Amulticloud environment can be your worst nightmare if you jump in unwittingly and fail to take control. As a cloud architect, you’ve heard stories of cloud lock-in, runaway expenses, overwhelming multiple-cloud context switches, security breaches and situational blindness. But you also have the opportunity to transform a multicloud platform into a powerful environment for the entire organisation. Achieving lower costs, accelerated time to market, improved security and reduced IT complexity. So how do you assume control? It starts with investing time, commitment and work towards the right skills and habits. As well as using the right tools, services and middleware that will support your journey. Here are four of the best ways to prepare:
UNIFY YOUR TOOL CHAIN
Think of a unified tool-chain effort as one with developers to rationalise a base DevOps stack that includes pipeline, cluster and middleware infrastructure. Plus tools that could serve most projects, say, 80% or more. To do this, you need to leverage tools that work on any cloud infrastructure and also with your legacy infrastructure. This approach to unifying your tool chain will free you from vendor lock-in on critical cluster and pipeline orchestration tools. As well as infrastructure-as-code lifecycle management. In brief: choose managed open source services, which are more easily outsourced or offered by multiple cloud vendors. Another important consideration is to take steps to not only avoid lock-in today but avoid getting locked out of competitive advantage down the road
CONNECT YOUR CLOUDS
Cloud interconnections demand higher levels of security than just using the Internet, and clouds often require a secure connection back to your enterprise staff or users. Beyond security, unique routing and legacy Layer 2 unicast or even multicast connectivity could be an application requirement. While public cloud vendors offer tools for basic security and networking, those are often not sufficient to meet today’s multicloud challenges. In brief: you should deploy your own software-defined and virtualised security and networking solutions that are agnostic to any cloud infrastructure. This will give greater support for any application, along with the ability to exert control over performance, security, compliance, policy and governance. You’ll also be able to unify this tool chain and incorporate it into your portable infrastructure-as-code policies.
HARMONISE, UNIFY AND SIMPLIFY POLICY
If you have software deployed or scaled across multiple cloud locations, the configuration, monitoring and automatic response systems may get unwieldy unless you elevate orchestration across clouds. In brief: there are cloud management platforms to help accomplish this. You can also do multicloud management with your own centrally harmonised configurations and management as code. A further step might be to unify configuration and management with global controllers. But this can introduce the risk of large-scale danger from human error.
HOLD UP BEFORE YOU SPEED UP
Cloud will move you faster. If you don’t take care – even with no IT strategy – you will end up with a multicloud environment in no time. With multiple owners, vendors, regions and availability zones. The increased danger is that multicloud can multiply problems and mistakes. In brief: preparation in building a platform is key. Like many things that take a bit of time upfront, it’s worth the effort in the long run. With continuous learning, built on a solid foundation of healthy continuous IT practices, mastering the tactics and good habits of structuring your multicloud platform can be rewarding.
The multicloud era has arrived, and it’s here to stay. For cloud architects, this is the present and future. There’s no choice but to embrace multicloud and try your best to turn it into your competitive upper hand. Your company’s most important strategic initiatives, from DevOps to big data analytics to digital transformation, are reliant on your success. Juniper Networks delivers intelligent, next-generation cloud security solutions that provide outstanding protection, market-leading performance, six nines reliability and availability, scalability, and services integration.
‘4 Steps to Controlling Your Multicloud Environment’ taken from TechTarget® and Juniper Networks E-Book entitled ‘Empowering Your Organisation in the Multicloud Era’. Download Whitepaper
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