Multi-cloud Management: Solutions & Options

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Enterprises today have the option of selecting best fit solutions from a multitude of public cloud services or private cloud platforms. According to a recent report from RightScale, multi-cloud implementations are today’s strategy of choice for a majority of enterprises surveyed.

Let’s take a look at some factors which influence both adoption trends as well as management challenges in a multi-cloud implementation from the perspective of both consumers and cloud providers.

Granular Feature Sets

Competing cloud providers are making services including compute, storage and middleware increasingly granular, providing consumers with a large amount of flexibility to pick and choose components as required.

Security

Security is an old timer concern for cloud adoption considerations and continues to prevail in a multi-cloud environment as well for same reasons.

API Gradient

In an increasingly competitive environment, cloud providers are consistently building robust, flexible and well documented APIs as well as management consoles for consumption. These feature rich APIs are inherently different and are unable to function across multiple providers as of yet.

Best Fit Tendencies

Granularity in features and a flexible API can make it possible to utilize best fit units from different cloud providers, combining them into a single functioning system. Equilibrium will need to be maintained due to the complexity of using multiple providers in contrast to the gained benefits from implementation.

Current Options

Currently there isn’t a single solution on the market which can claim to be a true multi-cloud management tool. However, we see a definite interest in this space by some early contestants. For example, RightScale provides a SaaS-based management solution which can talk to multiple cloud infrastructures. A similar solution is also offered by Enstratius (now acquired by Dell). Other players in the field such as eNovance, ServiceMesh, and ScaleXtreme are addressing other niche needs.

The industry embraces standards and generalizations; most of the mainstay paradigms and technologies that are now indispensable have adhered to some generalization principles or standards (POSIX, Web Services, COM, REST, XML, JSON). In order for cloud technologies to become indispensable, applications need to be able to talk to one another using a common interconnect, regardless of differences in the offered services.

Eventually it will be imperative to delink cloud management interfaces from cloud features. Cloud providers will benefit by focusing their energy on delivering better features which are robust and higher performing than building a richer set of APIs, tools, consoles and interfaces.

In a multi-cloud environment, it will be increasingly important to address cloud management as an umbrella standard.

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