Multicloud is not really about clouds anymore

Multicloud is less about what’s in the individual clouds, and more about the technologies that sit above and between

Multicloud is not really about clouds anymore
Bet Noire / Ivanastar / Getty Images

Most think of multicloud just how it sounds: an architecture that leverages plural public and/or private clouds at the same time, in support of best-of-breed cloud services. In other words, we use multicloud as a path to access the cloud services that are the best fit.

As multicloud becomes the norm, I’ve observed that the design and deployment of multicloud-based architectures is really not about the underlying clouds. There are a few reasons for this:

First, technology to manage multiclouds should sit above and separate from the cloud-native resources it is managing. It does not matter if the tools are for AIops, identity and access management, network monitoring, metadata management, etc. When deploying multiclouds, it’s always better to leverage technology that spans the clouds and is not limited to operating a single branded platform.   

The common pattern in the past was to leverage cloud-native tools and technology for each cloud services provider in a multicloud configuration, but this means that your multicloud deployment will have too many parts. Having to use specific tools for each specific cloud leads to too much complexity, and the operational costs of running a multicloud deployment that has excessive complexity will be high.

Second, cloud services providers are becoming abstractable. We can view storage systems, databases, platforms, or even security systems through common interfaces that remove us from having to deal with all of the cloud-native interfaces for the specific providers in our multicloud. This has arisen in the past few years, and really did not work well until this year.  

The idea is that if you can look at several very different cloud service providers using abstraction (such as abstraction of cloudops using AIops tools, or abstraction of development and security using devsecops tools) you’ll be able to leverage those clouds as similar resources that span the clouds. A common notion of data storage, process integration, orchestration, etc., makes multicloud much more simple and thus valuable. 

The focus on multicloud shouldn’t be about how individual cloud services providers play a role, it should be about the software, tools, and other technology that sit above those cloud resources to make multiclouds viable for most enterprises. When multicloud is no longer about clouds and becomes about configuring technology into a multicloud solution—that’s something new. 

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.