By Gareth Williams, Founder and CEO, YellowDog
It’s no secret that cloud use has rocketed within the modern business world. Since the launch of Amazon Web Service in 2006, there has been a fundamental shift in the way business IT infrastructure is run.
With a mass migration from the more traditional, on-premise data centres to the use of cloud, a lot of business IT is now run on third party shared infrastructure.
It’s clear to see why: the benefits of multi-cloud are multitudinous themselves. Offering more computing power, lower costs, and increased agility, multi-cloud also mitigates risk and increases regulation compliance. In order to maximise all these benefits, it’s important to get multi-cloud adoption strategy right.
One of the first things that needs to change during the adoption of multi-cloud is the mindset of the development, operations, and management teams. When hardware and physical hosts will no longer exist, it is necessary to familiarise your workforce with the services and dynamic pools of infrastructure they are about to start working with. This ‘cultural shift’ is important as it prepares everyday users of multi-cloud for the change.
Once the change is culturally established, it is important to select the right cloud solution for the right workload. Different cloud providers have different characteristics and services, so it’s important to make sure that the right selection is made for the needs of the business.
When deploying applications and processes across multiple clouds, use fully configurable infrastructure code and other cloud native tools to do so. Cloud providers use APIs, so the right infrastructure code will assist in achieving optimum efficiency.
It’s also advisable to consider any regulation and policies on data processing. Europe’s GDPR legislation, for example, means that any multi-cloud deployments need to employ additional intelligence to ensure legitimacy.
API integration between cloud vendors is crucial in order to achieve automation. Automation, in turn, is needed to keep operational costs low as well as ensuring service level agreements are adhered to. To control effectively, then, it is necessary to integrate to the various vendors’ APIs.
Another way to ensure effective control is to understand the best source of compute for each workload and process at a particular point in time, across multiple clouds. This will make sure performance, cost, compliance and regulatory requirements are met.
Scaling is most commonly associated with adding more computing power to the existing IT infrastructure. This could be in the form of more physical data centres or cloud vendors. Before doing so, first check whether the current IT estate can be utilised more effectively. The average server utilisation within a typical enterprise is only between 5% and 15%.
Performance monitoring and alerting could be an easier way to scale than adding more hardware or clouds to your infrastructure.
Optimising – though necessary in any IT infrastructure – is of even greater need in a multi-cloud environment. There are likely to be differing performance characteristics between each cloud vendor. Once your computing power is being accurately and effectively measured, steps can be taken to ensure the right amount of computing power is always available to deliver processes on time.
The advantages that multi-cloud brings to business far outweigh the challenges. If you choose to implement it, use multi-cloud right to mitigate operational risk whilst maximising the commercial opportunity.