As organizations move more of their services to multiple public cloud providers, many IT and network managers are feeling overwhelmed. This is because each provider has different toolsets, user demands, and rules. Multi-cloud can essentially be a complex mixture of disjointed environments that leads to confusion, complexity, and spiraling costs.
Multi-cloud is becoming the new normal for many organizations. But managing cloud-based services across multiple providers is not always becoming any easier. Even the term multi-cloud is somewhat confusing to most IT professionals. You see, a multi-cloud is not the same as a hybrid cloud. A hybrid cloud is a setup that includes legacy data centers, private clouds, and public clouds. Multi-cloud usually refers to the use of multiple public clouds from different providers. This means an organization can have a multi-cloud without necessarily having a hybrid cloud. It can also have a multi-cloud as part of its hybrid cloud.
The complexity of managing, allocating, running, and securing a cloud environment is hard enough. Adding multiple environments increases the difficulty exponentially. But all is not lost. There are more than a dozen vendors, both IT startups and stalwarts, that are providing multi-cloud management tools. These tools help bring some control, order, and insight into the management of multi-cloud deployments. Many of these tools offer management and integration with other cloud providers. They are particularly useful to development and operations teams.
When choosing a multi-cloud management tool, one of the most critical considerations you should make is user experience. Enterprises must consider the training needs of each solution in terms of time and money. The other consideration should be the capabilities of the tools they’re looking at. One way to go about this is to create use cases that they may not have thought about as part of the original requirements.
Here are some things you need to understand about multi-cloud management tools.
1. Tools Aren’t Created Equal
Cloud management tools aren’t created around the same pattern. They may even have the same name and fall into the same category but will operate differently. For example, Cloud Service Brokers (CSBs) and Cloud Management Platforms (CMPs) differ in the way they carry out operations and management. There’s also a difference in how they provide brokering services to both application workloads and developers.
2. You Must Consider Security
Management tools are susceptible to breaches. It is, therefore, important to plan though your security needs systematically before picking and implementing multi-cloud management tools. Note that this might raise costs.
3. Monitoring and Management Go Hand in Hand
You can’t have one without the other. After all, it’s impossible to effectively manage the multi-cloud without the evaluation and monitoring of cloud-based services, infrastructure, and applications.
4. Tools Can Introduce New Problems
Multi-cloud management tools can introduce problems that touch on performance, operating costs, and the ability to deal with services from several public cloud providers. For example, combining Google’s analytics engine with a database on Amazon Web Services can cause problems. One of the providers can change how its service works without due regard for customers who co-mingle its services.
Take time to properly define and design your multi-cloud deployment. Select the right management tools to suit your requirements. This will boost the efficiency of your organization by up to tenfold. Note that multi-cloud management tools are not a silver bullet for all your cloud management challenges.