Multi-Cloud Management: Tools, Challenges and Best Practices
Multicloud management sare a trending topic for several years now due to its modular nature. Vendor lock-ins can be avoided. Systems running on multi-clouds experience lower latency and more functionality from the subscribed service.
A Gartner study found that 75% of organizations investing in IaaS for Clouds will adopt multi-cloud strategies before the end of 2022.
It is possible to have multiple services and applications scattered across multiple Cloud providers. Monitoring and managing multiple Cloud applications, as well as troubleshooting issues, migrations, and ecosystem health. Everything needs to be managed by a manager. Multi-cloud management is where multi-cloud management enters the picture.
Software/tools designed to manage multi-cloud environments can help achieve a good synchronization between business workflows as well as Cloud usage. Multi-cloud management systems can facilitate seamless flow between Cloud environments and coordinate operations.
Let’s discuss the challenges of multi-cloud management and some tools that can help. We will also share best practices and features you should consider when choosing a tool.
What’s Multi-Cloud Management?
Many people use the term “Multicloud” in the same way as hybrid clouds. These two types of setups are very different. A hybrid cloud can include all kinds of combinations and permutations of a Cloud, such as traditional on-premise servers or virtual servers, but a multi-cloud usually only refers to public servers.
Once you have this concept in mind, a multi-cloud management system is a system that maintains consistency and homogeneity in multi-cloud environments, organizes large volumes of data, and distributes it among servers to avoid overloading on one Cloud. It is a multi-cloud orchestrator, which keeps the systems from collapsing.
A multi-cloud management tool also provides a single view interface that displays all Clouds. This allows for actions to be performed from one dashboard. A multi-cloud management platform can also automate workflows based upon a specified protocol, self-IT resource provisioning, analysis, and reporting on multi-cloud status.
Challenges of Multi-Cloud Management
It can be difficult to keep track of company data when it is distributed to multiple cloud providers in this way. If not addressed, there are other issues that can cause security loopholes or decrease operational efficiency. Let’s talk about these issues in more detail.
The Cost Factor
Over-expenditure is the result of using more Clouds to run your applications without first performing a thorough need-analysis. Each Cloud setup is unique and has its own specialties, properties, and services. The expense of creating new Clouds without properly using existing services is wasteful and serves little purpose.
Every web and mobile application needs to be tested periodically to determine its speed and performance. This process can take longer in multi-cloud environments and may require more staff. The management of the performance data generated can be a tedious task. This requires additional time and effort.
Delays in Production and Development
Multiple clouds can make it difficult for multiple clouds to be used to manage the development and production operations of multiple applications. It is difficult to manage the production manually and it takes a lot of effort to keep everything on track. If something goes wrong, it can cause delays and lead to chaos.
Cloud sprawl is the bane of multi-cloud setups. It occurs when services, machines, and servers are running in excess, even if they aren’t needed anymore. Users may forget to de-commission and deactivate any unnecessary services, events, or instances in the Cloud cloud. This could lead to a Cloud bill.
When migrating from legacy networks to a multi-cloud environment, cloud management can be a challenge. When migrating to the Cloud, it can be difficult to keep your existing security policies and data standards. Investing in a system capable of monitoring all clouds is a smart move.
Multi-cloud ecosystems divide company data into distinct components that need to be managed separately for compliance, security, and governance. With the growing volume of data and the number of Clouds within the ecosystem, this becomes more difficult. To ensure that everything is compliant, a smart management system might be necessary.
Multi-cloud environments can make data security more difficult due to the differences in security protocols between Clouds. The organization may also have to ensure secure communication between Clouds via VPNs or layering up security on their internal networks.
Considerations When Choosing a Multi-Cloud Management Software
According to a report from Markets, the multi-cloud management platform industry is set to grow at a 30.9% CAGR between 2017-2022 according to Markets. This industry could reach $4.5 billion in size.
Given these facts, it’s not surprising that companies would have a lot of options when choosing a tool to manage their Cloud setups. These are some features you might consider to be guiding beacons that will help you navigate the various products within this industry.
Multi-cloud management tools are only useful if they can respond to user service requests immediately. Selecting a tool is the best way to get the most from this feature. This transforms the request from the user’s API into a cloud-native version before it is logged in.
A multi-cloud management platform should be able to monitor service usage on all Clouds, as well as the application hosted on each. This allows the organization to see Cloud reliability and budgeting. The services not needed can be gradually phased out.
