As different public cloud services have their own feature sets and access protocols, managing a multi-cloud environment can be more complicated than managing a single cloud environment.
Our 7 multi-cloud management best practices have been gleaned by years of working with some of the world´s largest cloud customers and helping them overcome the challenges of governance and optimization in both single cloud and multi-cloud/hybrid cloud environments.
The following 7 multi-cloud management best practices should help you overcome the challenge:
1. Prepare with realistic goals
Preparation is key to being in a position from which you can take advantage of multi-cloud benefits. Be sure to understand which platform works best for each application and prioritize your requirements when there is no exact match.
You will need to have the right people with the right skill sets to migrate to a multi-cloud environment successfully, and have goals for 12 months, 24 months, and 36 months down the line. These goals should be flexible in order to account for the evolving cloud landscape.
2. Secure the network
Many companies operating in a single cloud environment adopt the “castle and moat” approach to network security by securing the perimeters of their networks and then assuming traffic within the network is acceptable.
With a multi-cloud strategy you cannot do that because you no longer control the network perimeter, so you have to secure the inside of the network as well. Companies that have re-thought their approaches to network security have found their whole IT environments have become more secure.
3. Collect and consolidate data
In order to collect and consolidate data across multiple clouds, you need to have a cloud management platform capable of accessing data from all sources and consolidating the data so you can view it across a single pane display.
Companies that struggle with multi-cloud adoption often rely on the cloud provider supplied management tools and reporting systems—creating disparate data sets that make it difficult to gain clear visibility into your cloud ecosystem.
4. Evaluate environments as one
Multi-cloud management platforms not only give you a clear picture of your cloud ecosystem, they also enable you to evaluate multiple cloud environments as if they were one. This helps you better identify inefficiencies and security concerns, and define governance.
A further advantage of having all your data in one place is that trend analyses are more accurate, leading to more accurate forecasting, planning and budgeting. Reporting is also simplified to help you quickly answer questions about usage, performance, security, and cost.
5. Rightsize and optimize
This is an important best practice in any type of cloud environment, and is much harder without a complete set of metrics giving your total visibility of your multi-cloud environment. Without total visibility, it is harder to identify zombie assets and over-provisioned resources.
However, optimizing is not only about reducing costs. You also need to optimize performance as well—a task made more difficult if different components of the same application are hosted on different clouds. A multi-cloud management platform can help you better understand your assets.
6. Schedule tasks when you can
Scheduling scripts is a standard best practice across companies with a presence in the cloud, as it creates a regular pattern for analyzing resource usage and investigating non-critical security events. Scheduling start-stop times for non-production resources can also significantly reduce cloud costs.
Leaving non-production resources running when they are not required is one of the biggest contributors to cloud waste, and whereas writing scheduling scripts is one solution to this issue, scheduling start-stop times via a cloud management platform is more cost-efficient and flexible.
7. Automate wherever possible
Managing a multi-cloud environment is not easy, therefore it is in your best interest to take advantage of policy-driven automation wherever possible. By creating policies that alert you to increasing costs, over/underutilized resources and asset misconfiguration, the management role is simplified.
Policy-driven automation can also resolve concerns about employees failing to comply with cloud security policies.
Get started on multi-cloud management with CloudHealth
Developing multi-cloud management best practices is not difficult—applying them can be. This is why our cloud management platform has been created to help you develop policies that best suit your requirements and ensure they are adopted throughout the company.
Reach out to our team today for a free trial and get started on your multi-cloud management journey.