The importance of backing up data is something that all people involved in IT learn very early, usually from a bad experience. It all comes down to redundancy, to having multiple copies of everything and keeping them separated so that they do not fail all at once. However unlikely, if it can happen, it probably will happen at some point. When adopting cloud computing for your business, making sure that your data is properly backed up and that not all of your “eggs are in one basket” can save you money and time and ensure that your data is safe. Most cloud services providers will give you options with regard to cloud hybridization and avoiding risks with multiple locations. However, these are often all on the same cloud, which may pose a risk. So how to get around that? The fact is that using multiple cloud providers for redundancy is a better way to manage risk since not all the responsibility for your data is in the hands of a single vendor.
Even With Distributed or Hybrid Models, There’s a Risk When Using a Single Provider
The fact is that depending on a single cloud services provider has its advantages. However, the negative effects of a single problem are compounded when this is the case. After all, if all of your data is residing on a single cloud, all it takes is one specific issue to affect the whole negatively. So, even a distributed cloud that attempts to provide ideal regional distribution can have issues. A more fluid operating model can help avoid these problems by adopting multiple cloud platforms in order to reduce the inherent risk mentioned above. If well implemented, multiple clouds do not have to be complicated to manage and actually make your cloud ecosystem richer thanks to the diversity of options and greater geographic distribution. All it takes is better up-front planning of your cloud ecosystem.
Managing Multiple Cloud Platforms
The critical aspect of managing multiple cloud platforms is having a management platform that is strong and well-implemented. Regardless of the applications being used and the various nodes involved, without a strong oversight, change management, and governance, moving apps to production can be a nightmare. Because of this, it is important that all clouds have a strong automation and management platform. This is even more crucial when dealing with multiple clouds. A common mistake is to keep many aspects of management manual, ultimately slowing everything down to a crawl. Learning to adapt to widespread management tools with high degrees of automation is crucial when managing multiple cloud platforms. This is often one of the hurdles that keeps many companies from adopting a more effective cloud strategy involving multiple platforms. The fact is that having all your data on a single cloud is not ideal but it is even worse to implement any cloud computing strategy with ineffective management tools, or even having to carry out all management functions manually.
What Your Cloud Services Vendor Needs to Provide
Not all cloud providers have services that are ideal for use with other clouds. A few important features that your cloud services vendor needs to provide include:
- Low data transfer costs. With multiple clouds, you will be moving high volumes of data from one to the other constantly. Does your cloud service provider give you a cost-effective way of doing this?
- Data portability. Can this data be moved with a few problems quickly and in a usable format?
- API. Since management is such an important part of using multiple clouds, making sure that your IT staff have the skills and resources to write effective management scripts is very important. Does the cloud service provider have a well-implemented API that allows your IT professionals to re-write management scripts?
In conclusion, building redundancy with the use of multiple cloud platforms means that you will be more resilient to disasters and outage risks. Depending on a single vendor may mean that all of your services will be halted until that vendor solves the issue. With multiple cloud platforms, issues in a single provider’s cloud become less critical to your operations. This strategy also allows you to take advantage of each provider’s strongest features while minimizing their weaknesses. For example, you can choose the vendor with the best storage facilities to ensure that your database performance is at its best while using a cloud services provider with weaker storage facilities to cover in case of problems with the primary cloud – that’s the beauty of using multiple cloud platforms.
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About the Guest Author:
Nida Rasheed is a freelance writer and owner of an outsourcing company, Nida often finds herself wanting to write about the subjects that are closest to her heart. She lives in Islamabad, Pakistan and can be found on Twitter @nidarasheed.