Unlocking the Opportunities of Multi-Cloud

Avoiding common challenges is key to unlocking multi-cloud's true potential.

Inside many organizations, an evolution is occurring. IT organizations are evolving from cost centers to innovation engines, and as a result, they’re increasingly planning around what outcomes they want to achieve as opposed to the systems they need to maintain. Consequently, many are adopting multi-cloud approaches that put their workloads, and application development, where each will work best, whether that’s the data center, the edge, a co-location (co-lo), a public cloud or even multiple public clouds.

This multi-cloud model often comes with trade-offs—operational complexity, inconsistency and multiple siloed IT environments. These challenges undermine some of cloud’s key advantages and can create efficiency, budgetary, security and competitive risks.​​ Consequently, IT organizations need tools that allow them to mitigate these trade-offs so they can have a truly integrated experience across all their environments, giving them the freedom to choose where and how they operate based on what’s best for the business, not the operating location.

Organizations need strategies that can help them tackle the challenge of multiple environments and organizational needs. Here are three to consider to unlock the full potential of multi-cloud.

Tip 1: Think beyond public clouds—bring the speed and agility of the cloud experience everywhere

Organizations are increasingly adopting cloud and services-based infrastructure for the speed and agility it offers to meet fluctuating business demands and to react quickly to change. Additionally, many are managing both on-premises and cloud environments with a growing number of applications in locations like co-los or at the edge. To be able to pivot quickly to address rapidly changing business needs or market fluctuations, organizations need the ability to quickly grow to meet demand and look to increase their operational flexibility by using pay as you go services. Most importantly, they need that agility no matter where they are, whether it’s in a private or public cloud, in a co-lo or at the edge. Many organizations think of multi-cloud as the opportunity to capitalize on the advantages of multiple public clouds, but when you realize that you can have that cloud experience of speed and agility anywhere you’re operating, you realize you have a much broader toolkit with which to meet your customer’s needs. 

Tip 2: Manage the complexity of multi-cloud with a consistent toolset

A majority of organizations today use multiple public and private cloud platforms—92% report they have a multi-cloud strategy and 82% have embraced hybrid cloud.¹ And while this can mean faster and more agile development, it can also increase complexity. As a result, organizations may find themselves managing a wealth of challenges, including policy enforcement, security, compliance, cost management and service level maintenance. Above and beyond those, with multiple platforms to manage, organizations face the challenges of managing and operating multiple systems, as well as having specialized teams trained and up to date. Centralizing on one control plane and one toolset reduces this complexity and operational burden so teams only need to learn one tool and then apply it everywhere. Solutions like Dell Technologies APEX give teams a consistent management experience everywhere they’re operating, from the data center to the edge to multiple public clouds, so organizations can get the most from any environment they choose to run in.

Tip 3: Future-proof against single points of failure

As more and more businesses rely on the public cloud, the risk of unforeseen events—outages, natural disasters, bad actors or just plain old user error—only increases. Protecting against single points of failure becomes more important than ever. Organizations need the freedom and flexibility to run their workloads wherever makes the most sense, which includes running them in more than one public or private cloud to increase redundancy and portability.

This has the added benefit of increased protection against vendor lock-in. While some organizations have found it easy to move their data to the public cloud, many have found it challenging to migrate to another cloud or repatriate back on premises. Architecting with an eye towards portability—and working with a vendor with no vested interest in which public cloud, or clouds, you choose—gives organizations the power to move workloads on their terms.

Whether they’re going all-in on multiple public clouds or investing a mixture of private and public cloud deployments, organizations are increasingly building to a multi-cloud reality. But with it comes a number of challenges. To unlock multi-cloud’s full potential for business value, organizations need to provide a consistent, agile infrastructure management experience, simplify operations and increase portability. Our APEX portfolio provides a consistent infrastructure and operations across cloud environments, spanning private infrastructure and the top public clouds of AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as more than 4,200 cloud partners. We’ve helped others manage cloud sprawl, and we can help your organization, too. Here’s where you can learn more about APEX.

¹ Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report

About the Author: Travis Vigil

Travis Vigil is Senior Vice President leading Portfolio and Product Management for Dell’s Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG). He and his team are responsible for the Product, Offer and APEX (as-a-Service) Roadmap for Dell’s Server, Storage, Data Protection, CI/HCI, Networking, and Solutions portfolios. He has over 20 years of Product Management, Marketing and Business Operations experience with technology companies including Dell and Intel. In previous roles at Dell, he served as Senior Vice President for Storage & Data Protection Product Management, and Senior Vice President for Business Operations focused on Dell’s Server, Storage and Networking Business with commercial customers. He has a B.S. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
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