Going multicloud? Avoid these 3 pitfalls

Everyone is moving to multicloud these days, and for good reason. But you can get into big trouble if you don’t be careful

Going multicloud? Avoid these 3 pitfalls
Elijah Hiett (CC0)

Going multicloud? This typically means using a mix of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to create a multicloud cocktail that should provide you with better value and more flexibility.

However, this value and flexibility often do not result due to some pretty easily avoidable mistakes. I want you to succeed, so here are three common pitfalls to be aware of so you can avoid them.

Multicloud pitfall No. 1: More clouds means more complexity

The trade-off of multicloud is complexity. If one cloud has 2,000 cloud services and the others have 1,500 each, that’s 5,000 services you need to govern, track, monitor, and secure. Many enterprises quickly reach a tipping point and lose control over the services altogether. This leads to confusion, ops problems, and the failure of multicloud.

Preventing this is both easy and hard. It’s easy in that you can pick a tool that abstracts you from the complexity, such as a cloud management platform. It’s hard in that you need to pick the right tool or tools for the right job. That takes a bit more work than you think.

Multicloud pitfall No. 2: Putting data on one cloud and the application on another

Can you place an application on one cloud and the data on another? Sure, you can. But the latency may drive you and your users insane.

It’s usually not a good idea to separate applications and the data by cloud brands, such as AWS hosting the applications and GCP hosting the data. The reasons should not take a rocket scientist to understand: You typically use the open internet to allow the two application components to share data. As a result, considerable latency will exist. In the end, you’ll move the components together on the same cloud. Instead, plan right the first time.

Multicloud pitfall No. 3: Neglecting security planning

Public clouds have strong security systems that are native to their cloud. However, if you use more than one public cloud, how do you handle security for all your clouds?

You could use whatever native security is on each public cloud, but you end up using several different security systems. Instead, I recommend you find a solution that sits above all of your public clouds. This is often the best and most scalable way.

The trouble is that there are no set solution patterns for that better option. As a result, enterprises are moving in very different directions. Many decide to build their own multicloud security solutions—which I don’t recommend. Plan ahead as to how security needs to work and what tools you need to use—it’ll take time to find them, so build in that time.


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