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Multicloud, flavors of cloud computing

In this article, I will explore Multicloud benefits, the challenges, and how to address them.

Cloud computing allows you to deliver innovation in a scalable, manageable, and faster way. Each cloud provider has its own portfolio, technology and business partners — all you need to build and deliver a business application. However, if you are using technology from a single vendor, you’ll have a potential “vendor lock-in” on your business.

How to prevent your business from being limited by technology or a vendor? That’s exactly what the Multicloud approach does!

What is Multicloud?

Multicloud approach is applied when a company or project needs to use more than one cloud vendor to solve a business problem. The reasons are numerous. Let’s look at that use case: Cloud provider A is very good at delivering Artificial Intelligence, but cloud provider B has a very mature NoSQL offering in SaaS, while cloud provider C is much more cost-effective for a given service. In this example, I’m using the best technology and service available from each provider to meet the technical and business requirements of my application, that’s Multicloud!

Where to start?

The first step is to rethink how we develop our applications. More than a modern architecture (cloud native), the usage of open standards and open source technologies allows your application to be “portable” to any cloud or service provider compliant with this model.

Some services like IBM IKS Services already comply with Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) guidelines. Thismeans that if you are migrating your application, service or solution from another K8s Service CNCF compliant to IBM Kubernetes Service, it will be done with minimal effort due to the conformity of services — CNCF is a non-profit organization that sets the guidelines for a project to be open source and vendor-neutral.

Working with multiple cloud flavors also requires a certain level of operational knowledge of each cloud vendor. This is because provisioning infrastructure differs from cloud to cloud. To minimize dependence on “multi-cloud” professionals, the usage of automation and infrastructure as code (IaC) is essential.

Photo by Lenny Kuhne on Unsplash

Automating the provisioning of environments and application deployment reduces repetitive tasks and possible human errors. It is prevalent in this approach to create a catalog with reference architectures and allow users to provision the infrastructure by themselves. This use case can also be applied in any public or private cloud.

Infrastructure created and now?

Another “must have” in a Multicloud environment is a Cloud Management Platform (CMP), which offers a centric way to manage all your computer resources in multiple clouds from a single console.

For an Administrator / SRE / Cloud Admin is so important to have quick access to the resources without having to access the console from cloud A, B or C.

With this platform, the administrator will also have quick access to other important information that will help to make decisions, such as: availability, cost trends, main events, latest incidents and manage the application lifecycle on private and public clouds

Is multicloud a trend?

Yea! Even with the challenges, Multicloud approach is growing daily in companies, reducing technological and financial barriers, and accelerating innovation and digital transformation.

Maybe you or your company might be already working with multicloud, and understanding the challenges and applying concepts seen here will help you scale to this approach’s full potential.

Besides technology transformation, there is also a cultural transformation, and like any new approach, it can be adopted gradually.

See you in the next post!




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Eduardo Francellino

Eduardo Francellino


Hybrid Cloud Solution Architect at IBM, passionate for Cloud Computing, open source and open standards.