Multi-Cloud Management: Overview and Best Practices
May 12, 2022
Multi-cloud environments have been a trend for several years due to the modular nature of their services. This eliminates vendor lock-in, and systems running in multi-cloud environments have lower latency and get more functionality from subscribed services.
What is multi-cloud management?
Many tend to use the term “multi-cloud” in the same sense as hybrid cloud. However, the two concepts couldn’t be more different from each other. Unlike a hybrid cloud, which includes all sorts of permutations and combinations of clouds, a multi-cloud usually means only having public servers.
Factors to consider when choosing a multi-cloud management tool
According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global multi-cloud management market size is estimated to reach USD 32.75 billion by 2028, registering a CAGR of 26.3% from 2021 to 2028
As such, we should expect organizations to be spoilt for choice when managing their cloud systems. Here are a few features that can be seen as guiding beacons to help navigate the products of this industry.
A multi-cloud management tool is only as good as its ability to meet users’ on-demand service requests. The best way to get the most out of this feature is to choose a tool that converts a request from a custom API to a cloud version before registering it.
It’s important that a multi-cloud management platform can track the frequency and duration of service usage in each cloud in the context of the applications hosted in each cloud. This helps the organization gain insight to cloud reliability and budgeting. Services that are not needed can then be phased out.
A good multi-cloud manager is programmed to record key performance metrics, such as latency or downtime related to the services provided by the cloud. Reporting on these metrics is essential to keeping only those clouds that perform well and provide the necessary services at a high level of performance.
Each cloud provider has its policies to regulate the data (and services) going in and out of the ecosystem. A multi-cloud management platform must be able to deal with these policies that do not compromise internal policies and the security of the information being transmitted.
Ultimately, a cloud management platform must be able to organize workflow to catalyze business operations and processes. It must manage the multi-cloud workflow in a suitable way to develop and produce different applications. For example, a process ideal for an e-commerce application will not necessarily support the development of a financial application.
Good multi-cloud management software will have the ability to track the performance of each cloud, analyze key metrics, chart them, and define performance curves to help an organization better understand the return on its investment.
Ideally, the internal security structure of the system should not change, even if new components are added to the system. The cloud management platform should have a plug-and-play mode to operate on the same security protocols as the existing ERP or Cloud, depending on the organization’s uses.
Best practices for managing multiple clouds
Here we list best practices ensuring that you get the most out of your multi-cloud management system:
- Maintaining cost transparency from the start creates a reasonable basis for monitoring costs going to the multi-cloud environment.
- Costs are funneled to the multi-cloud. An IBM report states that about 50 percent of CEOs track cloud spending.
- Constantly updating the ecosystem with the latest offerings — not just functional but also consumer — keeps customers happy.
- Creating harmony between developer operations and IT to manage the multi-cloud environment works wonders for smoother processes and workflows.
- Encouraging the use of self-service modes and tools helps standardize the consumption of services and products in a multi-cloud environment.
- Empowering IT to add value to the existing multi-cloud by aggregating services.
- Integration is key to preventing siloed deployment of cloud resources. Maintain consistency across IT sources so they can be managed through one ERP
- Providing self-service capabilities for tools and functionality in a multi-cloud system ensures better system manageability.
- Creating complete user management systems is necessary for large organizations, where managing data across boundaries can pose problems. Make sure there’s a mechanism to regulate access to data regardless of where it goes.
- In a rapid development environment where machines can make the necessary purchases, you can quickly develop and test applications.
Since the world is moving to the cloud, the related systems are rapidly evolving. More advanced systems and mechanisms have now been developed that allow for staggeringly efficient operations, cost-effective services, and flexibility.
Multi-cloud systems are not the culmination of this revolution, but high-performance systems are when appropriately managed.