Ten years ago, having a single cloud vendor be a part of your infrastructure mix was a perfectly acceptable business strategy. In this new technology era we have evolved to, sometimes referred to as the era of Digital Transformation, companies are adopting cloud-first initiatives. If you rely on a single cloud vendor, you could be jeopardizing your entire business, your employees and most importantly, your customers.
In fact, many enterprises are not only evaluating a multi-cloud strategy, but they are also racing forward to get multi-cloud implemented sooner rather than later. This is because they want to ensure superior user experiences, stay ahead of the competition and innovate using the latest and most appropriate cloud technologies and services available.
Single-cloud (also referred to as zero-cloud) companies may be worried about the technology being too new, too unpredictable, too insecure, and much too complex. Cloud vendors have left many of those worries in the past as new, innovative cloud services are released and existing ones are upgraded, enhanced and made more robust and secure.
Multi-Cloud + Multi-Benefits
If you are a cross-section of business, you will find that they are in various stages of cloud evaluation, adoption, or implementation. Some companies are embracing a cloud-first strategy, where all initiatives must be cloud-based or cloud-driven, while others might be more cautiously approaching cloud initiatives with more of a wait-and-see attitude or in different proof-of-concept phases.
In reality, the benefits of adopting a multi-cloud strategy are sound from both a technological and business perspective. These benefits put many of the different concerns to rest. There are four primary benefits of implementing a multi-cloud strategy, specifically:
- Business Flexibility & Continuity
2. Best Tool for the Workload
3. High-Availability & Disaster Recovery
4. Data Sovereignty & Data Compliance
Let’s break them down for you!
- Business Flexibility & Continuity
A single-vendor approach can be a little too dangerous for business continuity. If a vendor goes out of business or changes their business model, it can be devastating for those companies that depend on that sole vendor. Vendor lock-in or a single-vendor dependency should be avoided at all costs.
By taking advantage of multi-cloud vendors, businesses can eliminate the single-vendor dependencies as well as gain potential negotiating power over Service Level Agreements (SLAs), pricing, and features.
- Best Tool for the Workload
Public cloud computing is becoming more commoditized each day. This is due to many of the leading public clouds are offering many similar features and services. Some of these big name public clouds include: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and many others. Initially, the cloud was built with three core components - compute, storage, and networking. As cloud vendors continue to innovate and release new features and components of their offerings, certain clouds are becoming better as certain functions are more preferred over others.
As a result of cloud-specific specializations, businesses choose particular cloud vendors over others. As the digital enterprise is often a mix of various digital channels, there may be many cloud vendors being use more may specialized use cases. When a company has a multi-cloud strategy, they frequently are using the best cloud for their specific requirements.
- High-Availability & Disaster Recovery
Many people like to use the phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” about life. This is in fact true with technology as well! In fact, it is an extremely important concept to embrace concerning cloud implementations. In a pure datacenter environment, you have redundant (and backup) power supplies, multiple bandwidth providers (hopefully coming into the datacenter from different ends of the building), and both high physical and virtual security.
Similarly, multi-cloud implementations ensure that if a cloud experiences issues die to an outage or reduced performance, workloads can be routed to other zones or cloud providers to minimize disruption of services.
- Data Sovereignty & Data Compliance
Many countries require customer, company, or user data to be stored in particular regions or countries based on government regulations. General Data Protection Regulation, (GDPR) further restricts where data is at rest. In addition, depending on the industry of your company, there may be additional compliance rules.
Due to these regulations and requirements, companies are often required to find cloud providers who have the ability zones or data centers within particular regions. A multi-cloud approach allows this to be a much easier process than having to open a physical datacenter within the region.
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Positioned as Multi-Cloud Enabler
What is needed is a single pane of glass for more accessible design, deployment, and management. Otherwise, a disjointed multi-cloud environment can be more effort than it's worth. To ensure the multi-cloud benefits outlined previously are adhered to, companies must carefully plan when choosing a platform for managing their multiple cloud services.
The containerization of services is facilitating the ability to port workloads and pull application environments from one cloud to another. One container orchestration system in particular, Kubernetes, allows for greater portability between clouds, ensuring functionality is standardized regardless of the cloud being used!
At the 2019 Google Cloud Next conference, Google introduced Anthos, a new open platform which allows for the running of applications within the multi-cloud environments. Using the Google Kubernetes Engine, Anthos enables companies to manage workloads running on Microsoft Azure or AWS since Kubernetes was in fact developed and designed by Google initially.
The advantages of using Anthos for multi-cloud workloads ties back to the benefits of using a multi-cloud approach in the first place. This single-pane-of-glass approach abstracts away many of the complications of using cloud-specific APIs or environments while still allowing customers to have the flexibility of choice of cloud.
For those interested in getting training on using Google Kubernetes Engine, register for this one-day course from Fast Lane, “Getting Started with Google Kubernetes Engine (GCP-GSGKE)”. Even you can learn to use containerize workloads in Docker containers, deploy them to Kubernetes clusters provided by Google Kubernetes Engine, and scale those workloads to handle increased traffic. You will also learn how to continuously deploy new code in a Kubernetes cluster to provide application updates.
Adopting a multi-cloud strategy using Anthos and GCP as the platform allows companies to avoid vendor lock-in, choose the clouds that are appropriate for their technology needs, ensure their services are high-availability, and adhere to governing laws regarding their data.