Is your organization ready for a Multicloud? Caution while Planning for MultiCloud Adoption

Karthik Nair
Cloud Computing
April 13, 2021

Multicloud is an inevitable choice for large corporates in future. Public Cloud adoption across enterprise are leaning toward Multicloud, many organizations are already running workloads in multiple cloud. As per Gartner by 2021, over 75% of midsize and large organizations will have adopted a Multicloud and/or hybrid IT strategy.

On one hand Multicloud adoptions enables customers to enjoy and utilize technological inventions and unleash the benefits of technology transformation. But on the other hand, an improper planning and usage have massive negative impacts. The following section describes common pitfalls in the adoption of Multicloud. Careful planning and inspection based on certain principles ensure the readiness for Multicloud adoption.

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Cloud Selection Strategy

While hosting applications on the cloud, selection of appropriate cloud and proper planning is utter important. Wrong selection and placement create performance and cost impact. It also becomes hard to move workloads across the clouds with current architecture and tools available of the application. Assume that your application use AWS Lambda to do certain tasks of your application landscape, migration of this setup to Azure needs a transformation change to consume Azure Function. The technical appropriateness has a precedence over the cost during the selection.

 

Skills

It is evident that all the clouds offer similar services (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS). However, when cloud user deep dives and utilizes the supporting services on the architecture, need of skilled work force is required. The Linux command executed in a VM hosted on AWS or Azure is the same, absolutely no difference but the AWS S3 configuration is different when compared to Azure Blob storage (although they both provide object storage functionality). The complexity grows deeper when cloud native services are utilized. Hence organization should have experts to handle multiple clouds.

Consumption

The monthly consumption billing reports are in different format from the different vendors. It is cumbersome process to reconcile all the bills and have combined view of all the services that are consumed from different clouds. Apart from this it is difficult exercise to optimize cloud and projects as the cost understanding is difficult in this case. It is also tedious exercise to get a consolidated view of the total cost spend for a particular department or a project running across clouds. It is difficult to configure a quote for controlled POC project deployed in multiple cloud.

CyberSecurity

It is going to be complex to keep up the security posture in a Multicloud. Security team in an organization tends to select a third-party security solution (Fortinet Firewall, Symantec WAF etc.) to ensure uniform security postures across the cloud. While this selection would enable the uniformity, but organizations will fail to use the out of the box security services offered by the cloud vendors. Identity federation would be the next set of challenges in this area.

 The cloud poses different set of challenges for Cybersecurity experts who have long experience on conventional IT systems. Cybersecurity modeling in cloud would need a deep understanding of the available services, map the services with your security controls, comprehend with third-party tools in the area of weakness or unavailability of capabilities . Example, most of the cloud providers don’t provide proxy with data inspection, this is imperative for you to understand what the network outbound communications from my network to Internet are. In this situation, you would need to deploy third party solution.

 

Inter Cloud data transfer

As cloud service providers apply charges for all data egress transfer. As the Multicloud adoption grows, the data transfer volume across cloud may also increase, this may be due to the accepted data transfer model between applications or a wrong placement of inter dependent application across cloud. There may also be possibility of log aggregation to one of the clouds or DR data replication of critical application. Any of these cases, the egress data transfer charges get applied. This prove to be one of the uncontrolled costs in cloud consumption, also difficult to find an immediate way to reduce this cost.

 There are many favorable innovations happened for Multicloud adaptability already like the availability of software (SoftNAS, Symantec Data Loss Protection, FortiGate Firewall, IPS, Commvault backup, Snowflake data ware housing software), enrichments of tools, and supportability of enterprise solutions but a thoughtful strategy would to benefit the real value of Multicloud. The author doesn’t discourage the Multicloud environment. The only thing is that an extra care and due deliberation is required before opting for Multicloud.

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