Does your organization’s IT infrastructure look something like this?
If so, you’re not alone. Many of the organizations we meet with have applications spread across multiple platforms including on-premises, remote offices, colocation facilities, software-as-a-service (SaaS), hyperscale clouds like AWS and Azure, and enterprise clouds that operate similarly to their in-house environments. Put another way, management complexity is a common byproduct of multi-cloud environments.
These multi-cloud implementations amplify or carry IT complexity in ten dimensions:
- Workload placement – Which cloud or hardware platform should I use for each specific application? What are my criteria for choosing the right cloud for the job?
- Skillset management – Do I have the right IT professionals on staff to manage this multi-cloud environment? If not, can I hire the right people for the job, or outsource the work to a combination of managed service providers and cloud service providers?
- Network complexity – Can my existing network team manage this new, complex network that is far different from the LAN and WAN issues they have managed in the past? Is my team capable of architecting, implementing, and supporting a combination of WAN, Internet and direct connections to multiple clouds? Is my combination of WAN, VPN, Internet and direct connections optimized for cost and performance?
- Perimeter defense – How do I draw a defense perimeter around my applications if they exist in multiple clouds? How do I check to see who’s “knocking on the door” across all platforms?
- Visibility and management – It’s difficult enough to get visibility into a homogeneous on-premises or single cloud environment. How do you monitor multiple clouds simultaneously?
- Performance and reliability – Have my SaaS providers, my cloud vendors, and my implementation team chosen the right cloud platforms for my performance needs? Have I used the right tools in each platform to establish the right level of recoverability for the business to continue operations in the event of a system failure?
- Data protection – Are you appropriately managing safety copies of your data based in on-premises colocation, enterprise clouds, and SaaS platforms? If you’re not protecting your data, is your provider? Does the risk of data loss and the time to recovery match the lost revenue, profits or credibility that an outage costs the business?
- Access to scale – What is my strategy when the business grows significantly? Do all applications need a highly scalable platform? Do I need the ability to shrink as well as grow?
- Security and compliance – Will the company get fined (and will I get fired) for choosing the wrong combination of platforms for my IT environment? Am I risking a data breach by placing the wrong application in the wrong cloud? How will I know?
- Cost management – How do I know if I’m using the best cloud platform from a cost perspective, or if I’m spending too much? How do I put guard rails around both my infrastructure team and my development team so they don’t overrun annual cloud and telecom budgets in the first three months?
Looking for a solution that can help you manage multi-cloud complexity rather than amplifying it? Contact me for a conversation about your environment to evaluate your unique IT complexities and to help you determine the right combination of cloud platforms and management tools to effectively manage your multi-cloud environment.
Doug Theis is the Director of Market Strategy in Expedient’s Indianapolis market focused on engaging with and improving the regional IT community through planning, sponsoring and attending community events, facilitating IT-focused continuing education opportunities, and sharing strategies, tactics, and research to help IT professionals stay abreast of best practices and industry trends. Connect with Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter.