Today, many businesses use a “multi-cloud” strategy, in which they contract with several public cloud providers to run all kinds of workloads as well as a variety of applications.
Each cloud provider offers different types of services at varying prices. A company can simply pick services from different providers to get the best possible solutions for the lowest cost. Flexibility in services also helps businesses improve delivery of IT services and avoid downtime by spreading workloads and data across services.
Plus, customers don’t have to worry about vendor lock-in. If you can get a better price or some specialized service from a different provider, it’s relatively easy to switch.
Service Sprawl Causes Management Headaches
Like most things in IT, though, when something seems easy, it probably comes with a catch. In this case, having the ability to pick cloud services like appetizers from a menu comes with a pain point.
Each provider has its own management console that IT staff use to spin up workloads, manage applications and monitor usage. As an organization increases the number of cloud providers it uses, IT staff must juggle several different management consoles. Without having a consolidated view of all of the services you use from multiple providers, it’s nearly impossible to properly integrate those services. Although routine tasks like server patching and updates can be automated, someone must set up automation and track status in each separate cloud. Clearly, this process is time-consuming and overwhelming for IT staff.
The Fix: Use a Multi-Cloud Management Platform
Fortunately, organizations don’t have to abandon a multi-cloud strategy to make things easier for IT admins. A multi-cloud management (MCM) platform is a great solution. Delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS), the platform provides a single web-based console that connects different public cloud services and on-premises private clouds.
With an MCM tool, multiple cloud solutions are consolidated within one dashboard. With a unified view, staff can more easily manage and monitor workloads, applications and stored data regardless of where they “live.” For example, within the MCM, administrators can create automated policies for tasks such as workload optimization and patching, ensuring that related services are carried out on schedule across locations.
By analyzing usage across all services, the tool enables IT staff to minimize costs and integrates billing so you only have to pay one invoice. Some tools provide a feature that helps administrators match use cases to the most appropriate cloud service. For example, the tool could help suggest a cloud service that best suits an operating system or a compliance need.
Consider a retail sporting goods company that sells over 50% of its athletic, hunting and fishing products from its website. It had used a single cloud provider to support its website and databases for four years. However, the company experienced a big drop in sales during last year’s holiday season because the site became unresponsive as the number of users on the website spiked. Now this year, the company is using three different cloud providers to ensure its website is working and highly responsive 24/7/365. To streamline administration, the company also subscribed to an MCM platform, providing IT staff with a single dashboard to manage all of the services and generate cross-platform reports. The MCM platform also helps out the accounting department by consolidating all billing into one monthly bill. With a multi-cloud strategy and MCM, this retail company can focus on its customers and drive business growth, rather than babysit its cloud infrastructure.
Give MCM a Try
The ability to combine multiple management consoles into one dashboard helps to integrate services and reduce manual processes, relieving the burden on your IT staff. In turn, IT can focus on more important aspects of workload and application support, like alerts, usage levels and other performance metrics that impact employees and workflows.
If your IT staff struggles to manage multiple cloud services or needs to get a better grip on expenses, contact your preferred MCM platform provider for a free consultation. Even better, find out if a trial period is available to test-drive the features in your own environment.