Managing a single (public) cloud can be challenging. What about your multi cloud management? Multi cloud environments have; a more complex architecture, a challenge on cloud governance, and different kinds of data per cloud. How to overcome this multi cloud management challenge?

The appetite for digitalization is high. Organizations adopt public cloud more and more to; shorten the time-to-market, increase innovation speed, and operational efficiency. 

Cloud spend is rising as organizations adopt a multi cloud strategy and put more workloads and data in the cloud.

The ease of cloud computing to start your new functionalities into the cloud brings already many challenges. With multi cloud, management becomes even more challenging.

After reading this article you will know:

Is multi cloud a good strategy?

It always depends on your situation, but in most cases is multi cloud a good cloud strategy

92 percent of enterprises have a multi cloud strategy.

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Multi cloud strategy is a good strategy because you want to have the best of breed solutions to maximize the benefits of cloud services. No one vendor can deliver the best of breed for all your needs. You also want to make sure the continuity, agility, and flexibility of your business are secured. To achieve this, organizations choose a multi cloud architecture with multiple vendors. 

This makes that many companies choose a multi cloud setup. Research shows that enterprises move more and more to multi cloud to enable better workload matching, increased agility and improved redundancy.

What is multi cloud management?

Multi cloud management is the management of a multi cloud environment to maximize the business value per $/€ cloud spend. 

There is a best practice cloud management framework with seven functional areas and five cross-functional attributes. The functional areas are specific to one use case, whereas the cross-functional attributes aim at broader goals that are common to multiple use cases.

The challenges of multi cloud management

The usage of cloud drives digitalization and shortens the time-to-market, increases speed of innovation in a cost-effective way, if done right. Yes, there are some challenges.

Before we start with the challenges of multi cloud we would like to repeat the challenges we already have with a single cloud.

Having a single cloud solution brings already the below, not a complete list, top challenges:

  • Security – a third-party vendor will store (often in a public cloud environment) and process your data. 
  • Cost management – the ease of starting your cloud resources makes managing your cost necessary. The cost reports of cloud providers are often not sufficient to take business decisions. Understanding the cost implications of software licenses in the cloud is hard. Through 2024, 80% of companies will be unaware of their mistakes in their cloud adoption and will overspend by 20 to 50%. Flexara – 30 percent of cloud spend is wasted. Common causes of cloud waste include overprovisioned resources, unused assets or instances paid for but not in use, data not stored in the most optimal place, lack of automation, and enterprises not taking advantage of discounts.
  • Governance – a good cloud strategy has an impact on the entire organization. How do you manage the governance around cloud usage to get the most benefit from your cloud. Coordination across multiple business units and functional areas is needed.
  • Compliancy – being compliant with new legislation and regulations can be hard.

With multi cloud, management becomes even more challenging. Multi cloud environments:

  • Have a more complex architecture.
  • Makes you need to operate with multiple cloud vendors. As an example: organizations are not taking advantage of all cloud provider discounting options.
  • Have for every single cloud their way of naming and reporting of resources and costs.

The best multi-cloud approach

Organizations overcome the above challenges with their best approach to multi cloud:

  • Cost efficiency and saving is part of measuring a companies cloud progress.
  • As with cloud, with multi cloud, you need fundamentally change your mindset on how you integrate cost analytics, adopt the principles of FinOps.

61 percent of organizations plan to optimize cloud costs in 2021, making it the top initiative for the fifth year in a row.

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  • Organizations take a centralized approach to cloud. Research shows that for larger cloud enviroments a centralized governance model will be more efficient.
  • Usage of multi cloud management tools to manage this complexity and to gain as much as possible business benefits. To manage a multi cloud environment only 42 percent of all participating organizations in the Flexara-survey use multi cloud management tools.
  • Finding the best multi cloud manager in best of breed tools instead of cloud management platforms, see also the paragraph below and the Garter writing about the shift to best-of-breed tools.

Multi cloud management tools vs platforms

With the complexity of multi cloud it is obvious that you need the right tools to facilitate your teams in managing your cloud computing.

Cloud management tools and platforms enable organizations to manage multi cloud services and resources. This includes providing governance, life cycle management, brokering and automation for managed cloud infrastructure resources across multiple functional areas. 

Cloud management platforms (CMP’s) are broad general-purpose integrated products that provide the “entire“ management of public, private and hybrid cloud environments. 

Multi Cloud Managment tools are tools that focus on a specific functional area of the Gartner Cloud Management Framework. Because these tools are focused they can be the best of breed for that specific part of multi cloud management that you need for your business. 

In the newest cloud management framework that has been published one of the major updates is the shift from platforms to tools. Research shows that Cloud Management Platforms (CMP’s) are still there, but they are no longer top of mind of clients. There is a shift of interest from broad general-purpose platforms to best-of-breed tools that have deeper functionality in a given area.

Multi cloud cost management tools

As multicloud use grows, so do the time and skills necessary for cloud spend management. This is where a multi cloud cost management tool partner can help enterprises control their cloud cost management, freeing IT teams to focus on business generating projects

Please also read how to manage and optimize costs of public cloud iaas and paas, in which they write that major cloud providers offer native tools to manage costs, albeit with basic functionality. Third-party tools continue to advance their cost management functionality with a multicloud approach.

A good multi cloud cost management tool provides you with the below solutions so you can focus on your business:

  • API-management – connect and retrieve the relevant data from your multi cloud providers
  • Data management – organize your multi cloud data so you can use the data as one data-set
  • Visualization and reporting – make your data valuable from a business perspective so you can make the right business decisions
  • Allocation of costs to the right cost centers – so you can reduce your waste of cloud spend
  • Sharing information – your finops teams can take ownership of managing their cloud spend.

Conclusion

The need for digitalization to shorten time to market, increase innovation speed and operate cost-effectively is big. Cloud spend is rising as organizations put more workloads and data in the cloud.

Multi cloud is often a good cloud strategy. With a multi cloud strategy you make use of the best-of-breed solutions. No one vendor can deliver the best of breed for all your needs. By using a multi cloud strategy you make sure the continuity, agility, and flexibility of your business are secured. 

Multi cloud management is everything you need to do to manage your multi cloud environment to maximize the business value of your cloud computing.

Single cloud already has some challenges like; security, cost management, governance, and compliance. Multi cloud makes these challenges even bigger because of; more complex architectures, operations with multiple cloud providers, and the use of different services, names and cost models per cloud solution.

In the best multi cloud approach, organizations have centralized teams for their cloud governance and use the finops principles to manage their cloud spend. Almost every company has managing their cloud costs as a priority on their agenda.

Organizations prefer multi cloud cost management tools over platforms because these tools are focused on a single functional area of cloud management. This makes these tools the best of breed. 

Multi cloud cost management tools help you to reduce your waste of cloud spend and to increase your business benefits of cloud computing.

Good luck with your multi cloud management and please contact us for you best of breed multi cloud cost management solution.

Sources

  • Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report. The report explores what 750 global cloud decision makers and users are thinking about the public, private and multi cloud market. It shares their current and future cloud strategies, often showing year-over-year changes to help identify trends. License, Copyright and disclaimer by Flexara.