Multi-Cloud architecture utilizes multiple public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platforms. In this multi-cloud model, the differences between cloud providers are abstracted from the applications and operational procedures that work consistently across all environments.
This enables organizations to gain the benefits of each cloud provider’s strengths while mitigating the risks normally associated with relying on a single cloud provider. As organizations increasingly modernize applications and seamlessly manage and control deployment and scale across environments, multi-cloud management of underlying infrastructure becomes more important.
As organizations transform their application stacks by building new software or modernizing existing applications, different applications may be optimized with cloud services that are unique to each provider (Artificial Intelligence best fit on Google Cloud). There may be enterprise applications that are optimized for a specific cloud (Oracle Cloud).
There may be predominance of applications on a specific Operating System (OS) such as Microsoft Windows, that are a best fit for a particular cloud (Microsoft Azure) And there may be business reasons, such as data gravity or management tools available in limited languages, or regional team preference – that make one cloud infrastructure platform a better fit than another.
Each cloud provider offers unique services and advantages, with nuances in their innovation capabilities. Indeed, no two public cloud providers are the same when it comes to their:
Multi-Cloud Infrastructure requires a consistent infrastructure and management stack that can be layered on top of any type of physical infrastructure in any location from any cloud provider, and can run all types of applications—traditional and modern— in addition to a broad set of PaaS services . In other words, multi-cloud infrastructure is more than just using multiple cloud providers. It is an operating model, that delivers flexibility and consistency to any place and run workloads on any cloud that a business requires.
Multicloud infrastructure can help increase operational efficiency across different environments. This includes having the flexibility to:
Multi-Cloud infrastructure platforms enable consistent operations across a multi-cloud landscape, including both hybrid cloud and public cloud-native architectures. Organizations can architect the multi-cloud environment that best matches their applications, with the flexibility to build, deploy, and manage from the data center to the cloud to the edge, realizing these benefits:
Since multi-cloud is increasingly the norm, organizations need to simplify the complexities introduced by utilizing multiple hyper-scale cloud providers as well as on-premises infrastructure. Each cloud provider has its own architecture, rules, and requirements. Multi-cloud infrastructure solutions must:
VMware has defined these five guiding principles for multi-cloud architecture development to help increase agility while minimizing costs and risk. These best practices in multi-site cloud infrastructure are as follows:
When embarking on a multi-cloud strategy, reliable connectivity is critical to achieving high bandwidth, low latency connectivity between on-premises workloads and users, and cloud workloads and services. Each of the major public cloud providers have a direct connectivity option to support this high-quality connectivity requirement. For example, Direct Connect for AWS, Cloud Interconnect for Google and ExpressRoute for Azure. Before operation or migrations can begin, there are a number of connectivity tasks to be completed to:
One of the biggest obstacles to adopting multi-cloud architecture is a lack of developer and operator skills. The addition of multiple clouds creates new operational complexities. If each cloud is run as a separate, isolated silo, with its own unique development and operating model, taxonomy, and set of APIs, there are new skills to learn in order to leverage the innovation capabilities of each cloud environment. As a result, as organizations begin their path multi-cloud, many experience an uptick in people costs and a downturn in organizational efficiency.
At the same time, operational risk increases. Differences between cloud environments make it harder for app dev teams to quickly troubleshoot application performance issues when they arise. And the differences make it hard to consistently apply policies carefully designed to make sure apps are always secure and compliant wherever they are deployed.