Multi-cloud sounds simple, but, without a unifying strategy, implementing multiple cloud services can result in added complexity. That strategy starts with clear objectives and culminates with best practices to maximize goal achievement.
Multi-cloud adoption promises broad access to vital services such as app modernization, unified security, advanced data services, and unified operations. But it’s easy to go astray without proper planning.
“The most concerning issue about most enterprises going multi-cloud is their lack of preparation to make multi-cloud and hybrid cloud work as a solution platform for the business,” writes noted InfoWorld cloud columnist David Linthicum. “In other words, obstacles exist in leveraging this technology effectively.”
We discussed how individual applications may not span multiple clouds in a previous article. Here we’ll focus on other common challenges when bringing multiple clouds into the IT environment, including:
- Multiple cloud silos
- Rising cloud costs
- Security and compliance
- Operational continuity
Multi-cloud environments are in a state of constant flux. That’s to be expected when the portability of applications and flexibility are the ultimate goals. But it requires effort in building and operating applications that are capable of migration between on-premises and multi-cloud environments. In fact, workloads and applications that have initially migrated to a public cloud environment may be incrementally repatriated or moved back into the on-premises environment.
“Indeed, most businesses today are hybrid, with some workloads on-prem and others in the cloud,” VMware CTO Kit Colbert recently wrote. “The exact balance differs by company and can change over time as their environment evolves…having a well thought out multi-cloud strategy is key to enabling incremental repatriation.”
Multi-cloud adopters should aim for the following:
- Consistent operations that span multi-cloud such as Kubernetes management, cloud disaster recovery, cost management, and enterprise management.
- Consistent infrastructure across Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, Alibaba, and the thousands of partners that participate in those environments. With consistent infrastructure, migration challenges are significantly reduced and enable organizations to move workloads at a much higher rate.
- Consistent applications with a “build once, run anywhere” application architecture leveraging Kubernetes. That should extend to policy-based, application-centric security in and between multi-cloud environments as well as the ability to deliver a secure software supply chain that ensures apps are compliant as they run across various disparate clouds.
Consistency across public cloud platforms is hardly a priority for the major cloud services providers, each of which is determined to leverage unique capabilities as its competitive advantage.
“One common approach to address these inconsistencies between cloud providers is to build a set of services that are standardized across cloud infrastructure, operations, and governance,” says Chris Simpson, Cloud Solutions Architect for the VMware Cloud Universal offering.
VMware Cloud Universal offers multi-cloud subscription purchase and consumption flexibility across multiple clouds, traditional and cloud-native applications, and operations. That’s accomplished with a foundational IT stack based upon:
- Kubernetes and compute with VMware vSphere and VMware Tanzu
- Storage with VMware vSAN
- Networking with VMware NSX
- Cloud management and operations with VMware vRealize
- Workload portability with VMware HCX
The unique offering provides a rich set of enterprise-class VMware compute, storage, networking, management, security, and modern application capabilities spanning on-premises data centers and private, public, and local clouds.
“With VMware Cloud Universal, organizations can determine then adopt their chosen best-of-breed cloud solutions to manage their workloads and applications in a secure environment, to maintain freedom and flexibility as business needs change,” Simpson says.
To learn how VMware Cloud Universal can provide a unifying path to your multi-cloud future, go to https://www.vmware.com/products/cloud-universal.html.