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IT infrastructure provider: As businesses understand that physical investments in expanding their Information Technology (IT) infrastructure are both time-consuming and costly, they are turning to cloud services to scale their infrastructure more quickly. Hybrid models are becoming more popular with edge computing, which combines on-premises and cloud infrastructure deployment, enterprises are utilizing the power of multi-cloud to decentralize cloud resources further and boost flexibility in an enterprise’s physical location.
However, there are issues with managing multi-cloud environments that organizations are still attempting to address to keep up with the digital transformation needed to remain competitive. This article examines those key challenges and how multi-cloud visibility and control can help manage them.
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The Rise of Hybrid and Multi-Cloud | IT infrastructure provider
Cloud computing services have significantly changed how businesses calculate time and cost when scaling IT infrastructure. Whereas changes can take several years to implement with traditional methods, cloud is allowing enterprises to scale faster while keeping costs constant or saving it. At the same time, organizations are noticing that cloud reduces time-to-market while increasing customer satisfaction and infrastructure resilience. Many businesses are trying to exit the data center business entirely, citing the high cost of running data centers compared to running workloads in the cloud.
Today, the hybrid cloud is the preferred infrastructure model, with resources both on-premises and in the cloud. Edge computing demonstrates the hybrid advantage by allowing data processing to take place closer to where the data is generated, insights are consumed, and actions are taken. In some cases, such as when applications are closer to the on-premises data center, on-premises allow for optimal data performance. In other cases, local operation may be needed by law or preferred for reasons of privacy, security, or resilience. At times, it is more beneficial to deploy resources to the cloud if applications are located far away from on-premises data centers and closer to cloud availability zones.
Enterprises are increasingly embracing multi-cloud within the hybrid cloud model using no tools, in-house developed tools, or off-the-shelf enterprise applications. Using multiple clouds allows enterprises to decentralize cloud resources and reduce latency while also shifting the burden of support to cloud providers.
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Challenges with Multi-Cloud | IT infrastructure provider
Even as businesses embrace multi-cloud, they face major challenges during deployment. Enterprises that need services from multiple cloud providers find it difficult to manage, scale, and connect clouds. It is more difficult to manage growth when no repeatable network architecture exists. Shadow IT teams emerge from time to time, hidden VPCs (Virtual Private Clouds) are deployed in parallel, and confusion presides throughout the organization about who is in charge of what infrastructure.
The following are the most common issues that businesses face on their multi-cloud journey:
Lack of Visibility and Security | IT infrastructure provider
Because cloud service providers do not always provide the tools that network engineers need to triage issues, network engineers usually depend on cloud service providers to resolve issues. The lack of proper investigative tools increases the high mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR) and time-to-market (TTM).
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Focusing on roles instead of skills | IT infrastructure provider
As hybrid and multi-cloud models arise, successful companies take a collaborative approach to IT skill development, teaching key skills across functions. Traditional IT staff should not be the only ones who understand how to manage, operate, and use cloud tools; business users should also be equipped with the knowledge needed to leverage multi-cloud. Rather than thinking about borders, businesses should be more progressive, scalable, and align their budgets more closely with their business needs.
Maintaining Operational Continuity | IT infrastructure provider
Moving to a hybrid IT infrastructure model needs new tools and processes, as enterprises may be limited to more than one cloud. However, it can be difficult to train people on all of the various cloud capabilities and processes on a long-term basis. Also, multi-cloud deployment models are complex, with an increased risk of lock-in and prohibitive costs.
End of Information Sharing and Increase of Compliance Requirements
With the rollout of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, other regions may soon follow suit with similar compliance requirements. Enterprises must be aware of where their data is stored and transferred to prepare, which demands visibility, security, and control that allows them to manage data from a single control plane. They must also enforce appropriate data governance and tools to allow them to pivot and execute as new compliance requirements become mandatory in the coming years.
Operational Inefficiencies | IT infrastructure provider
Even after implementing the hybrid cloud model, many businesses have not completely cut their costs. The costs are still about a 1:1 ratio.
This is often due to investments being made where the customer is now rather than where the customer will be in the future. Enterprises must plan ahead of time for privacy, security, compliance, and employee training to strengthen their organizations and reduce operating costs.
Final Words of IT infrastructure provider
Because multi-cloud is the most important trend defining IT infrastructure right now, businesses need a solid approach that allows them to enjoy the full benefits of multi-cloud while maintaining visibility, security, and control.
As enterprise networking teams peel back the layers of cloud networking, they discover that cloud providers only provide basic network connectivity. More visibility, control, and advanced networking and security capabilities are required.
Enterprises need a scalable architecture that can support the quick evolution of their applications and business for several years, whether in a single cloud or across multiple clouds. For enterprise-class control and visibility across all clouds, a common control plane must support native APIs and advanced networking and security capabilities.
This can be accomplished by implementing a repeatable network architecture that uses a common transit, which opens up possibilities for security, visibility, and connectivity to various types of users as well as on-premises and other cloud resources.
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