These days, many enterprises use multiple public cloud and private clouds as a part of their cloud deployment. According to the cloud report 84% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy and majority(54%) use both public clouds and private clouds as a part of multi cloud strategy. Also, enterprises now say that they run a majority of their workloads in the cloud. Company’s reliance on them is also increasing. Due to these increases, optimizing cloud spending is their first priority and governing their cloud usage is a close second. So here multi-cloud management tools come in. These tools allow organizations to centralize their monitoring of cloud spending and usage, apply governance policies, secure access and enable self-service. Some include cloud migration and/or backup and disaster recovery features.
Many leading CMPs are available from small vendors that completely focus on multi-cloud management, but larger technology companies are acquiring many small vendors. If you’re new to the world of multi-cloud management, then you must know its details before adopting it. Here we’ll see multi-cloud management tools, best practices and challenges. Before proceeding, let us see what multi-cloud management is.
What Is Multi-Cloud Management?
When an organization uses more than one cloud platform service for its different application needs. Multi-cloud is comprised of a private, public cloud to fulfil the organization’s end goals that vary organization to organization. Multi-cloud management uses different architectures, like Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and Software-as-s-Service (SaaS), to achieve a business goal. According to the requirements of specific workload/applications, different cloud providers are used. Multi-cloud is a strategy applied by CXOs, technology architects. It allows enterprises to select different cloud services or features from various providers. This will allow companies to select public, private or hybrid cloud options and consolidate multi-cloud to make customized plan.
How Does Multi-Cloud Management Works?
Cloud Native functions are architected such as to run in the elastics and distributed nature of modern cloud computing platforms like AWS, private cloud like OpenStack. Multi-cloud strategies include use of hybrid environment, but it relies on more than one public cloud provider such as AWS, GCP, Azure. The approach eliminates the requirement for complete cloud migration since some sensitive data remains on that enterprise’s on-premise service.
Enterprises generally choose to store some user data on-premises, by use of one cloud provider for its IaaS requirements and another for PaaS or SaaS requirements. Various cloud service providers are used for various unique business functions.
Challenges In Multi-Cloud Management-
It is a task to run periodic speed and performance checks on your web or mobile app, particularly in complex multi-cloud environments. It can be taxing for your developers team to monitor data and identify problems single-handedly.
Unwanted expenses rises due to poor multi-cloud management. Sometimes, if you’ve integrated multiple cloud services in your application, it might be a possibility that you may not use all the benefits to their full capacity. And in such a way, you end up paying for services that are not even accessed.
3. Delays With Manual Processing-
Workload management that span over multiple and diverse platforms creates a need to address real-time processing and orchestration. It plays a vital role in getting the apps into productions and ensures their continuous performance. But, manually processing of all these actions can cause delays in delivering timely results.
4. Cloud Sprawl-
Cloud sprawl occurs when users fail to decommission non-utilized cloud computing instances or services- main reason being the workloads that frequently move between clouds. This makes it challenging to get resource visibility and affects the cloud bill.
Most of the organizations faces challenges while migrating to multi-cloud especially when it comes to multiple data centers, remote locations and mobile uses. Checking of secure access to cloud assets with legacy networks often leads to two options — backhauling cloud traffic to a central internet access point or sending cloud traffic directly onto the Internet. Allowing organizations to migrate applications with their pre-existing standards and policies across the new cloud network, efficient cloud management is necessary.
6. Data Security-
Like data centers, multi-cloud environments also requires a robust security framework. There is a continuous data exchange between multiple clouds, so it is important to secure sensitive data with many layers. If an attacker has to penetrate more levels, the better chances are that the attacks will not be successful.
Key Tips For Selecting Multi-cloud Management Tool-
While choosing a multi-cloud management solution, consider the below questions.
- Which cloud platform does the solution support?– You should search a multicloud management tool that supports AWS, Microsoft Azure and VMware. Best tools also supports various types of environments, including Kubernetes.
- Do you need a tool that will integrate with DevOps workflows?- DevOps is continuously gaining popularity and some popular CMPs are addressing this reality with tools that support containers, continuous delivery, microservices and related approaches.
- Does some tool meet your security, governance and compliance needs?- Some of the tools are better than others to implement policies and some companies have more complex needs than others. Ensure that multicloud management tool you choose will be a good for your requirements.
- How advanced are the CMP’s analytics capabilities?- Cost control is main focus, so organizations require multicloud management tools with powerful reporting and optimization capabilities. Some uses artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Top Multi-Cloud Management Tools-
1. Embotics Commander-
It is one of the most well-respected multi-cloud management tools used by organizations like NASA, Fanatics, Nordstrom. This tool supports multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud environments. It includes automated provisioning and orchestration capabilities, integrated governance and incorporates cloud expense management. It is designed to use in environments using microservices, containers, devops and hybrid IT.
Previously, cloud management platform by Flexera known as RightScale. It is a simplified platform that automates services. Flexera provides a single view of multiple multiple clouds with compiled information and effortlessly integrates with top configuration tools. It coordinates with APIs along with built-in support for networking, storage and so on. Disaster recovery is started with self-healing capabilities like automated backups and failovers. Also the platform tells users about any unused cloud resources that helps to save costs. There are some limitations with Flexera such as- users have found significant delays in deployments, steep learning curve of platform and cost ration or pricing to be the problem areas.
This tool is application-centric and offers an automated and orchestrated framework for cloud management. Self-service provisioning, one click, codeless integration are some of the important features of Morpheus Hybrid Cloud Management. It provides persona-based management i.e. users are provided with specific data instead of generic data, saves a lot of time. This tool provides operations and automation with on-premises hypervisors, different cloud services and swapping technologies etc. The platform also comes with nearly 100 codeless integration and plug-in SDK for organizations to create their own integrations. Morpheus is preferred for data management, solving cloud-lock, cloud migration and shadow IT across clouds effectively. But it has some limitations such as- steep learning curve, complex UI and lack of training materials. Also, there is no free trial for users and the pricing starts at $25,000.
4. VMware CloudHealth-
VMware purchased Technologies in 2018 and continues to offer company’s multicloud management tools under the cloudHealth brand while integrating them with VMware products. Enterprises that use other VMware tools should research CloudHealth as a option. It offers intelligent governance and automation capabilities and helps organization to optimize cloud use and spending. It includes analytics tools for evaluating cloud usage.
It is designed to automate and collaborate with Terraform that acts as remote state and operations backend for Terraform. Scalr allows organizations to play and apply functionalities to systems that are remote from Terraform CLi. With this platform, you can customize provisioning portals and integrate it into pre-existing cloud infrastructure. Also it enables RBAC for different users. Scar provides Open Policy Agent as a single toolset for cloud-native stack to take out the use of different policy language, models, and also APIs for various products and services. It comes with some limitations like- lack of support for VMware environments, feature gap that can only be met with third-party integrations.
Enterprises need a robust multi-cloud management platform to automate tasks and optimize costs. Continuous increase in the need of various apps leads to the adoption of these platforms among end-users. Enterprises can reduce their dependency on a single provider and use best cloud service with the availability of a comprehensive multi-cloud management platform. If you’re facing any difficulty with multi-cloud management, consult with Solace experts. We’re here to help you through consultation and development. Connect with solace and get a free quote for development with cloud services. We will be happy to help you.