Data sovereignty covers security, governance, and regulatory compliance. “It involves who owns my data, who can subpoena my data, and knowing exactly where my data is,” Caswell explained.
Persistent Workload Placement
Cost, performance, security/compliance, and business continuity optimization varies by application, industry standards, government regulation, and corporate philosophy. These components are also fluid: as time marches on, cloud service options, pricing, and regulations change. The dynamic nature of the digital economy, then, favors regular reevaluation of what’s running where over “set-and-forget” hybrid multicloud management approaches.
In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2027, 85% of workload placements made through 2022 will no longer be optimal, because many enterprises using multiple cloud platforms will not have figured out how to stay on top of change management.
Rather than waiting for user complaints about application performance or a compliance violation to rear its head, having a hybrid multicloud strategy can put IT teams ahead of the game, according to Kotekela. It allows them to inventory, assess and move applications based on cloud services, skillsets, service-level agreements (SLAs) and more on an ongoing basis.
5 Guiding Steps to Cloud Optimization
Combining a hybrid multicloud blueprint with intelligent tools that simplify cross-cloud data integration, ease application mobility and alert you to cloud pricing changes helps avoid cloud-to-workload misalignment that can create unnecessary expenses, degrade performance and compromise security.
Below are five basic steps, culled from a variety of industry experts and reports, to keep applications and workloads optimized over time.
1. Create a cloud framework. Build a map of your existing private/public cloud environment. Include all the workloads you know about and can discover with cloud visibility tools, where they currently run, their performance requirements, any service-level agreements (SLAs) in place to support them, and alternative potential cloud placement options. Add an inventory of all the different cloud services you use, how you connect to them, if and how they connect to each other, and the departments that use each service. Document all the cloud skillsets available in the organization. This framework creates a foundation for managing cloud assets going forward.
2. Identify integration needs. With a bird's-eye view of the whole cloud environment, specify how individual clouds currently share data or are likely to do so in the future. What integration tools and technologies do you need to connect applications, systems, data repositories, and IT environments and enable the real-time exchange of data and processes?
For example, Nutanix Cloud Clusters (NC2) is a cloud-agnostic toolset that eases hybrid multicloud integration issues. It replicates the Nutanix cloud platform enterprises use to build and manage their on-premises private clouds in public cloud environments. Natively integrated with public cloud providers, NC2 hides the differences and complexities of these platforms from IT operators using an abstraction layer that makes mixed Nutanix private clouds and public clouds appear as a consistent single environment. In this way, it enables application mobility across clouds without retooling, code changes or new skill sets, helping minimize cost and risk. It also enables consistent cloud management, security policy setting and enforcement, and cost optimization across the mixed hybrid multicloud using complementary applications that work on top of NC2.
3. Establish a platform-agnostic cloud-deployment automation strategy. Identify where most time is spent and what most needs automation. If plans call for using a wide variety of cloud services, it can be beneficial to create standardized rules for deploying different cloud environments that easily translate into automated configuration rules.
4. Evaluate IT resource requirements, especially networking. This includes processing power, data storage capacity, and the network infrastructure that connects all the cloud components. Consider, for example, cumulative latency that builds up among connections across multiple cloud infrastructures and the potential aggregate effect it might have on application performance. If it’s prohibitive to SLAs, consider direct cloud interconnection services between your private and public cloud(s), which bypass the public Internet to decrease latency and improve performance.
5. Deploy cross-cloud tools for optimizing cost, business continuity and staying ahead of security complexity. These are increasingly available from both Nutanix and third parties. NC2, for example, supports Nutanix Cost Governance for automatically tracking costs across all private/public cloud instances and discovering more cost-effective options. Security managers such as Nutanix Flow Security Central provide you with a common dashboard for managing security across the whole hybrid multicloud without having to deal with each native-cloud security system separately. And native disaster recovery (DR) capabilities in NC2 support creating custom, per-application protection levels across multiple clouds and options for "elastic" and "hibernating" DR that support dynamic business continuity requirements while helping you manage costs.
Prepare for Growth
Businesses running hybrid multicloud environments may have some foundational strategies in place for managing them. As the number and variety of cloud services they use grow, they need to be prepared that their environments will become more complex.
As Deloitte’s Linthicum noted in an August article for Infoworld, complexity is a byproduct of heterogeneity, which in turn results from businesses wanting to provision best-of-breed cloud services.
While “a natural progression of the expansion of cloud computing,” he wrote, it results in most enterprises increasing the number of services they use, and more services naturally result in added cost.
Managing cost and complexity requires optimizing all workloads so that they meet business needs consistently and reliably over time at the best possible price point. Enterprises should plan ahead by creating a dynamic, evolving framework that takes advantage of abstraction and automation and the latest cross-cloud tools that transcend cloud-native platforms as they become available.