Major cloud providers generally support on-premises workloads, with some offering IT admins a way to manage multiple public clouds from one location, but IT managers say it’s difficult to have a single overview. hybrid cloud environment, which complicates IT management.
According to analyst Gartner, most organizations have fully operationalized at least one major public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider, and many are looking to add a second cloud provider to support additional applications.
For example, a cloud provider may provide a better environment for machine learning workloads, while another may simply be more profitable. Some companies may be required to host certain data in their own data centers, which may be in a private cloud or a fully self-contained version of public cloud infrastructure available for on-premises execution.
Oracle, like other major public cloud providers, offers both multicloud support and the ability to run on-premises Oracle cloud through OCI, the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure platform.
Vodafone uses both, as Pedro Sardo, Group IT Operations Manager at Vodafone said: “New applications are easy to put in the cloud. We have been using the public cloud for five years, but we want to move everything and modernize all our business applications.
He added that using the public cloud offers a far greater level of automation than can be achieved on-premises – and features such as OCI’s Autonomous Database – promise to automate management and upgrading Oracle relational databases. But since not all applications can be migrated to the public cloud, Vodafone used the OCI dedicated region feature, which allows the telco to run the Oracle cloud privately in its own data center.
As is the case with Vodafone, many IT managers will find that not all of their workloads can run in the public cloud. They may be technically constrained or restricted by data regulations that prohibit or severely limit the ability to host publicly identifiable customer data in a data center that may fall under the jurisdiction of a foreign power. This means that some workloads will remain on on-premises IT infrastructure, which must be managed and maintained alongside applications hosted in the public cloud.
Whether running on-premises, in a private cloud, or in a public cloud, multicloud strategies are hybrid environments that offer IT managers greater flexibility than public cloud infrastructure, but they also increase complexity and cost. .
A recent survey by Vanson Bourne for Nutanix, based on a survey of 1,500 IT decision makers, found that the majority of organizations surveyed (64%) expect to operate in a multicloud environment as the most commonly used deployment model of IT. three years from now.
This is almost double the proportion of organizations that have already moved to multicloud. In the UK, the Nutanix/Vanson Bourne survey found that UK businesses lead in their use of mixed IT infrastructures, with 73% saying they use multiple IT environments, compared to a global average of 60%.
Gartner recommends that IT managers manage the costs and complexity of multicloud by defining a cloud workload placement strategy. He urges IT managers to start by choosing a preferred primary vendor and then, when the organization has business requirements that the vendor can’t meet, add additional vendors in an orderly fashion based on specific business needs.
But public cloud platforms are evolving, which means that over time a cloud provider can offer cloud services that represent a better fit or a more compelling business case for an existing application.
IT managers who participated in the Vanson Bourne survey said their organizations struggled to manage heterogeneous cloud environments and move workloads between them. Most (87%) agree that to be successful with a multicloud infrastructure, you need to simplify the management and operations of public cloud services provided by different providers. This is because public cloud platforms use different management tools, dashboards, and configuration approaches.
Additionally, while 91% of organizations have moved one or more applications to a new computing environment in the past 12 months, 80% agreed that moving workloads to another cloud environment is currently costly and time-consuming, and 77% described workload portability. as a moderate or significant challenge.
Nutanix’s approach to simplifying the management of multicloud environments is its NC2 platform. One of its customers, Forestry and Land Scotland, uses NC2 to deliver a hybrid cloud environment through the public cloud and its own on-premises computing environment.
Discussing the deployment, Nick Mahlitz, Senior Digital Infrastructure Manager, Forestry and Land Scotland, said: “Some of the main benefits I found in our time on NC2 were just the ability to seamlessly extend our environment from site to cloud.
“We have definite time pressure to leave our private data center and what struck me first was that NC2 could become a contingency plan to expand our data center and migrate loads of work without having to turn them into cloud-native solutions.”