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5 things to look for in a partner that can help ease the pain of managing a multi-cloud environment

David Fowler, vice president of marketing, INetU, a ViaWest company | April 25, 2016
In the early days of cloud computing you could pick a provider by the development environment or application you were implementing and didn’t have to worry much about integration with other systems. But as the number of cloud resources grows, so does the need to simplify management and integration across different implementations, often times across different clouds.

This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter’s approach.

In the early days of cloud computing you could pick a provider by the development environment or application you were implementing and didn’t have to worry much about integration with other systems. But as the number of cloud resources grows, so does the need to simplify management and integration across different implementations, often times across different clouds.  Several recent studies show the majority of companies are already running multiple clouds and they are expecting to have even more going forward.

Take for example a company that had chosen AWS to collect and store data from a large number of real time data collection devices (think Internet of Things). The information is then selectively sent to a private cloud for business and customer facing services and to a separate public cloud application. One company with three clouds, two sets of data and a need for a common way to manage across them.

If this is similar to a challenge you are faced with, here are five things to look for in a partner that may help avoid (or at least simplify) some of the pain in managing your multi-cloud environment. 

* DIY or partner (management).  Step one in determining the right partner for you is ensuring you need a partner in the first place. Managing a cloud application is not rocket science for someone who has done it in their own data center, but it is different and requires new skills. In a multi-cloud environment, that learning curve gets multiplied since all clouds provide different sets of services, service and management tools. If you are not committed to investing in, learning and maintaining the skills for each cloud environment, including design, security, networking and management, it would be judicious to find a partner who does that for a living. It’s best to look for one who can operate as an extension of your team 7x24.

* You can’t manage what you can’t see. Troubleshooting system problems can be difficult even when you have access to all the components and the tools to see what is going on. The level of information and transparency into the cloud environments vary widely, as do the tools you may have to use to get the data. Learning all these tools can be not only time consuming but a pain to try and monitor on a daily basis. It can be even more painful if you are integrating applications across multiple clouds. There are tools, particularly at the application and data base level, that will run across multiple clouds. And while they may not give you the best of everything, the time you will save will be worth any shortcomings.

 

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