Multi-Cloud Obstacles Still In the Way of Deployment

Observability and Monitoring services could be critical to overcoming multi-cloud obstacles in the future.

In the years post-pandemic, many companies worry about the risks of using a single vendor to supply a significant portion of their technology stack. The multi-cloud addresses this concern by moving cloud operations to several vendors. Even though experts like Gartner believe multi-cloud adoption is inevitable and will soon become the norm, obstacles remain for now. Let’s explore what companies must consider to deploy multi-cloud to its fullest potential.

Global reach is both a blessing and a curse

Multi-cloud expands how and where enterprises can operate around the world, but this comes with added complexity. Companies must maintain multiple locations with little in common and keep scale or changing business needs in mind as they do so.

Companies may face regulatory pressure or asymmetrical offerings based on their locations. This requires organizations to carefully consider and get creative about maintaining consistency across the entire enterprise. 

While single cloud deployments carry their own scale and consistency challenges, these problems are magnified by adopting a multi-cloud approach. In fact, thanks to multiple locations and cloud service providers (CSP), consistency is especially problematic. This can cost companies time and money to diagnose and solve and could leave vulnerabilities in place that companies don’t notice until it’s too late.

A unified management center could provide the complete oversight enterprises need to maintain and deploy multiple cloud services across the globe. Once companies find the right unified solution, they’ll have a much better time leveraging multi-cloud to its fullest potential without straining existing resources.

The type of architecture can enable or inhibit performance

The architecture itself can inhibit consistency as well. With a single provider, companies are limited to the architecture within the CSP; with multi-cloud, the organization must make key architecture decisions that consider existing parameters and future growth.

It’s not an easy decision. Enterprises need an understanding of each type of architecture, as well as what connects or overlaps. A broad stroke approach using traditional processes won’t help companies integrate and manage these systems. Enterprises might experience “tool sprawl” or difficulties due to the need for multiple tools to monitor and maintain multi-cloud strategies. Although traditional infrastructure monitoring solutions are no longer a good fit, piecing together tools won’t help in the long run.

Instead, the transit approach creates a connective layer that enables communication and flexibility. Ideally, there’s not much need for manual intervention, and it should be able to adapt to network routes. The transit network can abstract complexities and allow users to adjust to meet business needs and those of the existing systems.

A well-designed system maximizes communication. Multi-cloud can fall prey to integration challenges, causing latency that compounds as the system becomes more complex. Prioritizing storing and processing information within the same cloud—except where absolutely impossible to do—can alleviate some of these communication concerns. And again, this goes back to what it means to deploy a well-designed system.

Lack of CSP standardization creates multi-cloud obstacles

Even cloud service providers lack standardization. The most famous choices, namely AWS, Azure, and GCP, maintain their own distinct APIs and control mechanisms. When companies choose a specific CSP, they adopt that particular structure for managing and deploying cloud applications.

This lack of standardization adds to the complexity. Companies could take several approaches to address and minimize this complexity, each with its own pros and cons.

  • Third-party intervention: Some enterprises may choose to invest in third-party vendors that can manage and deploy multiple cloud solutions on behalf of the enterprise. This reduces the strain on the companies themselves but could create some security and consistency concerns. What happens if the third-party vendor is acquired or dissolves? How do enterprises maintain governance through the third party? These questions will need answers.
  • Building in-house solutions: Companies with incredible in-house talent and expertise could bring control back into the enterprise. However, might take an enormous amount of resources. Companies will need to balance the need for control over sensitive assets while ensuring teams aren’t overloaded in maintenance and monitoring.
  • Combination solutions: There’s always the potential for a combination of third-party input and high-value oversight from in-house teams. If done right, it’s an excellent partnership. However, if it is deployed haphazardly, it could simply shift complexity from the system itself to the monitoring solution instead.

Rising costs are also a significant consideration

The benefits experienced by multi-cloud deployment can be hampered by rising costs associated with that deployment. Organizations may still need to hire talent to manage these environments even with third-party involvement, and that talent is currently a scarce commodity. Hiring a full team could be impossible, but adding one or two new experts will add to the cost of deployment.

In addition, the billing system can be unwieldy, with companies racking up enormous bills for cloud costs. These costs would be a byproduct of a complex system where companies can’t readily see where inefficiencies occur and have no way to fix them quickly. Each cloud vendor may also use its own billing process, further adding to the burden of maintaining such a distributed system.

Observability, integration will be the answers to multi-cloud obstacles

Enterprises will need to handle observability and monitoring away from traditional tools in order to deploy multi-cloud safely. Overcoming multi-cloud obstacles will require faster, more efficient communication through better integration. Dynamic tools leveraging AI and automation will help alleviate the load on IT teams while creating a consistency layer across the entire enterprise.

Multi-cloud seems inevitable, especially as companies grapple with vendor lock-in and new global precedents. Hopefully, the market will mature alongside the need and will offer enterprises new solutions to reduce complexity, aid in observability, and drive the business outcomes that multi-cloud promises.

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