The big cloud trend for 2017 is the ascendancy of the multi-cloud environment. According to IDC, this is the year when more than 85 percent of enterprises will commit to multi-cloud architectures “encompassing a mix of public first multi-cloud services, private clouds, community clouds and hosted clouds.” Recognizing the inherent scalability and resiliency of cloud technologies, companies are including both public and private cloud technologies in their IT strategy, positioning for competitive market advantage.
Top trends and technologies driving multi-cloud all affect performance and must be underpinned by security. Let’s take a quick look at each of these trends.
1. Building a multi-cloud infrastructure
With the drive to a multi-cloud model, most companies want to avoid getting locked into a single vendor or architecture. Integrating their private and public cloud infrastructures into a cohesive architecture requires built-in connectivity, interoperability, and common tools and security policies. Connectivity and interoperability are key, and are driven by the four interdependencies of infrastructure, portability, security and availability.
2. Application development and migration
Application owners are looking for ways to modernize their apps so they are cloud-ready. In industries where the business model is strongly focused on customer applications and software reliability (like banking and healthcare), developers are embracing emerging cloud technologies such as OpenStack, containers and service-oriented architecture for their flexibility. According to TechTarget Research, container technology is a go-to for enterprises that shift to a multi-cloud model, helping software run more reliably as it moves across platforms. Application owners must also address application migration priorities, and choose the right tools and technologies.
3. The rise of DevOps
While developers and application owners are pioneering the shift to cloud, IT operations are playing a key role in bridging the gap between IT and the application and development communities. Development and Operations (DevOps) helps drive the framework that supports both teams by ensuring IT is at the table when application and technology decisions are being made. A DevOps approach with a multi-cloud infrastructure will help move the enterprise into an agile development model for future workloads.
4. Better cloud security
Increasingly, IT leaders have become more confident hosting their critical applications in the public cloud. Organizations in industries such as banking or healthcare are choosing public cloud infrastructure because it provides better security than what is possible in-house. In a Network World interview, an organization managing customer insurance and healthcare information selected a public cloud solution for its SOC 2 accreditation – a premier assurance report for their industry and one that the organization would not have been able to attain easily on their own. (The caveat? Application security still belongs to the application owner.)
5. And one more thing… cloud management
Another key trend is the emergence of cloud marketplace platforms to manage the service delivery of the multi-cloud environment. Cloud brokerage solutions should give companies the ability to browse and order cloud services, track consumption, consolidate billing, and address any additional needs of customers and cloud service providers.
Successfully transitioning to a multi-cloud strategy may require help from a partner that can help you define the cloud strategy that best aligns with your business needs, and successfully implement that multi-cloud journey. Enterprises should seek a partner with expertise or relationships with the following:
Accelerating your multi-cloud journey with the right resources will ensure success.