When you migrate to a cloud, you are satisfied with the shift because of the many advantages which cloud computing has to offer you. At the same time, however, this shift exposes your business to some risks particularly when you adopt a single cloud strategy or rely on a single vendor. This is exactly why businesses are keen to adopt a multi cloud strategy. How you craft a multi cloud strategy will determine how well it can cater to your needs. So, it is best not take a decision in haste; you should ideally build this strategy after much thought and planning so that the cloud infrastructure can give your business an edge it needs.
What is a multi cloud strategy useful for?
A multi cloud strategy is one where a business decides to use more than one cloud computing service. It may refer to the deployment of multiple software offerings like SaaS and PaaS, but it usually refers to the mix of IaaS environments. Many businesses had opted for this as they were not confident about the cloud reliability. So, the multi cloud was considered to be a protection against downtimes and data loss.
Some businesses are also seen to adopt a multi cloud strategy because of data sovereignty reasons. There may be certain laws which demand that enterprise data be stored in certain locations. So, a multi cloud strategy will allow businesses to do this, enabling them to choose from multiple datacenters belonging to IaaS providers. This also lets the businesses locate computing resources closer to their end users in order to ensure lower latency and better performance.
When you choose to adopt a multi cloud strategy, you can even choose different cloud services from a wide variety of providers. This has its benefits too because certain cloud environments may be better suited for a specific task.
Key components of a multi cloud strategy:
A key component of any multi cloud strategy is identification of the right platform which is suited to the purpose. This is because every cloud platform is likely to have its own advantages and weaknesses. So, you need decision making criteria which will help you select the best vendor.
Because the multi cloud strategy happens to be an ongoing process, businesses have to cope with the changes around them. They must ensure that costs are predictable. When there are too many disparities among the providers or even with one provider, it can prove to be a challenge for the company.
Before you choose a multi cloud strategy, an important point to consider is staffing and training needs. Every platform will need its own team which will ensure deployment and delivery services on that platform. Establishing one center of excellence may be beneficial as this will serve as the center for expertise for all cloud deployments.
When you have migrated applications to different cloud platforms, you will need to monitor these either in a centralized or decentralized fashion, or by using a mix of both.
When devising a multi cloud strategy, it is absolutely imperative that the IT staff has a clear understanding of the needs for their complete portfolio of applications. So, you will need a playbook which will help to keep the teams aligned and ensure that management goes on smoothly. Businesses will therefore have to create frameworks which will guide teams with purchasing, architecture and implementation guidelines.
The multi cloud strategy can prevent a single point of failure. This is made possible as cloud computing solutions are obtained from multiple dissimilar providers. So, the multi cloud basically works like an insurance policy for data losses and disasters.
Just because you have a multi cloud strategy does not mean that your data is completely secure simply because the multiple clouds act like backups. You can be well protected from outages but this does not imply that everything has been backed up securely. You will still need to carry out routine backups and monitor backup policies.
With a multi cloud strategy, you get more choices as far as matching specific workloads and applications are concerned.
But not each department or team or application or workload is likely to have the same needs in terms of security and performance. So, it is necessary to choose providers which are capable of catering to various data and application needs given the fact that cloud computing has evolved.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of a multi cloud strategy is that it can eliminate lock-in concerns. You have the freedom to move between various cloud vendors depending on your economic and security needs. But these are still very early days for multi cloud strategy and setbacks are to be expected. This may be the case where applications had not been designed keeping a multi cloud strategy in perspective.
Finally transparency is the key to a successful multi cloud strategy. You are often doubling the infrastructure and therefore, it is imperative to have visibility over the servers. You will need a good and capable team to execute this strategy when you start off and also through the whole journey; so you can expect a brain drain. But when the staff does turn over, you must be prepared with the right skills to take over the strategy.
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