Many organizations are embarking on or have recently deployed multi-cloud IT environments to support specific business needs – such as edge computing or to tap into hyper-scalable resources for disaster recovery, storage, bursting workloads, and dev-test.
Sometimes multi-cloud computing isn’t a choice. Organizations may face a multi-cloud scenario due to a merger or acquisition – when each organization involved depends upon applications hosted by different cloud computing providers.
In other cases, organizations have joined the multi-cloud bandwagon without recognizing it. An organization may leverage multiple Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, for example, each in different clouds.
Despite the overwhelming benefits, multiple clouds can multiply complexity. If you are considering or find your organization in a multi-cloud scenario, here are five challenges you may need to overcome.
1. Billing complexity
The more cloud providers an organization uses, the more invoices the organization will be responsible for and want to reconcile. How much storage was on that bill from vendor 1? How much from vendor 2? Are you using each in the most cost-effective way? To understand your total IT expenditure, you’ll need to keep track of them all – large and small – and understand how to use each to your advantage.
2. Impact of cloud sprawl on security and compliance
Naturally, multiple clouds create complexity for security. Every cloud service promises security to a different standard. It’s important to read the fine print – and get guidance from a Managed Services Provider (MSP) or Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) if you need help. Take Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, for example. You’ll need to know where each cloud provider’s responsibility ends and where your responsibility begins. Multi-cloud security requires a proactive, holistic data security approach.
3. Connecting your clouds
Inter-cloud connectivity options vary and will be your responsibility. Some organizations keep it simple and choose a multi-cloud strategy with no communication between clouds. Other organizations want the benefits of easily migrating data and workloads between clouds, or to run an application spanning multiple clouds. As a result, your multi-cloud scenario may require connectivity, such as private line or Virtual Private Network (VPN).
4. Shadow IT is no longer a gating issue
In earlier days of cloud computing, organizations were quite concerned about eliminating shadow IT – information technology systems built without central IT approval or knowledge. This concern has largely transitioned to a forced acceptance and focus on securing data and access.
5. The big problem is skillsets
The more cloud services you adopt, the more cloud technologies to learn – Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, VMware, and more. Multi-cloud complexity has resulted in a serious problem today: the lack of available personnel with skill and experience on multiple cloud platforms. There’s a huge demand with a real shortage of talent.
Hyperscale clouds are moving so fast that you will often need someone who is focused on a single hyperscale cloud – it can’t be a generalist, because there isn’t enough time in a day to stay on top of all the changes. The major hyperscale providers introduce hundreds of feature releases and updates in a given year.
Learn more: [webinar] Enterprise IT Shifts Off-Premises: Cloud, Data, and Digital Transformation presented by Melanie Posey of 451 Research
Many clients come to TierPoint after recognizing they won’t have the right expertise or can’t dedicate enough resources with the needed skill sets. TierPoint has the expertise and resources to fill this role. We manage hyperscale clouds for our clients in addition to providing private cloud, multitenant cloud, hybrid cloud, and colocation services.
TierPoint has the right people with the right expertise, time, and focus to design, deploy, secure and manage your multi-cloud environment. Contact us to learn more.
David McKenney serves as TierPoint’s Azure product evangelist and subject matter expert in customer, partner, and industry influencer interactions. He oversees the strategy, product rollout, and technical direction of all of TierPoint’s cloud solutions. Dave is a 15-year veteran of the industry and enjoys wearing the hat of ‘problem solver’ and jack-of-all-technical-trades.