Multi-Cloud is fast becoming the norm in the enterprise. At Rishidot Research, we estimate that most organizations will use more than one cloud provider by 2020. A recent survey by RightScale of 1,000 IT professionals found 85% of enterprises now have a multi-cloud strategy, up from 82% in 2016. Multi-cloud is fast becoming the de facto deployment strategy among the enterprise decision makers because of many advantages including:
- Cost and this becomes a big factor with a continuous reduction in the costs of various cloud services. With Multi-cloud and spot instances, users can realize larger cost savings
- The flexibility to choose the right services for the applications. In fact, enterprise IT should give this advantage to their developers by embracing multi-cloud or, else, they will end up facing the shadow IT problem. The developers will use a cloud provider whose services suit their application needs by going directly with the cloud provider
- Performance advantages, compliance needs, and edge computing also drive multi-cloud advantages
Multi-cloud governance is key
The multi-cloud advantage comes with an overhead which, when left unchecked, could result in IT failures. In this post, we want to highlight the factors that could contribute to failed multi-cloud projects. Most of these factors come under the umbrella of governance.
- The biggest advantage of multi-cloud is that it has cost flexibility but it is also the biggest risk. Left unmanaged, VM or cloud services sprawl could be a good problem. Resource wastage will add up to make multi-cloud very expensive
- Security is another issue where it is critical for enterprise IT to ensure that they apply all security patches across instances in multiple cloud providers, access management is enforced in accordance with the organization’s policies and data privacy and security is ensured. As workloads move across cloud providers, data security becomes as important as infrastructure and application security
Governance is a big factor in successful multi-cloud implementation. The other big challenge with multi-cloud is the operational complexity. With so many services across many cloud providers, operational challenges can be overwhelming.
The challenges with multi-cloud should not deter your organization from embracing it as a part of your IT strategy. Rather, focus on mitigating these challenges. We recommend a tool that provides a single pane of glass to implement governance in conformance with their policies. We also recommend higher levels of automation to mitigate some operational complexities. Tools like Chef, Ansible, Puppet and other automation focused tools can help ensure automation across multiple cloud providers.
We strongly believe AIOps is critical in ensuring success in the multi-cloud world. We are already seeing many products that use machine learning and AI in the realm of observability and some in governance. We expect this trend to accelerate in the coming years. As multi-cloud becomes the defacto deployment strategy. AIOps will be a critical component of the multi-cloud world.