Challenges of Multi Cloud_white_paper

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  • THE CHALLENGES BEHIND MULTI-CLOUD MANAGEMENTHow to ensure business value in the era of complex networks

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    [ The Challenges Behind Multi-Cloud Management ]


    INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    WHY MULTI-CLOUD ADOPTION IS GROWING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    BENEFITS OF IMPLEMENTING A MULTI-CLOUD STRATEGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

    CHALLENGES OF A MULTI-CLOUD STRATEGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

    TOOLS TO HELP BUSINESSES COMPETE IN A MULTI-CLOUD WORLD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

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    [ The Challenges Behind Multi-Cloud Management ]

    INTRODUCTIONWith cloud services firmly established in the enterprise, businesses are in-creasingly turning to multiple cloud providers and a variety of deployment models to meet their unique application and workload requirements.

    A multi-cloud strategy offers increased flexibility and agility; however, at the same time, it makes connecting and managing a holistic IT environment significantly more complex.

    This white paper examines the emerging trend of multi-cloud and explains how companies can benefit from comprehensive tools for multi-cloud management that enable them to spend less time managing IT resources and more time on critical business activities.

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    [ The Challenges Behind Multi-Cloud Management ]

    WHY MULTI-CLOUD ADOPTION IS GROWINGQuite simply, cloud services are on their way to becoming the dominant paradigm for business services. According to IDCs Cloud Futurescape 2015, more than 65 percent of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud technologies before 2016. By 2017, IDC said, 35 percent of new applica-tions will use cloud-enabled continuous delivery in order to achieve faster rollout of new features and increase business innovation. 1

    We use the term multi-cloud to refer to any IT architecture that merges at least two cloud-based services into one platform, as well as those that mix third-party clouds, private clouds and hosted infra-structure together.

    In practice, most enterprises will make use of substantially more than two cloud platforms. An indi-vidual company may mix services from one or two infrastructure-as-a-service providers for its storage and backup needs; use a platform-as-a-service provider for a variety of on-demand business applica-tions; and incorporate cloud-based security applications all while still making use of hosted or owned infrastructure for some data or mission-critical services.

    While the initial impetus for the move to the cloud came from the desire to reduce costs and increase efficiency in provisioning, there are four major reasons for the explosive growth in the use of a multi-cloud strategy:

    1. Complexity of modern enterprises: Modern businesses typically use dozens of internal, partner-facing and consumer-facing applications, and it is unlikely that a single cloud can provide everything a company needs to operate effectively.

    2. Competitive demands: Cloud services provide agility at a lower cost than on-premise solu-tions. More importantly, business intelligence has become a key competitive tool among companies, and cloud-based analytics applications can help deliver new insights in the growing amount of data they generate and store in multiple repositories. According to KPMG, 35 percent of enterprises say business analytics is a prime driver of cloud services, and 73 percent achieve improved business performance. 2

    3. Increased usage of mobile: Public websites and online services now receive a majority of visits from mobile devices. According to IDC, by 2017, all of the line-of-business apps in customer-facing roles and 75 percent of internal applications will be built for mobile-first consumption.3 Cloud architectures better support access from anywhere via any device.

    4. Consumerization of IT: Cloud-based services, especially webmail and online storage, have won the loyalty of consumers with an unbeatable value proposition: easy to set up and use, and always available. As employees, they have come to expect the same and, in many cases, simply self-provision public cloud services at the office. According to the Cloud Security Alli-ance, 72 percent of companies globally do not know the scope of this shadow IT, which includes cloud apps adopted by individual employees, teams, and business units.4

    1 IDC Cloud Futurescape 2015. December 18, 2014. 2 KPMG, 2014 Cloud Survey Report: Elevating Business in the Cloud, December 2014.3 IDC, IDC Reveals Worldwide Mobile Enterprise Applications and Solutions Predictions for 2015, December 18, 2014.4. Cloud Security Alliance, Cloud Adoption Practices & Priorities Survey Report, January 2015.

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    [ The Challenges Behind Multi-Cloud Management ]

    THE BENEFITS OF IMPLEMENTING A MULTI-CLOUD STRATEGY The 800 technology leaders who participated in KPMGs Cloud Survey ranked the cloud as the tech-nology that will have the greatest impact on driving business transformation. Businesses competing in the digital economy will find many benefits in a multi-cloud architecture. These key benefits include:

    Lower cost: Just-in-time provisioning of capacity without the need to purchase hardware can reduce capital expenses and operating costs.

    Flexibility: Multi-cloud architectures can help companies avoid vendor lock-in and, instead, choose the ideal location for data based on price, availability and performance.

    Choice: Companies can run applications and workloads on the most suitable environment based on application requirements, whether that means dedicated resources, a private cloud or a public cloud.

    Focus on higher-value business processes: Outsourcing provisioning and management of data storage frees IT and lines of business to focus on more core business needs.

    Use best-of-breed: Theres increasing specialization in cloud services in order to best serve specific needs of business sectors or technologies, such as healthcare-specific clouds or Hadoop-as-a-service. Specialized clouds can also reduce the number of cloud applications an enterprise needs to deploy, and/or provide a more tailored service.

    CHALLENGES OF A MULTI-CLOUD STRATEGYWhile there are compelling opportunities for increased business value and lowered infrastructure costs with multi-cloud services, these advantages come with a new set of challenges that businesses must meet.

