Tips for Companies Stepping
Into a Multi-Cloud Future

December 10, 2018 | Posted by

Many companies step into a multi-cloud environment without a strategy. As soon as they purchase a single Software as a Service (SaaS) application, they are in the cloud. As soon as they purchase subsequent apps from a different vendor, they’ve created a multi-cloud environment…. Sounds easy right?

Not quite.

Things start to become complicated when companies go further down the path towards modernizing their infrastructure. Say, for example, that they pursue an automation strategy which requires them to import data from App A, a SaaS-based CRM tool, into App B, a SaaS-based ERP platform. Both apps are provided by different vendors, and neither one connects to the other natively.

Situations like the above, force companies to choose a multi-cloud strategy as opposed to just multi-cloud applications. What’s more, they should begin to plan for these situations before they begin adopting SaaS applications or cloud storage. They soon find themselves forced into making trade-offs.

Here’s a few ways to create a cloud strategy that’s intentional and not accidental.

Understanding the Limitations of Multi-Cloud

Multi-cloud applications often don’t deliver on user expectations. As we’ve discovered, the cloud lacks strong interoperability. Not only is it difficult to move data between separate applications in the cloud, it’s also difficult to move workloads to the cloud and back and between cloud environments. While over 80 percent of enterprises are reported to have a multi-cloud strategy, research from IDG shows that around 40 percent of organizations eventually retreat from their cloud strategy for these reasons.

The best way to avoid this is to build a multi-cloud strategy from the ground up. Instead of asking which applications, data, and workloads can be implemented in the cloud, first ask which workloads should always remain on premises for reasons of security, compliance, and productivity.

Once companies identify cloud workload limitations, they can begin to identify key applications and data that can be moved to the cloud with ease. Key goals would be to lower costs and increase productivity. Companies should approach cloud migration sequentially. These areas may include:

  • Email/Webmail/CRM Applications: These are the first and easiest cloud technologies that most companies explore. Followed quickly by productivity tools such as word processors, slide presentations, and spreadsheets. For example use of Outlook 365, Google Apps,
  • Data Storage: This is where multi-cloud environments start to become more complicated. Unless companies determine which data needs to remain on premise, they may run into performance issues due to data needing to be accessed in real time.
  • Backup: With the right tools, it’s easy to master cloud-backup in a multi-cloud environment. Users can deduplicate data, take snapshots of VMs, and replicate the data into the cloud. They can also clone VMs and rapidly re-provision production data for development purposes or to conduct analytics as a result of an incident.
  • Application failover: IT Admins can avoid end-users losing productivity during unplanned downtime. If an application goes down, administrators can quickly spin up an instance in the cloud, so users can keep right on working.

Pivot3 Delivers the Future of Multi-Cloud

The multi-cloud ecosystem is still trying to adapt to users’ needs. Cloud and SaaS products don’t make it easy to move data between applications and cloud environments. With Pivot3’s intelligent hybrid cloud platform, users are able to manage all environments via a single user interface, prioritize application workloads, drive efficient use of storage, and consolidate on-prem and cloud environments.

What if… you could deploy this system very easily, define cloud policies with two clicks, and manage the cloud and on-prem environments via a simple vCenter Plug-In? The benefits are clear: less time managing your cloud server and storage infrastructure and more time providing business value.

For more information, download our free solution brief on Pivot3 Cloud Edition on AWS.

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