Column

An efficient ¨multicloud" strategy

06/05/2018
Mauricio Strello
Product Leader Datacenter and Cloud Management at SONDA
Datacenter and Cloud Product Manager at SONDA S.A. According to the 2018 RightScale Cloud Status Report, 81% of companies worldwide use more than one cloud environment.

A multicloud strategy consists of using multiple public or private cloud environments, including dedicated physical or virtual environments. This is a trend that has even reached the Latin American market.

According to the 2018 RightScale Cloud Status Report, 81% of companies worldwide use more than one cloud environment. In fact, the companies included in this study used four cloud environments on average.

These new hybrid environments are frequently unplanned and have emerged from the requirements of separate business lines or departments, where the agility of public clouds has been used to implement transformation projects.

Meanwhile, IT managers are faced with the huge challenge of operating, administrating and managing an environment that has basically multiplied the size of the original problem by several orders of magnitude. For example, they may originally have had only one on-site production environment and one off-site disaster recovery environment.

The first challenge is to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities unleashed by cloud environments in terms of financial flexibility. It is no longer necessary to forecast and budget for infrastructure covering the next three to five years and hope that its performance will fulfill expectations. Flexible and efficient computing resources are now available that achieve the best mix between technologies and platforms, without significant investments being required, or finding that such technology investments have become obsolete faster than expected.

This requires IT Departments to assume the role of cloud broker, to provide their users with the resources required to run their projects using a catalog of on-demand services, combined in the most efficient and secure manner, both in terms of agility and cost to the company.

It is essential to avoid exposing the company to any vulnerabilities, as the resources granted are controlled by established corporate governance policies.

Therefore, a new approach is required in order for them to function efficiently, which we have called the "managed multicloud". This consists of workflows and controls in a centralized and automated chain. Automation is the key here, because this challenge cannot be addressed using serial work, techniques. They cannot cope with the volumes required by modern environments, and in practice, they negate the benefits of agility and flexibility promised by cloud environments.

There are a few basic principles that govern a "managed multicloud” service, which can bevsummarized in "automate to accelerate";. They include controls and approvals that must be modeled and included in an automation layer. In addition, an "abstraction layer" is required to manage all the cloud environments in the same manner, which is a single system that monitors, administers and manages all the cloud platforms, just as described by the mythical "one ring" in the J.R.R. Tolkien novels.

Finally, "intrinsic cost management” layer is incorporated, to assign and track resources. This will be able to optimize expenditure on each environment, as well as compare, forecast and plan the deployment of existing and new environments.

What are the features that should be provided in a "managed multicloud” service?

A "managed multicloud” service enables resources to be monitored, operated, automated, assigned and tracked, costs to be forecast and optimized, inventories to be checked, system health to be maintained, a catalog of efficient services to be provided, and other tasks on multiple technology platforms from a centralized and unique perspective, regardless of their base infrastructure, which could include containers. It supports IT departments during their transformation to becoming an effective business partner within the company.

The Managed Multicloud service is our response to the requirements and challenges of companies looking to overcome these challenges. SONDA’s Managed Multicloud combines technology, automation resources and expertise to deliver a "managed multicloud” service that very quickly releases all the features and benefits already described, and supports the transformation of IT departments into the honest cloud brokers that their companies need.