According to a new app modernisation survey from Enterprise Strategy Group, “92% of organisations feel it is important to utilise multi-cloud enabled container management and orchestration solutions. According to Netapp, multi-cloud refers to the distribution of cloud assets, software, and applications across several cloud environments, using multiple cloud computing platforms to support a single application or ecosystem of applications that work together in a common architecture.
Public cloud providers offer virtual compute, storage, and many services but they still differ from each other as they operate in different geographic regions and offer different security, data sovereignty, and hybrid capabilities than others. Even the user experience, including developer tools, web portals, automation capabilities are not uniform.
Using multiple clouds is not straightforward. An app designed to run great on one cloud won’t easily run on another.
According to Google Cloud, developers may write software that’s completely cloud-agnostic and can run anywhere. But one can run into problems like:
- App dependency on unique capabilities for AI, data processing, IoT, or vertical-specific APIs — think media or healthcare.
- Hosting applications in a specific geography, and thus choose a specific cloud, datacenter, or partner facility.
- Need for a specific data source so that the host is closest.
There have been quite a few multi-cloud solutions developed even by the public cloud providers. In the next section, we take a look at a few of those.
(The list below is in no particular order and has been compiled considering the reach of the service providers and popularity.)
One of the most popular Google Cloud Services in the multi-cloud segment is Anthos. Introduced in 2019, Anthos lets users manage workloads running on third-party clouds like AWS and Azure, giving the freedom to deploy, run and manage applications on the cloud of choice, without requiring administrators and developers to learn different environments and APIs. Anthos leverages open APIs, giving users the freedom to modernise any place, any time and at their own pace. Because Anthos is based on GKE, the managed Kubernetes service, users can automatically get the latest feature updates and security patches.
Microsoft’s Azure Arc does two key things — bringing Azure management capabilities to any infrastructure and enabling Azure services to run anywhere. Since its launch, Azure Arc has seen tremendous customer interest and adoption across all industries. Azure SQL Managed Instance, and Azure PostgreSQL Hyperscale can run across on-premises data centres, multi-cloud, and the edge.
VMware’s vRealize provides app-centric security and network visibility across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. It offers visibility and security planning across clouds that users can consume as a service or deploy on-premises. The tool easily maintains control over users’ infrastructure with custom policies and automated workflows that are uniquely based on how the users want to run their multi-cloud environment.
NetApp’s cloud solutions provide a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. It claims to offer a hybrid multi-cloud experience that breaks down technological and organisational silos in order to deliver better customer value as part of ongoing enterprise digital transformation.
IBM Multi-Cloud Management Platform
IBM’s MCMP platform supports multiple technology stacks across a multi-vendor platform by — optimising cloud spend and usage; managing services mapping and dependencies; and extending DevOps processes for traditional IT and cloud natives. IBM’s MCMP enables organisations to analyse health and inventory of their multi-cloud systems.
A leader in the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Management Platforms (CMP), Morpheus claims to have the highest capability scores for provisioning, brokerage, and governance as well as the best customer feedback in the field. Morpheus is an application-centric automation and orchestration framework which means it can present a self-service catalogue to provision applications made up of bare-metal servers, VMs, containers, and public cloud services.
Scalr was founded in 2007, with the challenge of federating dispersed IT teams over common cost and security standards while preserving local autonomy. Scalr Organisational Model combines proactive and reactive policies with a hierarchy that maps to the organisation’s structure. Scalr’s platform enables enterprises to achieve cost-effective, automated and standardised application deployments across multi-cloud environments. Scalr’s customers include Samsung and NASA.
The Snow Commander Cloud Management Platform is built from the ground up on a common architecture to deliver an all-in-one solution that supports multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud environments. Snow Software was also named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Management Platforms 2020 for the second year in a row.
Juniper’s JUKE created a persistent and distributed layer of storage and network for containers, schedulers and distributed applications across clouds. JUKE eliminates the need to create and manage multiple and siloed clusters across each individual cloud provider, drastically reducing management time, complexity and enabling agility and ownership of your data, where applications and containers can be deployed, moved and distributed based on your requirements, and not on cloud providers/schedulers limitations.
If you think we have missed out any multi-cloud tools, please add in the comments.