A multi-cloud strategy is a process of using multiple cloud services in a multi-faceted architecture to deliver specific business applications. Assigning a business application to each cloud service generates multiple benefits to the enterprise.
A strong pull for enterprises to adopt a multi-cloud strategy is to sidestep vendor lock-in. Vendor lock-in is when an enterprise is unable to transfer its data to a different vendor. Outside of vendor lock-in, a multi-cloud approach makes it difficult for a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack to affect all of its data as it can’t penetrate all the clouds in use. It’s also attractive to enterprises for its flexibility, and it’s easily customizable.
Considerations for an Effective Multi-Cloud Strategy
- Avoid an ad-hoc multi-cloud approach. Instead, build a multi-cloud architecture with an overarching business objective in mind. The ad-hoc approach leads to headaches as it adds various tools and processes without reviewing if those are the most effective tools to manage all the cloud services.
- When plotting a multi-cloud roadmap, an enterprise should spend time “identifying and prioritizing key use cases associated with … business requirements.”
- A top priority when it comes to implementing a multi-cloud strategy is security. Enterprises need to review all the security policies for each cloud service provider to see how the security policies best align with each other and to pinpoint the gaps in security coverage. Documenting and knowing the security gaps allow an enterprise to forge a plan to stay updated on the governance and compliance requirements.
- Review applications currently in use and identify which clouds they operate on. Then decide which cloud is the best fit for each application.
- RightScale advises enterprises to adopt frictionless governance when a multi-cloud approach includes a public cloud. This approach drastically reduces delays to cloud resources “by offering developers and business units cloud resources as quickly as teams can obtain them directly from cloud providers.”
- Identify competencies around multi-cloud by noting the methods and elements involved to maintain the multi-cloud.
- Conceptualize a cloud outage plan. Stratoscale suggests to “be wary of interconnectivity issues and how they can affect your infrastructure: If you do have to sync the service between clouds, use asynchronous systems as much as you can, pay for better connectivity when possible, and don’t let any cloud-specific service become a single point of failure.”