Perspectives

Three emerging multicloud leading practices you can use today

Deloitte on Cloud Blog

The movement to multicloud now seems inevitable. However, few enterprise IT shops are prepared to deal with multicloud’s changing requirements.

April 17, 2018

A blog post by David Linthicum, managing director, chief cloud strategy officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Indeed, as multicloud becomes the norm, more and more enterprises struggle with the challenges that arise from the use of more than a single set of native cloud services, not to mention the management challenges of their existing on-premises systems.

People have their own ideas about how to address their requirements and those ideas often include tossing money and tools at the problem. The good news is that some emerging leading practices are showing to be effective paths to success, from both a business and technology perspective. Here are three leading practices you should consider if multicloud is in your future.

Leading practice one: Leverage technology that abstracts you from the complexity of multicloud management.

If you leverage two or more public clouds, all with different native services within each cloud, then you need a common layer that will allow you to provision and de-provision servers, manage performance, manage security, provide common governance, and do so using a single-pane-of-glass.

These technologies go by different names including cloud services brokers (CSBs) or cloud management platforms (CMPs), but the concepts are the same. They have the ability to place a layer of technology between you and the complexities of many clouds so that you can manage them as if they were a single cloud.

Of course, there is some bad news. Picking these tools is a project unto itself, and the technology quickly changes. Your solution is likely to evolve over time. There will be adjustments that need to be made to skill sets, and changing processes and procedures as the technology changes or improves.

Leading practice two: Put applications and data on the right clouds the first time.

While there is a myth that you can take application workloads and fluidly move them from public cloud to public cloud, that’s not really the case. Applications need to leverage many cloud-native features to become useful and cost-efficient. Making those changes typically means that the workloads should stay put because it’s too disruptive and expensive to move.

This leading practice focuses on understanding what the workloads do, the data attached, security, management, performance, and other aspects about the processes that may help you determine the right target cloud or clouds for those workloads. By doing this, you can save yourself a lot of time on the back-end by not having to relocate workloads from cloud-to-cloud that were not initially put on the right cloud, which just adds risk and cost.

Leading practice three: Implement cost governance and monitoring.

Enterprises often think the cloud is cheap, but that’s typically not the case. Enterprises spend millions a year with major public cloud providers, and thus there is a challenge to fairly allocate the costs within the enterprises.

Interdepartmental fights are common if everyone divides up the cloud bill evenly among the departments. The reality is that most departments do not use the cloud evenly. Why is it fair for marketing to take a $100k hit out of their budget when they only use $20k of cloud services?

Thus, there’s a need for cloud cost governance and monitoring. These tools allow you to monitor usage by department, user, application, or in whatever configuration you want or need. The tools can even do chargebacks and showbacks, working directly with enterprise accounting systems. They are a huge asset if you’re looking to make your multicloud work within the business and get good insight into consumption and costs.

While we learn more about how to work and play well with multicloud deployments, the leading practices and helpful tools and technology are finally beginning to emerge. Please learn more about these leading practices and tools before you move forward with multicloud. Mistakes are difficult to undo.

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