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What Agencies Should Consider Regarding Multi-Cloud Implementations

Multi-cloud architectures have long been hyped for their performance, reliability, and cost savings—and adoption is soaring. According to a 2020 survey from IDG, 55% of organizations use two or more public clouds. Yet 79% of these adopters struggle to achieve synergy across multiple platforms. These concerns are echoed in the public sector. MeriTalk reports while 81% of federal agencies say they’re using multiple cloud platforms, 75% say managing them will be one of their top challenges over the next five years. Plus, nearly half of those surveyed agreed their agency isn’t adequately preparing for their multi-cloud future. Let’s take a closer look at why agencies might think multi-clouds are too much trouble and what’s required for such a strategy to be successful.

The Trouble With Multi-Cloud Environments

Multi-cloud environments are incredibly complex and must be properly implemented, managed, and monitored—a significant challenge at scale and across multiple application stacks. It requires deep understanding of each platform and a skilled development team to succeed, and adopters may grow to realize how expensive and complicated it can get. Ensuring an optimal end-user experience is also tricky. Troubleshooting a multi-cloud infrastructure is substantially different than on-premises or single-cloud environments. It can take time for teams to regain the level of multi-system visibility and control they had when everything was in the data center. To further complicate matters, not all cloud providers offer the same services mix—especially for advanced services like monitoring, performance tuning, and optimization.

How Agencies Can Better Prepare for a Multi-Cloud Future

What can agencies do to better prepare for their multi-cloud future? Here are some important considerations to bear in mind. First, agencies must have a well-researched case for why they believe multi-cloud will meet their mission needs. According to Gartner, multi-cloud decisions rest on three considerations: the desire to increase agility and minimize vendor lock-in, a need to span today’s modular applications across multiple clouds or consume services from multiple clouds, and better disaster recovery. Second, agencies pursuing a multi-cloud strategy must integrate a high-performing DevOps team. Dev and ops must occupy the same monitoring domain. It’s no longer enough for dev teams to own application performance; they must be unified into the ops monitoring team. If agencies don’t have this capability in-house, then the best route is to outsource multi-cloud engineering and monitoring to someone else. Third, IT leaders must plan to get the complexities of monitoring multi-cloud environments under control and into an integrated view. Application monitoring across multiple clouds requires truly holistic insights, from application code to the supporting infrastructure and the end-user experience.

The Bottom Line

Pursuing a multi-cloud strategy can be fraught with challenges, particularly for enterprises as large and complex as the federal government (and even some state governments). But with the right approach and skill set, agencies can close the gap between investment and deployment without the cost and complexity they’ve come to expect. Find the full article on Government Technology Insider.
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Brandon Shopp
Brandon Shopp is the vice president of product strategy for security, compliance, and tools at SolarWinds. He served as our director of product management since…
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