The "Tipping" Point in a Multi-Cloud Model: Signs you need a 3rd-party cloud management platform

August 1, 2018

 

Organizations of all sizes, and across all industries, have realized that Digital Transformation (DX) is mandatory to remain competitive, and cloud is a key enabler of digital transformation. According to an IDC study, 85 percent of cloud adopters have multiple types of cloud deployment options, driven by:

 

- LOB, non-IT/CxO, developers and DevOps constituents

- Immediately beneficial client virtualization and client SaaS (e.g. Office 365, desktop virtualization, etc.)

- Best-in-class, market-dominant SaaS (e.g. Salesforce.com, Workday, etc.)

- Different stacks for different tasks (e.g. AWS for net-new cloud native; Azure and others for lift and shift)

- Legacy and private continuation on a variety of multi-cloud hosting options

- New technology running from specialized stacks and clouds (e.g., IoT, cognitive machine learning)

- Industry and community clouds (e.g. GE Predix, Athenahealth, AWS GovCloud)

(IDC CloudView)

 

Effective management of containers and microservices enables infrastructure/operations teams and cloud architects to adjust and scale to the increase in software deployment frequency that development teams deliver through multi-cloud channels. But, at some point, the number of services you use can exceed your ability to properly manage them.

 

We call this the “Cloud Tipping Point.”

 

When do you know that you’ve reached the “tipping point?” Here are some signs:

 

Increased time to complete application resource allocation requests

It could be from your human resources bandwidth, and/or need for additional skills, but you’ve got frustrated developers who email you requests for access to cloud resources, like storage or compute. If you’ve got a lot of requests, and are relying on native public cloud tools to deploy resources, you often have to put them into a queue and assign them to staff that specialize in the particular public cloud platform (e.g., AWS). Without proper management, these requests can pile up and cause delays—and DevOps frustration.

 

A better approach is to use a unified cloud management platform, which simplifies the management via a single console.

 

Increased risk

We find that many businesses do not have a good understanding of the shared security model that is in place with most cloud providers, and/or lose track of who is responsible for which resources within a cloud deployment. This leaves organizations open to security vulnerabilities.

 

A third-party cloud management platform provides a proactive way to identify risk by actively monitoring your cloud environment and alerting you about critical changes to configurations, resources and security groups. Tracking of IAM and permissions are automatically mapped and grouped for all user access, centralized control across your user accounts. As an added benefit, you can confidently meet the requirements needed to fulfill PCI, HIPAA, FISMA Moderate, NIST 800-53 and other major compliance frameworks.

 

Performance complaints

The last thing that cloud managers want to hear is an end-user performance complaint. These complaints are generally the result of an application not receiving the amount of cloud resources it needs, and the application is saturating the allocated resources.

 

A cloud management tool can help quickly and easily resolve the problem by allowing you to dynamically move around resources, and also by giving you console-visibility into your application resource allocations to identify which applications use the most resources…and which are perhaps over-allocated (or not using any resources at all). Even better, most cloud management platforms have auto-provisioning to allocate resources based on performance metrics. By proactively monitoring and resolving resource allocation, you should be able to quell most of the annoying end-user complaints.

 

Sticker shock

Everyone hates surprises, especially when it comes in the form of your public cloud provider’s bill. It’s not uncommon for someone to mistakenly enable a cloud service that creates and enormous bill without their knowledge—until the bill comes. In a multi-cloud environment, it’s critical to have accounting visibility across all your cloud services and providers.

 

Third-party management tools can provide predictive analytics and actionable resource purchasing recommendations to ensure that every dollar is continuously optimized. This enables instant visibility to costs across all cloud services and providers, and also provides hundreds of best-practice checks to continuously monitor and identify underused resources, dormant instances and VMs, as well as poor or incorrect allocation of EC2 reserved instances.

 

A multi-cloud world requires sophisticated management and orchestration capabilities. If any or all of the above “tipping points” ring true for your organization, the cloud architects at Pinnacle Technology Partners can help fit you with a solution that will significantly streamline your cloud management—and free you of a lot of time and frustration dealing with a continuous stream of issues.

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