As of 2023, 94% of large enterprises have already embraced multi-cloud. But nothing comes without challenges. While multi-cloud has undeniable benefits, there are plenty of challenges as well.
The complexity of managing a multi-cloud environment increases a lot for DevOps teams. This is because of the variations in the tools, interfaces, APIs, and security requirements of different cloud providers.
The main perks of DevOps are streamlining the SDLC process, the security aspects, and continuous integration & continuous delivery (CI/CD) of applications. But when you scale to multi-cloud, you’re bound to face integration challenges.
For instance, you would need to refactor your applications for deploying in different cloud environments. Also, you will need to maintain data consistency across all your cloud platforms.
Not just that, you also have to be on top of security, monitoring & observability, compliances, data transfer, latency, performance, interoperability, portability, and cost concerns in a multi-cloud approach. In fact, governance too. Without governance, you might pave the way for cloud sprawl.
Overall, you need a good multi-cloud DevOps strategy to address these pertaining issues. Otherwise, your move from cloud to multi-cloud might be the same as going from the frying pan into the fire.
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 3 tips to devise a winning multi-cloud DevOps strategy that helps organizations be more resilient & robust.
Gartner defines Cloud Service Brokerage (CSB) as “an IT role and business model in which a company or other entity adds value to one or more (public or private) cloud services on behalf of one or more consumers of that service via three primary roles including aggregation, integration and customization brokerage”.
In simple terms, a CSB is an intermediary or third-party service provider that facilitates you in selecting, procuring, and managing cloud services for your organization. The core utility of a CSB is that it brings multiple cloud tools and offerings from different providers under one roof. And it ensures seamless integration among these cloud products. Also, they help in tailoring the solution as per your unique business needs. Besides, your CSB should also help you with security, compliance, management, monitoring, and cost-controlling aspects of the subscribed cloud offerings.
Leverage a good CSB and Infrastructure as Code (IaC) DevOps practices for multi-cloud environment provisioning & management, and for deploying code/applications consistently across different cloud platforms. This can be automated, and repeated as required. Thus, ensures the reliability, performance, security, and cost-efficiency of cloud infrastructure and applications.
Besides, imbibing IaC into your multi-cloud DevOps strategy allows you to have a centralized code repository. This facilitates teamwork & effective collaboration and improves the overall developer experience. You can easily integrate Hatica with your developer tools and your CSB for advanced engineering analytics, engineering metrics & KPIs tracking, etcetera to get valuable insights for enhanced developer productivity.
2. Stitch DevOps into the Existing Multi-Cloud Workflows for Containerization, Virtualization, and Hybridization
Enterprises in their quest for cloud-enabled agility harnesses cloud resources at all three levels i.e., Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Function as a service (FaaS).
At the IaaS level, let’s say, they make use of multiple hypervisor solutions based on the need basis. They could be AWS AMI, Google KVM, IBM powerVM, or numerous others from the likes of Oracle, VMware, Microsoft, Redhat, etcetera. The process of updating and managing machine images is an ongoing and dynamic process. As applications & the underlying platforms evolve, security patches are released and new software versions are introduced among multiple other things. Your DevOps team constantly needs to handle the creation and management of these machine images to keep up with the changes in the software stack and infrastructure requirements for reliable application deployment and functionality. It’s quite complex when this has to be done at scale.
The same applies to PaaS, for instance, container orchestration across Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Amazon ECS, and other containerization platforms. Multi-cloud helps diversify your workload distribution and reduce dependency on a single cloud platform for increased application availability. But it’s no cakewalk given the complexity that emerges from this.
Your enterprise and engineering VPs must help software architects and DevOps professionals implement unified DevOps workflows that span end-to-end IaaS, PaaS, and FaaS. It may require the addition of multi-cloud DevOps tools to your engineering stack. For example, you can use Terraform or Protego for managing a heterogeneous serverless cloud.
In general, companies first move from on-premise to the cloud. And as the needs evolve with business growth, and/or when cost optimization, performance, and other factors come into play, enterprises make the move to the multi-cloud.
A lot of enterprises do not anticipate this progression from the beginning, and hence their teams heavily get dependent on vendor-provided tools for DevOps implementation. Down the line, because of the tight coupling between your applications and the specific products/tools of your vendor, it becomes tough to switch/migrate to other cloud providers or DevOps tools.
As a result, the more you adopt multi-cloud, the more your engineering teams get isolated, lack visibility, and end up accumulating huge technical debt.
Hence, it is recommended to use cloud-agnostic development and deployment tools from the very start.
This enables greater visibility and enables seamless operations and management of resources across the multi-cloud. The core DevOps principles revolve around the same concept, where you embrace the tools and processes that facilitate collaboration, CI/CD automation, and continuous improvement, and thus allow you to be agile and deliver customer-centric applications.
Research & adopt a good cloud service brokerage platform.
Devotionally commit to IaC, containers, and to building unified DevOps workflows.
Use cloud-agnostic DevOps stack, cloud arbitrage, and aim for higher visibility, lower latency, minimal technical debt, and high agility.
A couple of other things that you should keep in mind for a good multi-cloud DevOps strategy:
Leverage cloud arbitrage, and shift your workloads across cloud service providers by region and country to optimize for higher availability, lower latency, better performance, and budget alignment.
Thoroughly document multi-cloud DevOps workflow procedures, policies, and processes, and use the same to train the teams for better engineering efficiency.
Implement multi-cloud observability, monitoring, and logging tools, with real-time alert systems in place for higher visibility into your multi-cloud environment.
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