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Is a multi-cloud strategy optimal for your business? You are a CIO/CTO who has been told that the organization needs to evaluate current infrastructure costs and how to maximize applications availability for your users.  As you think about your long-term strategy, the benefits of moving to a cloud infrastructure to decrease capital expenses seem to be a potential option, but how would you determine which cloud provider is the best option?  In addition, why should it matter?  Do you need to pick a single cloud provider for all of your workloads and applications?

Below are four ways that you can use a Multi-cloud strategy to shape your organization for the future.


Infrastructure Flexibility

The first way that a Multi-cloud strategy can shape your organization is infrastructure flexibility. If you are truly using Multi-cloud to its fullest extent, you should be using a combination of on-premises infrastructure, private cloud services, and multiple public cloud providers to form an infrastructure that caters to the strengths and benefits of each.  These benefits and strengths include operational, security, cost, and access efficiencies depending on the areas of importance of each for specific applications and data.

To provide an example, let’s assume your organization has SAP and Oracle business applications, some local applications that are “home grown”, a website, wants to provide more flexibility to their users for email and collaboration, and has offices that operate in multiple geographic regions of the world. A Multi-cloud strategy could see migrating you to the following:

  • Migrate your SAP to Azure
  • Migrate Oracle business applications to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for autonomous databases
  • Maintain a private or on-premises infrastructure for the “home grown” applications
  • Host your website on AWS utilizing S3 buckets for global access
  • Move email and collaboration tools to Office 365 or Google App Suite

SAP®, Oracle®, website, and email infrastructures can leverage the global footprints of the cloud providers and allow for data governance controls in the deployment.

Reduce the Risk of Vendor Lock-in

Organizations have a concern when moving to a cloud provider of being “locked in” to that provider.  A Multi-cloud strategy can assist in decreasing this risk and concern because resources are already purchased from multiple cloud providers. The “on demand” nature of resource utilization for the cloud providers avoid  lock-in by contract terms.  In addition, using more than one cloud provider for infrastructure and platform services could allow you to take advantage of reserved instance or multi-year discounts without the fear of being “locked in”. You may determine that a certain workload may be better in one cloud provider and a data container could be better in different cloud provider.  These can be migrated and moved where they make more sense. If you keep your consumption levels at the original contract levels, you can create flexibility without being locked in.

Potential Licensing Advantages

As the costs of compute, network, and storage infrastructures continue to fall within the various cloud providers, it becomes more and more difficult to compare and weigh the benefits of cost savings in these areas.  One area that you may be able to weigh advantages would be dependent upon licensing that may be required for operating systems or applications. Prime examples of this are with Microsoft® for Windows Servers and SQL Servers, and Oracle business applications. Since Microsoft owns Windows and SQL software, they tend to show a lower licensing cost for virtual machines running that require these licenses in Azure.  The same example applies to Oracle, as it is feasible to believe that licensing and deploying Oracle business applications in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure would be easier than in Azure, AWS, or Google.


Cost Optimization

The final way to shape your organization with a Multi-cloud strategy is through cost optimization. The benefit is referenced throughout the previous three points, but bears additional focus, for obvious reasons. The ability for your organization to move capital to operational expenses is a key driver to a cloud strategy. However, if you are not continually reviewing the utilization of your infrastructure and evaluating ways to optimize those environments, you are not taking full advantage of the flexibility outlined previously.

Each of the cloud providers have tools within their services that provide analytical data around utilization and recommendations for areas to decrease spending.  It is also beneficial to watch across cloud providers for areas and ways to decrease costs through migrating from one provider to another.  One area of caution is that some applications may not be suited for this type of portability and the cost to migrate may outweigh the benefit of savings.

A Multi-cloud strategy would provide your organization with a flexibility to shape your organizations future.  Once you have embraced the Multi-cloud approach, you have started on the path to help your organization evolve and expand.  However, having the expertise to execute and manage this type of infrastructure may be challenging for most organizations.

Working with a managed services provider that has knowledge of Multi-cloud environments and the cloud providers can assist you in identifying where costs can be optimized by utilizing a different provider and potentially moving those resources from one cloud provider to another.  They should be able to assess your current environment, create a migration roadmap, and monitor and manage the Multi-cloud environment.  Working together to re-shape your organization and leverage the benefits of a true Multi-cloud environment.

NTT Multi-cloud Managed Hosting Services

NTT’s Multi-cloud Managed Hosting Services can assist in developing a strategy with consistency in operational, security, and cost governance across all virtual environments.  Secure-24 has expertise in monitoring and managing on-premises, private, and multiple cloud provider environments in a single, consistent manner across all infrastructures.

For more information on how the Managed Services division of NTT Ltd. can manage your multi-cloud architecture, contact our specialists today.

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