    The first challenge is network complexity. A diverse array of in-house and cloud services typically comprises a multi-cloud architecture. Joining them via a public internet connection can create band-width problems that slow down applications. In this architecture, a mix of private and public data typically travels on different layers among the networked cloud services, which requires higher levels of management. There is also the risk of potential lack of integration among cloud services. Standard-ization of APIs has greatly improved the ability of cloud applications to exchange data. Nevertheless, it may be necessary for a company to create their own custom APIs in order to implement its preferred multi-cloud architecture both a costly and resource-intensive endeavor. Another challenge of a multi-cloud strategy is a lack of visibility into performance. While many cloud service providers offer management tools for their own offerings, it can be difficult for a company to keep track of how their overall infrastructure is performing without having to use multiple proprietary systems and tools. Mutual dependencies or interoperability issues could break the multi-cloud system even though each of its parts was operating correctly.

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    [ The Challenges Behind Multi-Cloud Management ]

    Shadow IT is another major concern. According to the Cloud Security Alliance, only 8 percent of companies knew the scope of shadow IT within their enterprises. When establishing or expanding into multi-cloud, a company may have difficulty migrating data from rogue applications used by lines of business into the systems of preferred vendors. They may not even be able to identify the applications being used across the company.

    Multi-cloud also introduces new security and governance requirements. Because of the complexity and geographical distribution of its multi-cloud architecture, a business may need to develop federated systems for providing security and compliance with regulations, especially in sectors such as finance and healthcare.

    Finally, multi-cloud strategy typically drives the need for new IT skillsets. From CIOs down to tech support, IT staff will need to expand their skills, adding programming languages like Ruby on Rails and Hadoop. In addition, companies may need to hire personnel able to manage and monitor networked cloud services.

    TOOLS TO HELP BUSINESSES COMPETE IN A MULTI-CLOUD WORLDWith the growth in multi-cloud architectures comes a need for enterprises to be able to manage multiple environments holistically, in one consolidated view. As this market expands, vendors continue to provide more tools to help businesses overcome the challenges of multi-cloud management. The offerings include wider choice in basic cloud-management software, as well as new tools that provide better visibility. These tools typically come in a few different categories:

    Cloud data migration: As a company moves data to the cloud or changes cloud providers, it may encounter mismatches between its data and the protocols used by the host. Migration tools can perform necessary translations while ensuring that application uptime is maintained as much as possible during the data transfer.

    Security and governance: Third-party providers of cloud-based security, or security-as-a-service, integrate with corporate infrastructure and cloud services in order to manage security across data-bases, applications and services. Governance the ability to apply policies to data usage is included in some cloud security software.Managed services: This approach typically combines proprietary software with hands-on management of all cloud operations by an expert team that allows a business to focus on mission-critical tasks and driving innovation.

    Multi-cloud management: This newer category of management tools provides a consolidated portal view of resources that allows staff to holistically track, monitor, manage and support work-loads as they move among third-party clouds, private clouds and hosted infrastructure. One such example is Carpathias Cloud Operations Platform for Amazon Web Services (AWS). This tool delivers a single platform for tracking and monitoring across multiple IT environments, offering customers greater agility to implement the best combination of hybrid IT architecture to address their specific solution needs, while leaving the management of IT workloads up to Carpathia.

  • 21000 Atlantic Boulevard | Suite 500 | Dulles, VA 20166 703.840.3900 / 1.888.200.9494


    Carpathia is a leading provider of hybrid cloud services and managed hosting, providing secure, reliable and compliant IT infrastructure and management for some of the worlds most demanding enterprises and federal agencies. Carpathias cloud platform delivers solutions for every stage of the cloud journey, empowering organizations to meet their unique security and compliance requirements. Carpathias experienced customer care team and innovative data center facilities provide 24x7 global support to ensure optimum performance and reliability. Backed by its E3 Promise, Carpathia consistently delivers an experience that exceeds expectations. Contact Carpathia at 1.888.200.9494, or visit for more information.

    [ The Challenges Behind Multi-Cloud Management ]


    CONCLUSIONBusiness innovation and competitive advantage in the digital economy require superb performance within highly complex, multi-cloud environments. While the multi-cloud structure allows companies to make use of the most suitable environments for their computing workloads while maximizing effi-ciency and minimizing cost, it comes with its own challenges. In order to achieve the benefits and gain business insights from multiple data sources, companies moving to multi-cloud must make sure to dedicate resources to monitoring and managing these high-performance environments.

    CUSTOMER INSIGHTS: GILTSince its inception, Gilt has set out to create the most exciting online shopping destination for its members every day, in a fast and seamless experience from start to finish. However, that mission comes with IT challenges particularly in relation to latency. With an online audience that expects consistent uptime and fast speeds 24x7, digital retailers like Gilt have a significant task on their hands. Combine that with often waves of traffic patterns, and its essential for digital enterprises like Gilt to select a cloud service provider with experience in these types of engagements.

    To support Gilts millions of customers around the globe, Carpathia provides the online retailer with a fully managed hybrid IT solution consisting of dedicated infrastructure (managed servers, network, storage and back-ups) and AWS resources. Gilt utilizes Carpathias secure data centers in both Ashburn, Va., and Phoenix, Ariz. to process thousands of transactions each day, as well as to store a massive inventory of images and assets, communication of daily sales and an extensive mobile presence. Gilt also leverages the AWS cloud for bursting capability, and uses Carpathias Cloud Operations Platform for AWS to maintain visibility of their entire hybrid implementation.

    For more information about Carpathias Cloud Operations Platform for AWS, visit


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