When working in the IT-industry you are many times faced vendors that are claiming that they have a great product which provides multicloud capabilities. As I’ve seen now with more and more companies which are now moving towards public cloud(s) I see this more and more of an an headache that actually provide value. Many customers are adopting the use of these multi-cloud tools, but at the cost of investing knowledge/expertise into the plattforms.
Gartner states that most enterprise adopters of public cloud services use multiple providers. They also mention that the most common exceptions to the multicloud trend are organizations that focus their investment in a single vendor’s technology stack. Since some organizations find it hard to justify the effort and cost of working with several cloud providers (Source: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/why-organizations-choose-a-multicloud-strategy/)
So what are important properties when a organization is adopting a public cloud plattform?
- Knowledge & Expertise (Public Clouds are as an ecosystem and constantly evolving, with more then 1000+ changes/updates and new features being added new year) with all these changes it is difficult to be “up-to-date” on current best-pratices and usage of services)
- Culture (Also with all these changes it is important to understand how to work together with information sharing and also operationalize all these changes into structured way to ensure that your company or enterprise is up to date or following big changes from the different public cloud vendors)
- Organization (All these changes and updates happening, requires also an organization which are willing to work with this, or even reskill to public clouds new knowledge areas)
- Security, Governance & Compliance (With using multiple public cloud vendors you also need to address the attack surface which now might span over mulitple cloud providers, this also requires different ways to do governance controll across and to stay compliant. This is one of the biggest concers that most customers have with public cloud is how to handle security & governance)
- Tooling (Lastly with this you might also need new types of tooling or using the cloud native tooling to provide supporting features such as monitoring or provide security features to the plattform
As an organization you also need to make a choice, which is either to compromise or embrace.
1: Embrace the cloud native tooling and build our competency and goverance around the plattform. Meaning that people need to have full understanding of the cloud platform, tooling and services.
2: Or should you abstract away the complexity and get a 3.party product which might provide a somewhat better multi-cloud control but loss of features and capabilities.
So let me explain what I mean by 2: There are many tools/products within automation, monitoring, networking, security, cost control, compliance which have some form a multi-cloud capabilities, so let me explain the downside of using these types of tools. Most vendors supporting public cloud plattforms, in most cases provide better or more features for AWS then the other plattforms. So for the sake of the argument, let’s say they support 80% of the AWS capabilities and less for the others
This means that this product might provide “enough” capabilities for your current use of features. What if you need to start using services which are not covered by the scope of the monitoring product? then you would need to wait for vendor X to add support or you would need to use cloud native monitoring tools. Now if this example is a security product or monitoring compliance across multiple clouds, then you are losing visibility. The second part if with the constant updates. The vendor providing Monitoring Product X here would need to constantly update its product to cover all the updates happening to these big three vendors. Most of these vendors have about 1000+ updates happening on a yearly basis, perhaps the vendor here can adopt many of these changes, but still their main focus has been AWS but still they lack behind. So after a year has gone, they have now even less support for features from the different cloud providers.
The biggest issue is that a multicloud product will always be behind in terms of development, now this might not be a big concern right now, but this also stops adopting future cloud services if your current monitoring/security/automation/networking product does not support the new services that these vendors are releasing.
So before adopting a multicloud strategy, understand the consequence if you as an organization do not fully invest into the plattform and rely on 3.party vendors to provide abstracted view on the current state of your cloud plattforms.
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** This post was originally published on https://msandbu.org/the-problem-with-multicloud-strategies-and-products/ **