Determining the right multi-cloud approach for your applications

May 19, 2022
Multi Cloud

Avoiding inconsistent workflows and application limitations are essential keys to realizing the desired benefits.

Credit: iStock/cnythzl

No two companies are alike, neither are their approaches to IT transformation with multi-cloud and application modernization at the center. Multi-cloud goes beyond cloud infrastructure to include applications and cross-cloud services, but that can quickly produce additional complexity and siloed applications.

Organizations large and small are overwhelmingly pursuing multi-cloud strategies. Their goals include application proximity to customers; the ability to upgrade to newer hardware or managed and outsourced services; and the freedom to choose among service providers, among other benefits.

As multi-cloud accelerates, organizations need a breadth of options to ensure they can properly determine and manage the right mix of applications and operational capabilities that span public, on-premises, local, and edge cloud environments. 

Many will stumble over the reality that each additional cloud introduces further application complexity with growing numbers of integrations and linkages from hypervisors and hyperscalers.  

It’s not uncommon for organizations to lock a specific application to a specific cloud; in fact, “apps siloed on different clouds” is the most common multi-cloud implementation in use, according to Flexera’s recent State of the Cloud report.

Cloud native applications designed for a single, or “mono-cloud,” environment can offer some DevOps agility, but may be limited in use to that mono-cloud.  Developers often deploy different development tools and apps for each cloud provider, further complicating matters.

“Adjusting to workloads running in multi-cloud environments often requires significant adjustments, such as what current management tools will operate in newly introduced clouds,” says Chris Simpson, Cloud Solutions Architect, VMware Cloud Universal. “Introducing multi-cloud managed services also requires adjustment of existing workflow processes—for example, change, incident, problem, and capacity management.”

Other difficulties may include acquiring new skill sets, adapting existing software delivery processes to a new cloud, and adjusting project and cost management, Simpson adds.

VMware Cloud Universal aims to overcome those difficulties and enable a consistent multi-cloud experience and application independence utilizing VMware Tanzu Standard, which provides a single Kubernetes distribution that can be deployed and operated across on-premises, public clouds, and edge. That eliminates the need to manage separate Kubernetes distributions from each provider in the multi-cloud environment. 

One approach is to use VMware vSphere with Tanzu to bridge the gap between IT and developers for cloud-native apps on-premises and in the cloud, says Simpson. “When vSphere with Tanzu is enabled on a vSphere cluster, it creates a Kubernetes control plane inside the hypervisor layer,” he explains. “This allows traditional and containerized applications to operate independently of cloud infrastructure.”

Another approach, which is also part of the VMware Cloud Universal’s Tanzu Standard option, is through the Application Transformer for VMware Tanzu, which enables organizations to convert a VM to a container. It also helps in discovering application types, visualizing application topology, choosing a modernization approach, and containerizing and migrating suitable legacy applications to enhance business outcomes. 

Application Transformer is an agent-less tool that scans VMs, gathering information such as folder structure, resource pool, application names, and processes. It provides technical scores based on the detailed information about application components and business values to enable informed decisions on modernization priority and creates OCI-compliant container images.

“VMware has taken an innovative approach to modernizing applications so that apps can run independently of the cloud,” says Simpson.

To learn how VMware Cloud Universal, with the Tanzu Standard option, can help organizations achieve multi-cloud objectives and foster application independence, go to