Cloud platforms continue to evolve and mature as the foundation for modern enterprise infrastructure. A significant percentage of organizations are already well along in their cloud migration and cloud operation plans, and at this point, it’s clear that multi-cloud has become the preferred strategy. Adopting multiple public cloud platforms—and often a private cloud as well—to support enterprise operations can provide additional levels of flexibility, ensure business continuity in the event of an outage, and even provide some cost benefits.
It’s a simple, straightforward, and effective strategy. “Most organizations have the idea that you don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket. While utilizing a single vendor can be beneficial for many types of products and services, there are a couple of reasons you may not want to do that with the cloud,” says Myles Brown, Senior Cloud and DevOps Advisor for ExitCertified. “You’re at the mercy of that vendor if they change pricing. Another concern is they may make some new service available, in which case they might stop supporting an old one. You want to make sure they don’t deprecate services and functions too often.”
Every major cloud provider has its own unique significant strength, which could affect the decision of which provider to use as your primary service. “Each [cloud provider] has a sweet spot of what they do well,” says Brown. “For example, consider Microsoft Azure. If you’re a 100 percent Microsoft shop, Microsoft Azure has some really cool stuff that can make your life very easy. They’re only focused on one kind of database and one environment.”
Other providers bring other strengths to the table. “AWS felt they had to worry about all kinds of [databases and platforms], so they became the market leader because they do everything pretty well. You can run pretty much any kind of workload on AWS,” he says.
Google has taken a slightly different approach to the cloud market. “Then along comes Google Cloud. They said, ‘We invented Kubernetes, so we’re going do that really well.’ They also invented TensorFlow, the popular machine learning framework,” says Brown. “If you’re into machine learning or AI, it’s probably best to run on Google Cloud. Their marketing pitch has been, ‘If you want to go multi-cloud, we’re the perfect additional cloud for multi-cloud.’”
Moving to a multi-cloud platform and working with more than one of the major cloud providers is a valid strategy for just about any type of enterprise. It does, however, require more management expertise from those responsible for keeping operations on track. “Get those multiple entry-level certifications—get at least two or three,” says Brown. “For example, you can be an AWS guru and get those higher-level certifications, but it wouldn’t hurt to also get Azure fundamentals. Once you know one cloud pretty well, learning a second comes down to what do they do differently. There are lot of similarities.”
Obtaining training and certification across multiple cloud providers can be a significant benefit for cloud professionals. Consider the major providers we’ve already mentioned—Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google—as well as technologies that enable hybrid and/or multi-cloud, like containers, Kubernetes, OpenShift, and Cloud Foundry. Just as multi-cloud is a wise strategy for enterprise architecture, gaining certifications on multiple cloud platforms is a wise career strategy.