How to avoid the pitfalls of multi-cloud strategy deployment
Making the decision to implement a multi-cloud strategy is difficult. From the decision to pursue a multi-cloud journey to defining the requirements to laying the foundation to identifying and deploying applications and services to the multi-cloud environment, the process requires a solid strategy and flawless execution to succeed, say experts at Taos.
Rather than simply utilizing multiple clouds, a true multi-cloud environment is designed to have applications and services deployed on disparate resources with an existing network to route between locations. This allows organizations to leverage the strengths of different cloud service providers (CSPs) to better meet their needs for any particular data set or application.
A multi-cloud strategy can enable choices in cloud locations that result in better performance or satisfies residency requirements; provide cost advantages or ensures business continuity; offer better protection, or help avoid vendor lock-in.
Multi-cloud strategy deployment tips
Regardless of the reasons why an organization might pursue a multi-cloud strategy, here are the tips to avoid the pitfalls of deployment:
Identify requirements – Make sure you know exactly what you need from each CSP. Requirements gathered must include technical as well as business needs so that utilization patterns can be derived. Develop a decision tree, taking into account which CSP can solve which requirements.
Design the foundation – Prior to the first application or service deployment, develop a global network strategy. If your environment is 100 percent cloud-based, simple connectivity between clouds using a VPN solution may suffice. More complicated solutions may drive the need for a dedicated connection between a corporate data center and each cloud provider.
Develop a security visibility strategy – Design solutions that can work between clouds to bring security visibility. Scanning tools can quickly identify misconfigured cloud resources and services while deploying agents on VMs can get threat protection broadly across the organization.
Institute good governance – Governance is an opportunity to introduce consistency and order into an otherwise disorganized environment. Considerations for any governing body are to define key principles, review application and service designs, and publish recommendations for approval or identification of critical new foundational infrastructure needs.
Implement training – Not every administrator will know every cloud. Traditionally operators and administrators focus on a single cloud. Be prepared to offer training and education so that a cloud administrator can manage the entire multi-cloud environment without concern for skillset limitations.
Automate everything you can – When automating deployments, it is best to look for tools that work for all CSPs in your multi-cloud strategy. Tools such as Terraform offer a consistent mechanism for deploying infrastructure and provisioning services across all major CSPs. Configuration management solutions will function as well-provided network access or federation.
Consider the timing of the multi-cloud strategy launch – Work closely with the finance team to analyze the total cost of implementing a multi-cloud strategy. Should applications and services need a multi-cloud environment, this can be addressed when the requirement arises.
Prepare a proper plan – Rushing to implement a multi-cloud strategy will result in inefficiencies, rework, and in some cases, a total replacement of the work performed. Set realistic goals and timelines, publishing your progress for coordination between colleagues and projects.
“Despite an uptick in adoption, multi-cloud strategies are thought of as a nice to have an option rather than a transformative business option, deciding to implement a multi-cloud strategy not very obvious,” said Hamilton Yu, CEO of Taos.
“The benefits of such a deployment far outweigh any concerns an organization may fear. However, it is important to properly plan and carefully consider options to get the most out of a multi-cloud environment. Partnering with a company that can help enterprises navigate these decisions to optimize their business might be the most important decision of all.”