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How to Select the Right Multi-Cloud Environment for Your Business

Multi-cloud is the new norm in the cloud computing world. More and more businesses are adopting a multi-cloud strategy to leverage the best cloud providers and optimize their performance, cost, security, and scalability.

According to a report by Forbes, 90% of companies have already deployed a multi-cloud strategy for their systems. This shows how enterprises leverage a multi-cloud management approach for their workloads, enhancing their ROI.

However, choosing the right multi-cloud environment and cloud service provider becomes crucial to reap the benefits of this strategy. So, the question arises: how do you choose the right multi-cloud environment for your specific needs and goals? This article sheds some light on tips and best practices to help you choose the right multi-cloud environment.

What is Multi-cloud?

Multi-cloud means using multiple cloud services from different providers to run your applications and workloads. For instance, you may use AWS for your storage and computing needs, Azure for your analytics and AI, and Google Cloud for your machine learning and Kubernetes.

What’s New in Multi-cloud?

Multi-cloud strategy has become a popular choice for many enterprises as it offers several benefits such as cost optimization, performance improvement, compliance, security, innovation, and agility. According to various reports and surveys, multi-cloud adoption is expected to rise significantly in the coming years. Here are some key figures indicating how multi-cloud strategy is becoming the new norm for enterprises worldwide:

  • An impressive 92% of organizations are implementing or have already deployed a multi-cloud strategy, indicating a widespread shift towards distributed cloud environments.
  • When it comes to cloud usage, organizations are diversifying their portfolios, utilizing an average of 2.6 public clouds and 2.7 private clouds.
  • 98% of enterprises are using or plan to use at least two cloud infrastructure services and 31% use more than four or more cloud vendors.
  • 1 out of 5 surveyed organizations realize the business value of a multi-cloud strategy.

However, enterprises will also face some challenges such as integration and interoperability, governance and security, and skills and expertise.

To overcome these challenges here are some vital innovations in the multi-cloud management landscape,

VMware Cloud Universal

This is a flexible subscription that allows customers to consume VMware Cloud services across different platforms, such as VMware Cloud on AWS, Azure VMware Solution, Google Cloud VMware Engine, and more. It also provides a unified management console and a consistent operating model across clouds.

AWS Outposts

This is a fully managed service that extends AWS infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools to virtually any data center, co-location space, or on-premises facility. It enables customers to run AWS applications and workloads on-premises with low latency and local data processing.

Azure Arc

This is a set of technologies that extends Azure management and services to any infrastructure. It enables customers to manage their resources across multiple clouds, data centers, edge locations, and Kubernetes clusters from a single control plane.

Tips to Select the Right Multi-Cloud Environment

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for multi-cloud. The right multi-cloud environment depends on your business objectives, requirements, preferences, and budget.

Here are some tips to help you select the right multi-cloud environment for your business:

#1. Assess your Cloud Needs

Before choosing the multi-cloud strategy, you must understand your current and future business needs. Assessing your systems, analyzing the infrastructure requirements, and prioritizing specific workloads can help you determine whether to use a multi-cloud approach.

Here are some key questions that you need to consider,

  • What are your goals and priorities?
  • What are your performance, availability, security, compliance, and scalability requirements?
  • What are your existing applications and workloads? How do you plan to grow and innovate in the future?

These questions will help you define your multi-cloud strategy and create a roadmap for the migration of systems.

#2. Evaluate Cloud Service Providers (CSP)

Once you have a clear idea of your needs, you can evaluate different cloud providers and compare their offerings. You can use various criteria to compare cloud providers, such as features, functionality, compatibility, reliability, security, pricing, and support.

Here is a checklist that you need to factor in while choosing the CSP for multi-cloud management,

  • Ensure the CSP meets necessary industry-specific regulations (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA).
  • Ensure compliance with standards like ISO 27001, SOC 2, and FedRAMP.
  • Evaluate the CSP’s security measures, including firewalls, encryption, and intrusion detection systems.
  • Analyze the shared responsibility model and understand the security aspects that are your responsibility.
  • Examine the SLAs carefully to understand the guaranteed uptime, availability, and performance metrics.
  • Assess the pricing models such as pay-as-you-go, reserved instances, and additional costs.
  • Verify ease of integration with your current infrastructure, applications, and toolsets.
  • Evaluate native multi-cloud management capabilities and support for third-party tools.
  • Ensure the CSP can quickly scale resources up or down in response to your business needs.
  • Check for comprehensive management dashboards and reporting capabilities.
  • Evaluate monitoring tools for performance, security, and compliance.
  • Assess professional services and advisory availability for multi-cloud strategy and optimization.

