Organizations are experiencing incredible frustration when it comes to cloud networking—dealing with issues such as connecting to the cloud across regions, clouds, and hybrid clouds, as well as secure access and Internet egress—it gets overwhelming quickly. Enterprises have taken different approaches to cloud networking, but largely they consider it a virtual form factor of their on-premises environments—with routing, network security, segmentation, and so on.
In light of this, Prosimo, the Application Experience Infrastructure company, hosted a webinar discussion focused on the multi-cloud in August. This exclusive webinar explored the top five challenges faced by enterprises that are trying to connect to the multi-cloud.
To fully explain what these challenges are and how to address them successfully, the hosts walked viewers through real-world, successfully deployed cloud enterprise examples. Some of the topics the webinar touched on include layer-3 connectivity across the multi-cloud and regions, cloud-native orchestration, and security at the right places while leveraging blueprints from AWS, Azure, and Google.
The webinar was presented by Benjamin Molnar, principal technical marketing engineer at Prosimo, and John Burke, CIO and principal research analyst at Nemertes. Here are the takeaways from their discussion of what to expect from the top five multi-cloud challenges.
1. Beginning the Transition to the Multi-Cloud
This was the first topic of the webinar. The discussion here focused on whether a company can sustainably expand from its initial cloud use to its ongoing future-state use of the cloud. The hosts illustrated this challenge using the scenario of an enterprise that has existing private data centers—they’ve begun to create workloads in one cloud, they’ve got a few VPCs, and they’re now ready to expand and move into more regions, while still using that same cloud.
Challenges that would arise here include tackling the issue of scaling up from an existing solution that involves both a cloud solution and the enterprise’s own developed infrastructure and tackling the many overlaps that naturally occur as a result of that scenario. Solutions to these challenges go beyond simply putting a virtual appliance in the cloud, even if that’s what a lot of people are doing.
2. Tackling the Challenge of Cloud Complexity
As a result of the ever-accelerating transfer to the multi-cloud, many enterprises find that they’re using multiple products and services as part of their overall cloud solution. The rate of this change has increased, in part, because of the wider fallout from COVID-19. Recent trends that have resulted from the worldwide pandemic, such as the dramatic shift to working from home, are only going to increase the demand for networked, cloud-based solutions. The downside of this transition, however, is that it increases the overall complexity of any cloud solution.
This increase in complexity leads to a requirement for increased human attention and additional security protocols. If this need is not properly addressed, it can lead to a poorer experience for both the enterprise’s users and its customers. The webinar highlighted how to tackle this problem, looking at some of the best and most forward-thinking solutions.
3. Expanding from the First Cloud to the Second Cloud
Multi-cloud networking is a great example of a paradigm shift, particularly for enterprise IT professionals. They’re adapting to this brave new world, as it were. The webinar discussion focused on the next big challenge that enterprises face: the expansion from the first cloud to the second cloud. This particular decision, making the move to the second cloud solution, is usually motivated by a specific business driver.
So how do you successfully handle transitioning to a second cloud provider, while expanding the scope of your services and maintaining a high level of service for your users and clients?
The webinar hosts took some time to dive into the specific technical aspects of addressing this problem. But, for them, the desired outcome is clear—this level of complexity should be hidden as much as possible from customers and/or users. In addition, this transition to a second cloud provider should be carried out via a process that is both efficient and secure.
4. Managing Cloud Costs
Cloud networks, network infrastructure, data centers—running a multi-cloud enterprise requires a lot of work and resources. Neither of these things, sadly, comes on the cheap. Indeed, while moving to the multi-cloud may bring many benefits, saving money is not likely to be one of them. Therefore, the next challenge is fairly obvious: How can an enterprise manage its cloud costs?
In this section of the webinar, Benjamin Molnar dove into how he (and his team) approaches this problem at Prosimo when working with a client. Effectively tackling this challenge requires high levels of visibility over the entire cloud solution, along with effective usage of the latest technology, such as AI and machine learning. Once you have this visibility, and a way to effectively analyze where your main cloud costs are coming from, you’ll be able to advise your teams or clients on how these issues can be addressed, and how overall costs can be lowered. The result is that you’re taking a more proactive approach to any inefficiencies or areas where costs remain high, or where they may potentially increase in the future.
5. Scaling Up in a Sustainable Way
The final challenge that was addressed in this webinar, before the hosts moved on to their closing thoughts about the multi-cloud, was the issue of scaling up. The challenge that many enterprises face is that of scaling up in a sustainable and efficient way. Of course, this entire process has been made much easier thanks to the introduction of cloud technology, but challenges remain.
The challenges faced here tend to fall into one of two categories. First, you have the existing network infrastructure. Enterprises have been working with a certain setup for a number of years, and it may be be complex, somewhat outdated, or both. This of course presents a problem when it comes to making the transition to a fully cloud-based solution. Second, you have the existing IT teams and personnel. They’re used to working in a certain way, and if you want to scale up quickly and efficiently, they’ll need to be retrained so that they understand this new approach, as well as the new ways of thinking that are needed to make it happen successfully.
At this point in the webinar, the hosts addressed these challenges and discussed how you can address them while maintaining a rapid rate of expansion and keeping the overall man-hours required to a minimum.
Listen to the discussion
This webinar presented a really good, high-level discussion on what is both a fascinating and increasingly relevant topic. Professionals in any enterprise looking to move to the multi-cloud, but who perhaps remain unaware of or uncertain about how to tackle the challenges and problems that this move entails, can learn a lot here. To watch this webinar, please click here.
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