53% of enterprises are embracing two or more cloud providers. This is understandable considering how critical Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can be to an organization.
Perhaps the question should be, why aren’t all of your clients using a multi-cloud strategy?
Benefits of using a multi-cloud strategy
Most of your clients should already have a fully documented disaster recovery plan in place. If so, a critical part of business continuity planning should be having a multi-cloud strategy in place so they are not dependent on a single provider in case of an outage.
By using multiple clouds, these clients can help protect themselves by running mission-critical workloads on multiple cloud providers, allowing them to have business continuity in case of an outage.
Avoiding vendor lock-in
Moving away from an IaaS provider can be a major undertaking. It can add associated costs as your client takes on the overwhelming challenge of moving to another provider.
Unfortunately, there are several ways vendors can lock in your clients. They may use a proprietary operating system or cloud storage that makes it difficult to move to another provider. They may also introduce their own add-on functions and services. If your client’s applications rely on these proprietary features, it can make it very difficult to leave.
“From hardware to just about the application layer, I would submit the cloud introduces a level of vendor lock-in we’ve never seen before. Before you could choose the hardware, the network layer and more, and now it’s all abstracted. Is that bad? That’s up for discussion,” said Abe Kleinfeld, CEO of GridGain.
Using the best performing cloud service
What happens when performance gets worse at your the current cloud vendor, or, you find that another provider is better performing in certain services? Sure, your clients can move to another provider, but this is an involved process. However, with a multi-cloud strategy, they can monitor each cloud provider and use the best performing cloud service to meet their needs. And if they have to shift some services to their second cloud provider, it’s much easier than switching altogether. Keeping an eye on cloud performance from a service like Cloud Spectator is helpful as well.
Improved testing across different providers
Even though converting to cloud is a lot easier than it used to be, it can still be a very complex process. Testing with multiple cloud providers allows clients to conduct trials across various platforms to see which ones best meet their needs.
Ensure success with multi-cloud
Before your client can successfully implement a multi-cloud strategy, they will need to carefully identify which metrics are important to the success of their business. While it may be tempting to monitor everything (a common IT trait), only certain information will actually be useful.
For example, they will probably want to collect system metrics such as disk usage, network usage, CPU, and more. They will also want to collect metrics from their application, such as the number of active users, API requests, failed logins, etc..
The good news is that monitoring a multi-cloud strategy is easy using a tool like Unigma. With it, you can monitor Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform from one screen.
Doing so will allow you to centralize all of your monitoring data. This way you get to keep all of your client’s mission-critical metrics and events in one place that is independent from a single IaaS provider. You maintain an overall view and make sure everything is running properly for your clients.
Setting up rule-based governance
Setting up rule-based governance allows your clients to set thresholds for their applications. For example, if certain metrics go beyond the threshold, the cloud management system automatically allocates a new virtual machine and then adds it to your load-balancing. You can do this with the provider or use a tool cloud governance tool like Gravitant.
During times of decreased utilization, it should be able to scale down and terminate unneeded resources so you don’t overspend. By monitoring all providers at once, you have the ability to switch from one service provider to another to allow continued service.
Using a multi-cloud strategy is a powerful way of making sure you get to pick and choose the best options while avoiding vendor lock-in. It’s always important to continuously monitor and manage your clients’ cloud services across multiple vendors. Using a product like Unigma will allow you to do just that with one platform that is not tied to each vendor. Now your clients can take full advantage of the benefits of using a multi-cloud strategy.