Multi-cloud is often talked about as this deliberately chosen strategy: something you think about, plan for, and then execute. And it makes sense. Different cloud providers have different pros and cons, so why not consume the best services from each (and every) cloud, for each different use case across different teams?
And in reality, it’s true enterprises are rarely single-cloud. Most of them are multi-cloud, but not always by choice. Increasingly, multi-cloud seems to have happened unconsciously. It wasn’t a thought-out plan. It wasn’t part of any architecture, design or budget discussion.
It just kind of happened, because technology followed use cases and requirements: different teams have different use cases, and different requirements. And let’s not forget mergers and acquisitions, or teams just venturing out on their own when internal IT teams cannot deliver what they need.
While operational simplicity and cost control of a single cloud are definite factors, the business value gained from new use cases and a better fit between technology and its use case, even if that means using a cloud service from another cloud vendor, is definitely there.
But this is where the friction is. enterprises are multi-cloud, but their cloud management platforms rarely are. That means security, visibility, cost control, compliance and governance suffer, and severely limits consistency and repeatability of workflows and automation across public clouds, which decreases developer productivity, forcing them to re-create boilerplate deployment automation and day-2 management workflows.
And even if a cloud management platform is able to support multi-cloud scenarios, it’s hardly ever as flexible as the ever-changing requirements of the business. As organizations become increasingly digital, the breadth and depth of which cloud services they will want to use grows, putting more and more pressure on the cloud platform and platform teams to support this wide array of multi-cloud scenarios.
That means we need a cloud management platform that is inherently flexible, supporting all current and future multi-cloud scenarios teams throw at you. This prevents many different disconnected islands of clouds, each with incomplete, badly implemented, unaudited security and compliance standards. And not unimportantly, a single, unified developer experience across clouds minimizes the amount of re-training, lessening the skills gap required to operate and manage IT environments.
A big part of getting multi-cloud right is getting the fundamentals right: connectivity, security, identity, access, logging and monitoring, auditing, data management and compliance. This means implementing a fabric of connectivity where security policies, (single) identity and access management, data management and compliance, and audits checks can be uniformly applied.
This is the main value of a cloud management platform, and only after implementing this cloud fabric are organizations able to adopt new clouds and cloud services seamlessly, quickly, and often. These guardrails are a good way to balance the speed of innovation on the developer and business side with operational aspects of IT, allowing developers to consume new cloud services quickly while security and compliance are ensured.
Along the way, a multi-cloud management platform safeguards enterprises from price-gouging, service dependencies and other lock-in strategies by the public cloud vendors. The portability of applications across clouds ensures enterprises can move them, minimizing risk of high cost, and helps enterprises deal with the increasingly strict data privacy laws.
With Kubernetes being the predominant way applications are deployed and run, multi-cloud means having a single set of APIs, tools and interfaces your developers interact with to deploy and run applications across clouds.
That means enterprises need the flexibility to use Kubernetes clusters running in public clouds like Azure, AWS and Google, and even on VMware-based and bare-metal platforms. In all cases, a consistent developer experience matters.
One such platform is Mirantis’ Container Cloud, a hosted control plane to create and manage Kubernetes clusters across clouds and on-prem. It gives engineering teams one point for operations integration, letting you run your applications everywhere.
Container Cloud is a complete suite of tools on top of Kubernetes designed to create and run cloud-native applications, and includes tools for ingress traffic, load balancing and network security, tools for collecting and showing application metrics, logs and (distributed) traces, and tools for secrets management, end-to-end service encryption, policy-based security and compliance, identity, SSO and access management, serverless functions, continuous integration and more.
The platform is continuously updated with zero downtime, removing the complexity of cluster upgrades and other lifecycle management tasks. The service is hardened for enterprise production use and uses secure by default configurations.
Mirantis Container Cloud provides a user-friendly, Self-Service web interface, API and even a Kubernetes IDE for developers to create, observe, and manage their own K8s clusters, within “guardrails” the platform teams establish for each environment and role.
Try Mirantis Container Cloud for free on the Equinix Metal infrastructure, and deploy a fully functional Mirantis Kubernetes Engine-based Kubernetes cluster now.