Chances are your business already uses cloud technology for automation, cybersecurity, IT infrastructure updates, and other purposes. But you don’t necessarily have to stick with just one server or cloud provider. In fact, you can leverage multi-cloud strategies for your organization and reap the benefits for years to come.
Multi-cloud adoption and optimization can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a plan in place in the first place. Today, let’s break down a simple yet effective three-step approach to migrating to multi-cloud without major issues.
Step One: Map Your Cloud Zoning Policy
Your first important step should be to define your cloud partitioning policy and plan. In a nutshell, the cloud partitioning choices you make can affect the commitment, cost, and even the ultimate functionality of a multi-cloud setup.
By mapping your clouds, you also map the processes and applications that will run on each individual cloud server or provider. Basically, you decide what is locked in a cloud, what data will be transferred between clouds, and which applications will run simultaneously on multiple clouds.
Need an example? Cloud zoning policies can determine whether you continue browsing or analyzing data on separate cloud providers or on the same cloud server.
You need to map your cloud partitioning policy, whether you’re configuring or leasing a service. In the latter case, providing a ready-to-use partition map will facilitate the work of the service and reduce the risk of errors and/or failures.
How to Determine Optimal Cloud Zoning
Naturally, figuring out how to optimize cloud zoning can be difficult. The best way to do this is to determine your special focus areas. Alternatively, consider how you want your multi-cloud strategy to best benefit your organization.
that you want to guarantee 100% uptime for your customers or visitors, even if your service goes down or if you experience a data breach. In this case, you can set up your cloud zoning strategy to balance the data load across multiple clouds at the same time.
that you want to make sure your users have global availability 24/7/365. In that case, you can set your cloud zoning policies to ensure that users can access your data or websites from anywhere around the globe at any point.
Essentially, figure out what matters most to your organization–and what you want the most from multi-cloud optimization–and zone your cloud applications and policies accordingly.
Step Two: Architect the Multi-Cloud Environment
The next major step is to architect your multi-cloud environment. This involves looking at the high-level design of the environment and creating a rock-solid foundation for multi-cloud servers.
At this stage, you should have at least some ideas of how your business will grow and how the multi-cloud environment will assist with its scalability and resource needs. You need to know:
- Where your data science and machine learning applications need to be
- Where your product application serves from
- Where your data warehousing takes place
- Where cloud security is run from
- How each of those functions grows alongside the others
In the architecture phase of a multi-cloud setup, you need to figure out which projects and apps are so-called. Cloud agnostic projects and applications don’t have to be portable; because of this, they can lean on managed services or proprietary IT infrastructure from your organization
How to Set Up an Ideal Multi-Cloud Environment
To reap the most benefits out of a multi-cloud environment, you should adopt a containerized and flexible approach. Not only is this cost advantageous, but it also allows you to set up your multi-cloud environment with as much versatility as possible.
If you architect or plan your multi-cloud environment so it is containerized and flexible, you can work with practically any infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider. Therefore, you can transition to different cloud hosts or service providers whenever necessary according to your budget or other factors.
To do this, be sure to perform heavy forecasting. You need to know how much data storage your computing will require, the database utilization your organization will need, the number of computer nodes you’ll likely require, and so on.
As a side bonus, containerization in your multi-cloud setup means that if one server or process goes down, the others are less likely to fail from a cascade effect as well.
Step Three: Prep for Contracts and Forecast Costs
The last step in going multi-cloud for your organization is handling the financial aspect of the process. You need to prepare for contracts and commitments alongside forecasting costs.
Forecasting is critical in this phase because you’ll prepare for contracts and select different cloud services. Because of this, you need to understand how flexible your budget is relative to your infrastructure requirements.
Specifically, you’ll need to match the costs to every multi-cloud forecast and build your overall resource and money consumption budget. Basically, you need to know:
- How much you’ll likely spend on multi-cloud processing and services
- Whether you need certain features, such as website monitoring tools like Visualping
- Whether your budget can take that forecasted strain
If the answer to the third question is “no,” you may need to go with a more affordable service or adjust your multi-cloud environment architecture and zoning policies. By forecasting costs ahead of time, you won’t run into a disaster scenario where you already have your multi-caught environment up and running but can’t pay for it, forcing you to scramble as a result.
Minimize Commitment Risk
Luckily, there are ways to minimize commitment risk and avoid budgetary disasters. For example, you can use commitment buy-back guarantees, or you can use flexible commitment options like that from AWS. These include computing savings plans, which consume cloud resources in any region, and which result in very low savings rates.
Of course, you can and should also practice very careful budgeting and accounting. Once you ensure that your commitment costs and savings are attributed to the right services, server resources, applications, etc., you’ll have a better idea of how much money and other resources you really need and avoid over-committing to a provider that is too expensive.
Then you can further avoid commitment risk when planning your migrations of applications between different vendors carefully. Budgetary costs can skyrocket if migrating applications and data between vendors take longer or result in unexpected complications. Therefore, you should make sure that your migrations go quickly and easily or that a cloud service provider offers assistance during this phase (possibly as part of a deal to get you to sign with them in the first place).
As you can see, you can transition your organization to multi-cloud in a matter of months. But even if you follow the above steps perfectly, remember that you won’t optimize your commitments, performance, and costs up to 100%. Still, you can prep your organization for long-term success and multi-cloud benefits with the right preparation and planning.
With the right cloud services provider, you’ll gain additional assistance and support throughout this process and be able to take advantage of the extra resources from a multi-cloud setup quickly and easily.