The Benefits and Challenges of a Multicloud Environment

July 20, 2020

Enterprises are moving beyond single cloud and hybrid cloud environments in favor of a multicloud solution that offers a high level of flexibility and agility. A report from Cisco finds that 29% of IT leaders say they will be networking across on-premise, hybrid, and multicloud platforms in the next two years.

A multicloud solution comes with important benefits. Enterprises are able to better distribute workloads for potentially improved uptime and performance. It also provides the redundancy required to support a large organization if a provider experiences downtime, and multicloud environments enable enterprises to take advantage of the strong features of each type of solution.

Complexity Challenges: That doesn’t mean that a transition to multicloud will be easy. Enterprises experience significant challenges from both a management and a networking perspective when a multicloud approach is adopted. For instance, a single cloud environment requires only a networking connection to the cloud platform, while multicloud requires connectivity to multiple cloud platforms and may require connections between the individual cloud platforms.

Among the complexities of managing a multicloud environment is the transfer of data between platforms that have different capabilities, features, and infrastructure. Enterprises often choose specific cloud platforms for the features they offer and their ability to handle certain workloads. As consistency is prioritized across the enterprise, some of those features may be lost.

Help for Management: There are all-in-one management solutions that offer to create some order out of the multicloud muddle. Many of the major cloud providers are aware of the shift to multicloud and are prioritizing features and tools that ease the burden for IT professionals. Still enterprises are finding that one management solution likely won’t be enough; multiple management tools may be necessary to achieve the full benefits of a transition.

Enterprises may choose to invest in a cloud service broker (CSB) or a cloud management platform (CMP) that adds an abstract layer to help manage the differences in cloud infrastructure. These tools generally offer provisioning, service monitoring, and analytics to help make the most of the various platforms in the environment.

Some enterprises also benefit from the use of Kubernetes-based containerization, which can limit the use of some features across cloud platforms, but still allows enterprises to take advantage of distributing workloads across multiple platforms.

Whether enterprises use comprehensive management tools or containerization, it’s important to conduct thorough testing to be sure the approach works well with the specific combination of platforms the enterprise is using.If your enterprise is pursuing a multicloud strategy, contact us at Access Tech. We can guide you through choosing a management approach that helps remove some of the complexity of your environment without sacrificing features you need.

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