Increasingly, companies are turning to the cloud for the operating agility, elasticity and scale needed to rapidly address business challenges and maximize opportunities. A multi-cloud structure puts a myriad of environments at the fingertips of IT managers, so they can choose the option best suited to respond quickly and effectively to each business requirement. A cloud environment can help save costs as budgets and resources are shifted from managing technology infrastructure to investing in business transformation. Today, nearly 90% of enterprises use at least one form of cloud, and 85% have a multi-cloud strategy, using 8 different clouds on average.
The use of multi-vendor, hybrid-cloud environments continues to accelerate as IT executives become increasingly confident in the security and performance of running applications and workloads across a combination of public and private clouds from multiple providers. IT managers can now consider the performance, security and regulatory requirements of each application and select the cloud configuration best suited to the job – whether that’s public and private Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or legacy, on-premises IT systems. Most experts agree that mixing and matching best-of-breed solutions from different cloud providers equips enterprises with an optimum IT environment. A hybrid, vendor-agnostic mixture of public and private cloud approaches minimizes vendor lock-in, while also providing resiliency and continuity protection and allowing the enterprise to capitalize on the unique strengths and advantages of each vendor.
The hybrid cloud challenge
However, single-handedly stringing together and managing a multi-cloud solution from various suppliers is not easy. The environment can be complex, as it requires tight integration between on-premises and hosted systems from multiple providers. You must also juggle multiple vendor relationships, each with unique contracts, price points and terms, complicating the situation even more. If not monitored and controlled properly, operational issues can occur, taking up time and IT resources which could be better spent elsewhere in the organization, such as creating new applications to drive revenue or better support customers. You also risk under optimizing your cloud environment and possibly overpaying for services.
Making the complex simple
If you had to manually control the 6 million parts of a Boeing 747 in order to fly, you’d never get off the ground. It’s the plane’s instrument panel that’s the game changer, providing the pilot with the management control they need to safely take off, fly from point A to point B and land. The same can be said of a cloud application management solution when applied to a mutli-cloud environment. A cloud management application gives you end-to-end visibility and control across private, public and varied service provider environments through a single portal with consolidated billing and support. The solution helps simplify cloud management and allows you the flexibility to do all the management yourself, let the cloud management provider handle everything or take a “let’s work together” approach. By working with a trusted partner to leverage a single instrument panel to manage multi-vendor cloud environments, enterprises can avoid many of the pitfalls associated with multi-cloud implementation and reap the associated benefits.
- Faster Innovation. A cloud management solution that provides easy access to private, public and hybrid cloud environments and delivers the tools needed to manage visibility, control and security promotes faster innovation. A multi-cloud management application with a single interface puts cloud services from varied vendors at your fingertips, allowing you to immediately stand up cloud instances and burstable scalability to match your business demands.
- Performance & Visibility. Instead of managing servers within its own data center, IT must now manage a constantly shifting combination of cloud platforms – all with different capabilities, processes, costs and performance levels. A cloud application management solution can give you the end-to-end visibility that’s needed to ensure constant performance and seamless control across all environments.
- Security and Compliance. A multi-cloud management application provides the IT department with transparent oversight of the entire enterprise environment, including servers, storage, network, managed services and billing. Policy-driven orchestration of applications and infrastructure is facilitated, allowing junior IT staff, software developers and other non-IT cloud users to quickly stand up or change their own cloud instances. IT management can elect to offload this task, yet IT oversight is preserved and corporate policies and compliance requirements are enforced. Efficiency is improved as internal cloud users can create and replicate environments in real time, without waiting for IT to handle support requests. And perhaps most importantly, as IT can safely empower cloud users to configure and manage their own cloud instances, under IT supervision of course, shadow IT and the related security concerns are effectively eliminated.
- Cost Control. Automatic provisioning matches workloads and deployments to the cloud type (public or private) and vendor best suited to the job based on pre-defined operational and cost optimization policies. Automation allows for cloud instances to shut down and terminate at a given date and time, thus avoiding the accumulation of charges for cloud instances that are no longer necessary. Costs are further controlled with reusable templates that quickly facilitate new cloud instances while also minimizing production errors and downtime. And last, but not least, the multi-cloud management application consolidates billing from multiple cloud providers, making it easier to manage and control costs, all from a single interface.
As organizations increasingly rely on multi-cloud strategies, IT departments must deal with additional complexity with ever-shrinking budgets, limited time and reduced staffing levels. Luckily you don’t have to sacrifice innovation, security or money to successfully manage your cloud environment. A multi-cloud management application can provide IT with the instrument panel they need to ensure that business transformation initiatives take off and the enterprise can soar to success.