The Future of IT Infrastructure: Embracing the Multi-cloud Revolution

Multi-cloud infrastructure could be the answer to escaping unbending contracts and increased control over the outcomes of your business.

5 Min Read
The Future of IT Infrastructure: Embracing the Multi-cloud Revolution
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When it comes to cloud, each company's needs are different. While picking the right deployment model might be a choice between private, public, or hybrid, sometimes one cloud provider isn't enough.

Increasingly, we're seeing customers demanding more customization to get the right results for their projects, and this often means mixing cloud service providers so they can tick off all the requirements they need. For example, some platforms will be better at handling big data, while others could have outstanding AI and machine learning capabilities, so having the option to deploy both together is hugely beneficial. Whatever the outcome, you should be able to choose the right tool for the job and combine the best parts of one or more cloud services from any number of providers in a multi-cloud approach.

Collecting clouds: The path to multi-cloud

IBM defines multi-cloud as "the use of cloud services from two or more vendors." Choosing multiple vendors provides an opportunity for enhanced flexibility, eliminates the risk of being locked in by a single vendor contract, and gives greater control over your cloud infrastructure.

If you’re looking to use a multi-cloud strategy, then it's best to prepare this ahead of time - it's not something you can go into unplanned. Look to map out the different ways you can optimize your infrastructure. Keep in mind that even the top cloud players will have strengths as well as weaknesses. A multi-cloud approach allows you to create a patchwork of services that address the businesses’ unique needs. As a result, multi-cloud has become the first choice for many, with up to 85% of businesses using two or more cloud platforms, according to Deloitte.

Managing your personal infrastructure

At the heart of multi-cloud is the appeal to create a unique tapestry of tools that help businesses reach their distinctive goals. However, the knowledge required to effectively operate and manage each cloud environment is unique, and it's important to consider whether your internal IT team will have all the skills needed to manage multiple cloud services alone.

With multiple services from different providers, it's likely that each will have its own distinctive rules around security and compliance. The management of a seemingly complex cloud infrastructure can be off-putting, especially for IT teams who don't have specialisms in networking. For many businesses, this is their reality, with only 6% having all of their staff cloud-certified in the UK. However, there is a widespread appetite to grow, with 76% of organizations worldwide using a multi-cloud model.

While it is important to keep in mind the expertise required to manage the workload of several cloud services, tools do exist that can help guide businesses and assist them with the management of their multi-cloud infrastructures – streamlining multiple services and providers through a single gateway. Network management suppliers can plug knowledge gaps and provide vital advice on the execution of multi-cloud, so businesses are getting the most out of it.

Select a provider that meets the needs of your business and best fits your requirements. Of course, cost and value are paramount to decision making but these become more difficult to control as cloud usage increases. It’s important to evaluate the upfront costs involved as well as how adaptable the service will be to meet future requirements, rather than slipping into a rushed onboarding of new providers and quick fixes. Multi-cloud network management platforms give the flexibility to neaten the infrastructure and prevent unnecessary costs.

Supercloud and its place in the future of multi-cloud infrastructure

As our understanding of multi-cloud grows, other solutions have emerged, one of which being supercloud, which appeared in 2016. There is great potential for supercloud to eliminate many of the complex components associated with managing multiple cloud environments across different providers to maximize efficiency. It also gives businesses the power to maintain synced-up data regardless of how many environments it's being used across.

Supercloud suggests a utopic future for multi-cloud infrastructure, with the management of clouds in an equal and agnostic way. Nonetheless, supercloud is in its infancy with lots of room to develop. Businesses may encounter it as they grow further and explore a potential revolution that focuses on consumer benefit rather than provider.

However, in the meantime, businesses should focus on the growth of their expertise and vision around cloud connectivity in relation to their goals. Multi-cloud infrastructure could be the answer to escaping unbending contracts and increased control over the outcomes of your business. It’s more possible than you think.

Stephen McConnell is the CTO at Cloud Gateway.

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About the Author(s)

Stephen McConnell, CTO, Cloud Gateway

Stephen McConnell is Chief Technology Officer at Cloud Gateway, responsible for setting the business's technical strategy and development of their platform. Steve has worked with a number of large-scale organizations, planning and delivering network transformation projects for Lloyds Banking Group, Capita, The Ministry of Justice and BetFred.

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