Multi-cloud Best Practices

03.01.22 04:00 PM

How to Make the Most of a Multicloud Approach 

Multi-cloud environments create opportunities, allowing companies to choose service providers that work best in a variety of scenarios. It ensures the right technology for each task is available, ensuring you have best-of-breed solutions for every critical need.

Plus, the distributed nature can reduce risk in some cases, eliminating a dependence on a single provider. There are also cost benefits with multi-cloud environments. You can spend more in areas where the need for advanced features is justifiable and save in operational categories where the needs are simpler.

However, as with all technology implementations, using the correct approach is essential. If you want to make the most of a multi-cloud environment, here are some best practices to follow.

 

Map Out Your Multi-cloud Deployment

When you’re using multiple cloud solutions, the resulting system is inherently more complex than with a single cloud environment. Along with broader total capabilities, there are more connections that need addressing.

You’ll need a thorough understanding of any cross-system dependencies to ensure that everything that needs to connect can do so efficiently. Additionally, access to different kinds of expertise may be necessary, ensuring the quality of any internal management of the systems. The same goes for operational tools, allowing you to reduce the complexity.

By mapping out your multi-cloud deployment, you get greater visibility into your wider setup. This can make it easier to determine where data, applications, or systems need to reside, improving efficiency while simplifying the larger system as much as possible.

Plus, this makes it easier to migrate to a different service provider should the need arise.

 

Don’t Default to Provided Security

Cloud solutions typically come with security features and mechanisms. However, defaulting to the service provider offerings may not be sufficient in a multi-cloud environment. You need to factor in how connections flow between various clouds, for one. For another, you need to make sure that all security controls are correctly configured, as well as support system-wide standardization for consistency.

While provided security measures can play a role in the equation, you may need to find outside solutions to support a broad and comprehensive security strategy. That way, standardization is easier to achieve. Consider which methods work best across your entire environment, ensuring any security measures implemented meet your needs regardless of what’s offered as part of your agreements.


Monitor Use to Control Costs

Many cloud-based solutions come with use-based cost structures. If you’re bringing in cloud services that charge based on usage, having technologies in place to monitor access and traffic is essential. Otherwise, unexpected elevated use may increase your total cloud spend and negatively impact your budget.

While service providers typically provide monitoring tools for their own systems, relying on that alone isn’t ideal in multi-cloud environments. Instead, investing in a cloud governance solution may be best, ensuring you can get visibility into all usage from a single portal.

 

Avoid Leveraging a Lack of Loyalty

 

With a multi-cloud environment, the goal is to get the best solution for various needs. While it’s tempting to pit providers against one another, regularly leveraging your lack of loyalty to request price reductions isn’t wise. This makes you a harder client to handle, and they may decide that your limited services aren’t worth fighting for in the long term. If that happens, you may lose access to a best-in-breed solution.

Instead, it’s best to recognize that you’re choosing each provider for a unique reason. If a similar feature set or capabilities aren’t available elsewhere and you genuinely require them, approach negotiation differently. Threatening to use a lower-cost provider that can’t fulfill all of your needs isn’t wise, as the provider may call your bluff. Instead, compare like with like, and only do so if you’re legitimately open to making a switch. Otherwise, find something else to leverage or accept the pricing as is.
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