An introduction to the multicloud strategy and how to implement it in your organization

Image: Dilok/Adobe Stock

Although multicloud has been more ambitious than real, today’s enterprises are multicloud by default. A Flexera State of the Cloud 2022 Report found that 89% of respondents said they have a multicloud strategy, with 90% of respondents having a HashiCorp Survey 2022 signal the success of multicloud.

Among other reasons, these companies are turning to a multicloud strategy to allow them to choose the best cloud service for their particular needs. But understanding how to make a multicloud strategy work is harder and more rewarding than just hiring a consultant to come in and stir the multicloud pixie dust on your application infrastructure.

An overview of the multicloud strategy

Businesses have been multicloud almost from the start, but not always intentionally. Just as shadow IT has driven companies to deploy an unmanageable hodgepodge of databases, operating systems, and application servers for decades, the easy availability of cloud services has also driven a team to adopt Google. Cloud while another uses AWS and another runs Microsoft Azure. It’s not a strategy; It’s just business computing.

SEE Research: Managing multicloud in the enterprise; Benefits, Obstacles, and Most Popular Cloud Platforms (TechRepublic Premium)

Increasingly, however, enterprises are becoming more savvy and intentional about running multiple clouds to achieve better services, lower costs, and greater flexibility to move services closer geographically to users.

Common use cases for a multicloud strategy

By far the most common reason companies choose a multicloud strategy is to take advantage of particular services only available on a given cloud. It’s also the best reason to choose a multicloud approach.

Other use cases include the desire to improve resiliency and reliability, but this is often more difficult to implement in practice than to argue in theory. The reason? With one cloud, you have to worry about the availability of that cloud, but with two or more clouds, “now you have to worry about AWS, GCP, and the ungodly plumbing between them,” said the Honeycomb co-founder and CTO Charity Majors.

How to develop a multicloud strategy?

Moving to a multicloud architecture is not a decision to be taken lightly, as it can introduce significant complexity. Companies that want to reduce this complexity can look to SaaS providers that support managing databases or other infrastructure across various clouds, but should keep in mind that successful multicloud deployments depend on multicloud architectures. that span the application and data tiers.

To see how the multicloud strategy has been most successfully deployed, it’s worth checking out how the wealthiest and most sophisticated companies operate, as SADA CTO Miles Ward did. writing. What do Twitter, Snap, Uber and the rest have in common? Among other things, they have moved from monolithic architectures to microservices. This allowed them to maximize developer freedom, while limiting the explosion radius in the event of service failure.

It also made it easier for them to choose the best cloud for a particular service. For Snap, it has become a cardinal design principle to “make services as tight as possible” to make it easier to back up those microservices with a particular cloud infrastructure, as Snap’s SVP of Engineering Jerry Hunter did. Speak clearly.

In fact, several Key Snap Design Principles provide a solid foundation for any company’s multicloud strategy:

  • Secure by default: Authentication, authorization, and network security should be defaults, not optional, within the platform.
  • Clear separation of concerns between service business logic and infrastructure. We want a loose coupling so each side can iterate independently.
  • Abstract cloud provider differences where we can. We want to minimize deep vendor dependencies so that it’s possible to move services between AWS, GCP, and other cloud providers.
  • Centralized service discovery and management. We want all service owners to have the same experience of owning a service, regardless of where the service is running.
  • Minimal friction for the creation of new services. A trainee should be able to set up a product service at lunchtime.

Of course, most companies won’t have the resources to build exactly like a Snap does. For mainstream enterprises, it can be helpful to start small, perhaps choosing a SaaS provider that handles the complexity of multicloud for you, or simply starting by redesigning a monolithic application to be microservices-oriented. One of the benefits of the latter approach is that it puts the business in a good position to push your cloud provider to compete for the right to run individual microservices.

When embarking on a multicloud strategy, it’s also important to consider different aspects of your application infrastructure. Some cloud services are fairly standard across clouds; others are very specific to a particular cloud. And then there are still other services that may be mostly the same between clouds, but will require engineering work to bridge the gap between, say, computing on Google Cloud versus AWS.

You will need to consider how dependent you want to be on higher order services within a particular cloud. The more dependent you are on a particular service, the more dependent you become on that cloud. At the same time, the more you depend on the value-added services of a cloud, the less time your developers will need to spend innovating in this area. There’s no right or wrong answer, just a series of multicloud choices to make.

Key indicators of success in a multicloud strategy

In accordance with Snap’s design principles, enterprises should rigorously develop and monitor network performance, security, and application availability. Businesses also need to track costs to see, for example, whether a microservice running on AWS would be more affordably supported by Microsoft Azure. Ultimately, however, the best way to know if your multicloud strategy is working is if you’re able to affordably run the best services for your customers.

Disclosure: I work for MongoDB, but the opinions expressed here are my own.

Stay connected with us on social media platform for instant update, click here to join our Jwitter& Facebook

Virginia S. Braud