A multi-cloud manager who is proficient in tracking key performance indicators such as latency and downtime relating to the services a Cloud provides will be able to identify these. This is an important step in ensuring that you only retain Clouds that are reliable and provide the services required at high-performance levels.
Each cloud provider has its own policies that govern the data and services that are brought into the ecosystem. These policies should be compatible with a multi-cloud management platform. This will ensure that the security and internal policies of the cloud provider are not compromised.
The cloud management platform must be able to manage the workflow so that it catalyzes business operations and processes. It must be able to manage multi-cloud operability so that different apps can be developed and produced. A process that is suitable for an app for e-commerce wouldn’t necessarily be applicable to a financial app.
The measurement of the system’s performance is a key responsibility for management. Multi-cloud management software should be able to track the performance of each Cloud and analyze key parameters. It can also plot these on charts and identify performance curves that will help organizations better understand their return on investment.
The system’s security architecture should not need to be altered even though new components are added. The cloud management platform must be plug-and-play so that it can operate on the same security protocols and the existing ERP or Cloud – whatever the organization uses.
Best Multi-Cloud Management Tools
There are so many choices and options on the market that it is logical to evaluate a few of these top performers for 2022. Here are the top five multi-cloud management tools for 2022.
This tool, as the name implies, is an open-source platform that allows multi-cloud environments to be managed. This software has some interesting features:
- Integration with third-party and incumbent technologies
- Automation capabilities for application lifecycles.
- All data can be managed from a single dashboard
- The open-source model is highly suitable for managing heterogeneous Cloud setups
- Use it free of charge
- Can automate various processes
2. Apache CloudStack
Apache CloudStack is a popular choice because it can manage massive virtual machine networks. Let’s take a look at some of its key features.
- Hybrid clouds are a great choice for system management on a large scale.
- The cloud manager is ready to use.
- Friendly UI that allows you to access CLI and RESTful APIs
- Highly scalable
- Supports AWS EC2 & S3
- Supports Citrix XenServer and VMWare
Middleware makes life as easy as possible by providing one-click deployment capabilities. These are some important features:
- Deploy applications across multiple Clouds in any region
- Support for Microsoft Azure, AWS, GCP
- Native CLI for Management
- Modular, adaptable, and scalable
- Automated container management
- One-click deployment/management for public, hybrid, and private clouds
- 99% utilization
4. Scalr CMP
This platform focuses on security, productivity, and cost issues of cloud management. These are the most important features.
- Functionalities on a modular infrastructure that allows for system agility
- You can use budgeting tools to monitor your costs
- Automation of workflows and standard deployments are both cost-effective.
- One dashboard with a simple user interface
- Encourage integrations to avoid vendor lock-ins
5. BMC Multi-Cloud Management
The platform is easy to use and allows applications to run in either a production or test environment. It has the following features:
- Automated governance, provisioning, and management of cloud services.
- Self-service model for application deployment
- Multi-cloud migrations possible
- Map assets
- Monitoring hybrid cloud environments
Best Practices in Multi-Cloud Management
These best practices will ensure you get the most out of your multi-cloud management system.
- Cost transparency is key to ensuring that multi-cloud spending can be tracked by executives. IBM reports that around 50% of them track cloud costs.
- Customers are satisfied when the ecosystem is kept up-to-date with the most recent offerings. This goes for both functionality and the consumer side.
- Harmony between Developer Operations, IT, and the IT department to manage the multi-cloud environment is a great way to improve workflows and operations.
- Encouragement to use self-service modes, tools and tools helps standardize consumption of services and products within a multi-cloud environment
- Allow IT professionals to contribute value to multi-cloud environments through service aggregation.
- Integrity is essential to prevent scattered Cloud-based resource deployments. Keep the IT resources in sync so they can all be managed through the same ERP
- Self-service tools and functionalities can be accessed from any multi-cloud environment. This allows for greater control of the systems.
- For larger organizations, where data governance can be difficult across borders, it is essential to establish comprehensive user management systems. Make sure there is a system in place to control data access regardless of where it goes
- A rapid-development environment in which machines can make necessary purchases (software and development environment stacks libraries, etc.) is possible. It is possible to quickly develop and test applications.
- Changing the role of IT from a service provider to a facilitator will speed up operations and allow your company to access better tools and resources.
Cloud is quickly becoming the norm in the world. Cloud has also begun to evolve. Modern systems and mechanisms allow for remarkable efficiencies, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.
Although multi-cloud configurations are not the end of the revolution, they can be highly-performing systems if managed properly.