the more cost-effective it will be. Implementing initiatives to drive adoption will help with this.
Approach multi-cloud adoption like app retention, identify challenges restricting user access, and quickly work on solutions to improve the ecosystem.
- Plan for the future
The beauty of using a multi-cloud is that you will have access to all kinds of data to analyze and draw conclusions from. If you were a call center wishing to reduce the average handling time of your customers, you would consider several different metrics in order to see which could be improved to make the most significant difference.
The same principle applies when looking at the multi-cloud. You will have data regarding usage, performance, downtime, traffic patterns, and a whole host of other metrics. Looking at each of them, in turn, to identify any problem areas will improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the multi-cloud in the future. AI can be used to help you effectively sort through this data, so it may be worth considering asking, “what is azure data lake storage” and “how can it benefit my organization”?
Many cloud vendors will provide analytic tools as standard, but you can also implement your own in order to best monitor what is most relevant to your organization. Using direct API integration to connect various data sources is a good way to do this, allowing you to look for correlations in your data easily.
Now you should be on Cloud 9
Hopefully, you have a better insight into multi-cloud administration and can handle your multi-cloud ecosystem efficiently.
A detailed plan is needed to determine what you need from a multi-cloud and your best possibilities for achieving outcomes. Focusing on security and usability will guarantee that your multi-cloud is safe, secure, and easy to use.
Review your multi-cloud ecosystem’s strengths and limitations to get the most out of it. Analyze its data to ensure it’s being used effectively and to prepare for the future.
Keep up with new technologies and multi-cloud solutions that may impact its future use. Will your cloud usage change in a year? Being prepared for the future means having a plan.