Cloud computing has brought a whole array of new opportunities for the IT companies worldwide as availability, performance, redundancy, etc. were taken to a higher level of quality. Furthermore, security – by far the most speculative aspect of cloud adoption – seems to be leaving the top cloud challenges list, as 85% of enterprises keep their sensitive data in the cloud nowadays. However, new opportunities bring about new challenges, and these are the multicloud issues.
Actually, as we no longer dispute over whether cloud really brings quicker deployments, lower capex, and trouble-free infrastructure management, we are starting to challenge the awesomeness of many other cloud postulates. One of them is sticking to a single provider to get the best out of the cloud. Thus, multicloud adoption and multicloud benefits occupies many clients’ minds. Are you one of them? If yes, see below the update on the multicloud adoption, reasons behind it, trend challenges and how to overcome them.
AWS paired up with Azure
According to RightScale, 84% of enterprises run on a multicloud strategy. “Which cloud provider do you prefer?” has transformed into “Who are your favorite cloud providers?” Even cloud giants can’t but adjust to the changing landscape to keep their existing clients and bring new ones. Rivals since 2010, AWS and Azure are now often neighboring in the clients’ cloud portfolios. The best of AWS’ services – S3, EC2, Amazon Lambda – can now be used along with the brightest from the Azure’s side – 9 knights, as Adam Cogan dubs them in his article.
Reasons behind the shift to multicloud
The borderlines between the territories of the competing providers are being blurred out as the growing number of companies is catching up with the trend. What induced such remarkable changes? This all started as an anti vendor lock-in tactics to save the client from tough provider-to-provider migration.
Couple of years ago you could also buy anything you needed to develop, deploy, scale, manage and fix your app from a single provider, but you risked going bankrupt if a provider opted for a price change. Or else, you could have been “left without a roof under your head”, should your cloud provider leave the game (like in the case with Nirvanix’ clients). Considering the risks, it would have been very sympathetic of the cloud providers to leave a line of retreat for their clients (for which multicloud would have been the best option). However, business is business, and budget constraints were the least of challenges that clients had to face. They often had had to undergo hasty, ill-planned and costly migration in case of the provider shut-down.
No such thing nowadays. According to multicloud definition, you can mix the services from several giant cloud providers (or turn to less prominent cloud providers) if a single player cannot fully satisfy your needs in terms of hosting, scaling, infrastructure management and so on. Take what you actually need from a provider, without overpaying for the associates that you can easily do without. Store your data locally and make the best use of data replication options from multiple vendors to keep it 100% safe and sound. In 2020, numerous geographically distributed data centers of multiple cloud providers will ensure that your data would be able to survive an earthquake, a tsunami, a volcano eruption, a tornado or even an interplanetary war. Isn’t it great? Sounds really awesome.
Multicloud challenges and implications
What’s on the flipside? Sarcastically, it’s still a vendor-lock in. Surely, today no one will make you buy a whole package of trash you will never use. Although, in case you need a particular service, the chances are high it simply won’t work on a stand-alone basis, isolated from the Tier/package it generally belongs to.
See how Denis Golovnev, DevOps engineer at Qulix Systems, describes the issue.
“The challenging part of multicloud adoption is the vendor lock-in, in case you need specific service (-s) of a particular provider. Starting from settings, to usage. Sometimes it is not clear how to migrate from one service to another.”
What does it actually mean? Multicloud allows you to play with various services from various providers in case you know how to arrange it. What’s the hitch? Writing a healthy code that will unite particular services from even two competing cloud providers to manage your portfolio can be a tough thing. Still wondering why? Thing stay pretty much the same as they were before. No provider in its right senses will let you go to a competitor without squeezing from you your last cent for its services. Be ready for that.
A sustainable way-out
You can always buy a whole service package from two or three of your cloud providing favorites (let’s say, AWS, Azure and Google Cloud), but it will cost you a lot. Again, to get a specific service you’ll need a whole lot of ingenuity to make rivals work for you as one team. What can be done about that?
“There’s always a way out, – Denis continues. – In our case, it is Kubernetes, which allows one to abstract from these pain points of multicloud.”
Does it mean, that one can run their containers from anywhere – whether from local servers or from clouds – and manage them without high costs and excessive efforts?
“Yes, – Denis says. – Kubernetes allows you to get rid of vendor lock-in through service abstraction. Mind that each provider will have its Kubernetes cluster, and you – as a provider’s client – can have your own Kubernetes cluster too, running on your own hardware. To make things even better, one can unite several physical clusters into one logical cluster”.
The bottom line is…
Advertising has done its job and multicloud is now on almost everyone’s tip of the tongue. The thing is, it does allow diversity, although to make use of it you’ll have to pay heavily enough. Or hire a cloud management genius with guts and wits to build you a truly working multicloud system.
It will take a while for multicloud to become a democratic and an easy-to-use solution bringing a real value for the clients. For now, what one definitely can use without paying dearly, is Kubernetes. It will not give you the desired level of customization promised by AWS or Azure, but it won’t eat up a good share of your budget either. Which of these two is more important to you – everyone still has to think for their own.