#3. Prioritize CSPs based on Workloads

The prioritization process includes rationalization of workloads in such an easy way that for each deployment, CSP can meet its specific demands in a cost-effective and resilient manner. This maximizes the benefits of multi-cloud management.

Here are some key steps to prioritize CSPs based on workloads in a multi-cloud strategy:

  • Understand the requirements of each workload in terms of computing power, data storage, security, compliance, etc.
  • Research the capabilities and offerings of different CSPs to see which ones are best suited to support different types of workloads.
  • Match workloads to CSPs based on their specific requirements and the strengths of each CSP. For example, AI/ML workloads may be suited to CSPs with strong AI services while traditional applications may fit better on more general-purpose CSPs.
  • Consider additional factors like pricing models, geographic locations, redundancy, and tools for multi-cloud management.
  • Prioritize CSPs that can support mission-critical or latency-sensitive workloads through high performance, SLAs, and proximity to end-users.
  • Distribute workloads across multiple CSPs to avoid vendor lock-in and take advantage of different strengths, but try to consolidate related workloads on the same CSP for efficiency.
  • Continuously monitor workload performance on each CSP and make optimization decisions based on cost, resource utilization, SLA adherence, and CSP enhancements over time.
  • Develop governance, security, and compliance policies and processes to ensure consistency as workloads move across CSPs.

#4. Consider Interoperability

Paying attention to specific interoperability factors will help ensure a well-integrated and optimized multi-cloud environment. So consider interoperability factors before choosing the multi-cloud environment for your systems.

Here are some factors,

  • Ensure the CSPs support common APIs, standards, and protocols for integration and data exchange between clouds.
  • Consider how easily data can be moved, accessed, and managed across CSPs. Look for interoperable data formats, replication capabilities, and migration tools.
  • Assess how easily applications and workloads built for one CSP can be deployed and scaled on another. Containerization helps, but dependencies need alignment.
  • Evaluate if virtual machines, storage, databases, etc., from one CSP, can communicate and integrate with resources on another CSP seamlessly.
  • Tools are needed for centralized visibility, control, and automation across CSPs. Consider integration with existing monitoring, backup, and security tools.
  • Ensure CSPs meet regulatory and compliance requirements for sensitive workloads and data. Interoperability doesn’t compromise on security.
  • Adopt open standards, avoid proprietary technologies, and ensure flexibility to change CSPs without rewriting applications or data migration issues.
  • Consider the geographic distribution of CSP data centers and edges to optimize for application performance and end-user experience.

#5. Ensure Cost Management

Careful consideration of these factors will help organizations select the right CSPs and optimize costs in a multi-cloud environment. Consider upfront and ongoing costs when choosing a CSP for your multi-cloud strategy. Optimize resource utilization by right-sizing instances, consolidating workloads, and using auto-scaling.

Compare prices among pay-as-you-go, reserved instances, and spot instances to optimize costs while ensuring performance and availability. Tools to track spending, strategic instance reservations, and separating costs can manage your multi-cloud environment effectively.

Leverage discounts and promotions and control data transfers between clouds. Use cost optimization tools to track spending and set budgets. Reserve instances strategically and separate production and non-production costs. Consider using multi-cloud management tools for optimized decisions.

Key Takeaways

Multi-cloud is a powerful way to leverage the benefits of different CSPs and achieve business goals. However, choosing the right multi-cloud environment requires careful planning and evaluating your needs and options.

Following the tips above, you can select the right multi-cloud environment for your business and manage it effectively with a multi-cloud management platform. However, if you feel stuck or need help choosing the right multi-cloud environment, contact us to get an expert opinion from a pool of top professionals at Blazeclan.

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