If several departments in an organization have different workflows and storage needs, multi-cloud implementation can help. However, working with multiple cloud solutions is also a challenge, including migrating workloads between cloud environments and accessing resources.
First of all, you will face problems when moving workloads from one cloud to another. The cloud environment must have a compatible interface to allow applications to move between them. Although standards such as REST are increasingly important, not all cloud providers follow them. To make transparent connections from one cloud to another, the source cloud must be able to communicate with the target cloud API. And that doesn't always happen.
In fact unfortunately: Every cloud provider uses its own standard and file format. This can be seen for example in cloud-based virtual machines in VM storage, where there are countless different standards. Clouds can use Virtual Hard Disks (VHD), Qcow2, Virtual Machine Disks (VMDK), or any other standard that forms the disk format of the virtual machine. And the cloud storage services that you use in one cloud may not be available in another cloud.
This can make it impossible to easily move workloads between cloud environments. If the cloud instance uses disk image files, file format compatibility problems can also prevent workloads moving between different clouds.
Interoperability is very important
For certain purposes, different clouds can be used. For example, someone can use cloud to store data or operate a VM or container. You choose another cloud because it offers strong security features. With this type of multi-cloud deployment, cross-cloud access is important. For example, virtual machines can access storage from the cloud that is commonly used for storage. When building a multi-cloud environment, it must be ensured that the cloud environment is very compatible to facilitate interoperability.
Another challenge when working in a multi-cloud environment is that each cloud has its own portal. You might work from a number of different management consoles, increasing the likelihood of the configuration falling apart.
The next serious problem in a multi-cloud environment is the massive deployment of applications. This can often occur in environments where several cloud environments serve the same or similar purposes. In particular, this might occur in companies where different departments choose cloud applications independently that meet their needs. Managing each cloud as a separate entity makes it difficult to avoid the deployment of applications.
Each cloud is equipped with its own monitoring tool. Therefore, in a multi-cloud environment, we must control the output of various monitoring programs. This is not easy and increases the likelihood of important information being lost.
This ensures smooth multi-cloud deployment
If the company wants to run a multi-cloud environment, it's not alone. Other companies have overcome multi-cloud challenges, and most have overcome them. The following three approaches help run multi-cloud environments smoothly:
- Standardize as much as possible:
This is probably the easiest step in all aspects of multi-cloud deployment. When it comes to cloud storage, make sure the storage service you use is compatible with Amazon S3. When it comes to virtual machines, one must try to work with Open Virtualization Format (OVF), although standardization of the VM format is not as broad as standardization of storage. When it comes to containers, Docker is the first choice. Basically, standardization ensures that the multi-cloud environment runs more smoothly. In any case, this ensures that workloads can be easily migrated between various cloud environments.
- Consolidation Management:
A multi-cloud management tool can overcome many challenges, from working with several management tools and several management portals to managing applications and deploying VMs. Providers in this market include BMC Software, CenturyLink, Cisco, Cloud Concerto, IBM, NetEnrich, RightScale, Scalr, Turbonomic, and VMware Services. Vendors provide a single interface for managing multi-cloud environments and you feel you are working with one cloud.
- Monitor the results
In addition to multi-cloud management, independent monitoring tools can help. The monitoring option for a single cloud is perfect for monitoring what happens in a particular cloud. However, multi-cloud environments need tools that track all existing cloud. This can be a commercial product designed for multi-cloud applications, or open source monitoring tools such as Nagios or Zabbix.
If a company struggles with its multi-cloud deployment, or if it expects problems in the future, it must take time to face the unique challenges of multi-cloud computing. But you don't have to give up. The three approaches described above - standardization, management consolidation and independent monitoring - ensure a smooth multi-cloud experience with fewer problems and challenges.