Cloud services are an inextricable part of today’s enterprise operations. It would be unusual to find any business using only a single cloud provider or environment, as evidenced by a Gartner survey that found 81% of respondents used two or more cloud providers. This multi-cloud mix has proven necessary for most businesses, spreading applications, software, compute power and data storage tasks over multiple environments. Yet it’s also proven to be a significant management burden for IT teams.
Why Has Multi-Cloud Management Become Such A Mess?
Cloud management has become a burden for businesses for a number of reasons.
Each Platform Has Pros and Cons. Through trial and error, businesses found that some cloud environments support particular workload types better than others. For example, latency could have been an issue depending on the geographic location of cloud servers. Generous or cheaper billing options may have played a role in selecting a cloud service. Fees for customer support also play a part in choice of platform. These variations affect the initial choice of a service, but also play a role in switching to another service with better options. Businesses want the freedom to make changes based on business needs alone, but having to constantly track the changing capabilities of different platforms has not been easy.
Users Have No Unified View to Manage Multiple Environments. Without an abstraction layer, it has been difficult to simplify management processes between environments. An abstraction layer makes complicated things simple by hiding the details of an implementation behind a more user-friendly and easily understandable interface. This layer also helps to provide a full view of available systems, showing the building blocks and components of the complete system.
Portability is a Pain. Portability—the ability to easily move workloads between competing cloud platforms—has been more of an aspiration than a reality for those who manage cloud services. Ensuring compatibility between platforms has been an issue, as has been the often surprising costs associated with moving workloads.
How To Make Multi-Cloud Management Easier
Ultimately, learning how to manage multi-cloud, whether internally or as a service, is a necessity. Part of the solution may be to manage any workload, no matter where it resides, while ensuring there are no lapses in security or access policies.
Multi-cloud management tools aim to simplify the governance that places controls over data and information sharing, no matter what environment it’s found in. Many of these tools also include cost controls because far too many businesses have been surprised by unexpected costs of cloud services and how quickly those costs can escalate. The differing approach that cloud platforms take to billing also complicates the issue. Businesses need multi-cloud management solutions to right-size and automate their cloud spending and consumption, which may also include finding and regularly evaluating the best cloud mix for their workloads. Ultimately, the most successful multi-cloud management options provide full visibility into the enterprise environment so that a business can track use fluctuations, costs, trends and opportunities to optimize how the services are used.
Lumen Multi-Cloud Management Solution
Lumen offers a number of ways to speed application delivery, reduce cloud costs and deliver a more consistent customer experience across all your cloud platforms.
You can manage all multi-cloud environments in one place using Cloud Application Manager. This tool helps users automate the delivery of infrastructure, applications and services that use Lumen cloud options, as well as Microsoft Azure and AWS Cloud. You also have the choice to manage cloud operations internally or to outsource using full-service management.
- Application Lifecycle Management is a component of Cloud Application Manager. This tool helps users standardize application deployment, and also helps businesses deploy and manage across public, private and hybrid clouds, whether in AWS, Azure or Lumen cloud environments.
- Cloud Optimization and Analytics, also offered through Cloud Application Manager, helps users manage cloud use and costs in one place. With this tool, users can purchase and provision AWS, Azure and Lumen clouds, all with consolidated billing and account management. The tool helps businesses find underused resources so they can be decommissioned or downsized. Users can also set budget limits and set alerts to receive notifications when those limits are reached.
This combination of services under the umbrella of Cloud Application Manager helps relieve the multi-cloud management burden by making it easier to control costs, port workloads to different platforms and use abstraction layers to better visualize the complete cloud platform landscape and use patterns.