The hype around cloud computing can be traced back to 2011, when the likes of Google and Amazon entered the industry. Today, cloud computing is disrupting the status quo of legacy IT and has become a catalyst for digital transformation. According to IDC, currently 43% of workloads are on-premises and 57% in the cloud. By 2022, this will flip to 75% in the cloud.
Since the initial days of the Cloud, most businesses sought a cloud strategy from the point of view of “which cloud is best for our business?”. Though, now, as businesses are already six to eight years in their cloud journey, this question has transformed into “Which cloud for which business needs?”. The requirement for interconnected, interoperable cloud solutions has flourished as businesses notice the constraints of being on a single cloud and the public clouds have risen in their specialization and focus.
From the early days, most businesses proceeded with a single cloud as the choice was restricted. Another school of thought said, keeping the workloads in a single cloud would help manage better and was inexpensive than educating teams to manage multiple clouds.
As we speak, the basics have dramatically changed. There are multiple compelling public cloud options, all providing fundamental computing, storage, and networking functions along with a number of distinct platform solutions to facilitate innovation. It is safe to say, businesses now have a real choice.
This is an advantage for businesses who now understand that various clouds accommodate different apps depending on the design principles of the cloud service provider. Though there is a critical business principle for sharing workloads. A handful of businesses are comfortable trusting 100%, or even 80% of their key apps to a single cloud service provider. This is due to lack of reliability or fear of security risks when working with a single Cloud provider. The other reason is the rising probability of being confined to a pricey platform with soaring costs to integrate.
The synergy of available cloud options and inclination to expand has cleared the way for a multicloud adoption. As businesses analyze their existing cloud commitments, here is a list of services they should expect from their cloud service providers.
Skill to Run Cloud Independent Applications
The idea of running an app without code alterations on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, or in your own server room is appealing. It can be for redundancy, backup, failover, or a host of other reasons.
As a simple rule, the closer you are to bare metal scenarios, the more consistency you have for every app as the builders of virtual machines, containers, and server-less build on the bare metal environment, securing the apps that are portable than other cloud-native applications.
The ability to do so without impacting the performance or security is a major deal for businesses in 2022. It is a crucial attribute of web-scale businesses like Zoom that run across various cloud providers currently.
Multi-Cloud means Multiple Strength
Streamlining for each environment is important, as the base common denominators of virtual machines, container management and storage are the same across different solution providers. Though, how each provider manages its environment including shared or non-blocking, isolated network models, dedicated servers or shared virtual servers, flexible or static load balancing etc make a great difference in terms of performance.
These differences go way beyond design choices on infrastructure and in platform services. One provider might be good for desktop apps; another might be good at server-side databases, ERP, or CRM software etc.
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Over a period of time, cloud-savvy businesses will look to join all the services without penalty in the form of security and management functions. They will look to utilize high-level software for each particular cloud. These discriminators in the design of the infrastructure and advancement of platform solutions each cloud specializes in are the major indicators beyond the necessity of multicloud. In order to reach there, these different networks must work seamlessly together.
Rapid Data Flow Between Clouds
As businesses embrace multiple public clouds for distinct applications, primary data will rest in multiple places. To override that data for tasks running somewhere else, fast, secure physical links between clouds are necessary.
Oracle-Microsoft Azure Interconnect is a class example of a fast, private low latency connection in two primary public cloud infrastructures that is a game changer for businesses running workloads on OCI and Azure.
Along with the need for fast, secure connections between clouds, various businesses require fast and protected ways to connect their data centers with the clouds of choice, which Oracle Fast Connect offers.
When almost all businesses are looking for extremely fast data transfer, none of them is looking to pay exorbitant fees on data transfer from one cloud to another or to the end users. It is one of the main reasons why OCI has focused on reducing the data egress costs. Oracle ensures the Cloudflare Bandwidth Alliance, a multi-vendor push to reduce those expenses.
Ease of Management
As businesses look to increase the unique potency of each cloud, they are also looking to reduce the annoyance of managing, monitoring, and protecting multiple clouds.
Ideally, businesses would love to manage their IT operations from a single place, irrespective of where they are run from. Additionally, they are looking for a single place to ride herd on security and identity access controls throughout venues. OCI’s manageability platform endorses the open-source FluentD data collection logs typically used across on-premise and sometimes in the cloud.
The flexibility to manage access rights to one app running in Cloud 1 and another app running in cloud 2 depends on a business’ needs, is a major benefit in leveraging the true advantage of secure multicloud deployment.
This means, depending on your authority, it is possible to use one system to get access to Oracle Autonomous Database running in OCI, and your designated apps running in other clouds like Azure etc.
Why to choose a multi cloud strategy?
Multi-cloud management is changing fast, though there are multiple steps that need to be checked by each business. Identifying these points is important for businesses as they first evaluate their multi-cloud options, as well as controlling and securing their data. The primary parameters are:
Deployment and Management
Businesses look for a single management framework, which can deploy and manage across different cloud infrastructures. It is easier said than done, but as multiple cloud providers have distinct virtualisation tiers and multiple management levels. One of the primary parameters for this framework should be that it enables seamless movement of services and workload between public and private cloud deployments.
Once the management is sorted, ease of usability is the second option. Also, the last thing that any business wants is a tool that makes life difficult for those using it or gets in the way of time-to-market. An efficient multi-cloud platform must be simple to use for both the operations team and the development team. This helps with efficient configuration, deployment, and service scalability.
Monitoring and Diagnostics
Ignoring to shut down services is one of the most standard issues in the cloud. It usually costs the businesses thousands of dollars every year. It is the only reason why businesses must deploy monitoring tools in their multi-cloud strategy. Efficient tools should offer an appointed administration ability which is crucial in this digital world. Monitoring and Diagnostics tools that offer visibility in the infrastructure tier are also important, in order to troubleshoot the most complex issues.
Governance & Security
With increasing customer data and confidential information being available from the web, the management platform must offer the power to instantly roll out and impose security updates at any level whether it is platform, application or infrastructure. The management platform must also offer the flexibility for rule-based governance of data and services so businesses can manage the data movement across different locations and adhere to government rules and regulations.
In the end, it all comes down to customer needs and business requirements. Organizations that operate in highly regulated industries or have sensitive data (healthcare providers and financial services, for example) will likely stick with a single provider. But for companies that don’t feel tied to a single provider due to regulations or data security concerns, a multi cloud strategy might be right for them.
For those businesses, picking a single provider may actually increase costs due to added lock-in. Instead of paying more by locking into a single provider, they can save money by taking advantage of economies of scale across multiple providers. Those economies are higher growth figures that vendors are seeing in their cloud businesses, which is driving the push towards multi tenant architectures and metadata-driven solutions like intelligent orchestration tools. Businesses are likely to respond well to this as long as they can get what they need from a unified interface without having to pay excessive switching costs.
The cloud has developed from private to hybrid and now multi-cloud technology, which will be the new standard for cloud architecture as businesses need to improve workloads and prevent vendor lock-in. Only businesses that can handle this will unveil the true advantages of multi-cloud. What do you think about the multi-cloud revolution in 2022? Let us know in the comments below.
Karan works as the Delivery Head at Conneqtion Group, a Oracle iPaaS and Process Automation company. He has an extensive experience with various Banking and financial services, FMCG, Supply chain management & public sector clients. He has also led/been part of teams in multitude of consulting engagements. He was part of Evosys and Oracle’s consulting team previously and worked for clients in NA, EMEA & APAC region.