Myths of multicloud deployments | The Manila Times

NOW that we’re well into the second decade of cloud computing, it’s time to reexamine the received wisdom that has come to surround this IT deployment model.

In the early days — when there was basically one public cloud — focusing your efforts on a single cloud made sense. But now that there are several cloud options capable, it’s time to brush the old tropes aside and accept that multicloud makes sense both technologically and economically adoption.

Let’s examine the facts versus fiction.

Myth 1: Nobody uses multicloud in production

untrue Virtually every IT research company says multicloud is a strategic imperative for businesses. In a survey, Gartner found that 81 percent of companies have a multicloud strategy in place and IDC dubbed 2021 “the Year of Multicloud.”

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If you need specifics, look at companies like Mynet, which hosts popular online games. It uses seven clouds, including Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), to ensure the high availability of its many titles.

Or check out GoTo, the remote-work pioneer, which uses Kubernetes container management to run workloads on OCI and Amazon Web Services.

In the case of both GoTo and Mynet, the use of multiple clouds brings better resiliency and availability — if one provider suffers a glitch, operations could be routed to another to keep customers online. That’s the very definition of smart IT deployment.

Myth 2: Multicloud costs more than a single cloud

nope Different public clouds offer an array of computing, networking, and storage services, and prices for each could vary widely among providers. One benefit of increased cloud competition is that some providers offer extremely competitive pricing for certain categories of service.

Remember: Just because one company claims to be the low-cost leader across the board doesn’t make it that way.

If your business requires shipping lots of data to end users, you definitely need to pay attention to “data egress” or “network outbound” fees charged by the different providers. They add up dramatically (sometimes catastrophically) if demand surges unexpectedly. One interactive video service is saving 80 percent on its data egress charges by using OCI instead of AWS, for example.

Cutting the cost of data transit between clouds would remove a huge obstacle to multicloud adoption.

Myth 3: Multicloud is slow

So false. While latency — or delay — could be an issue in data transfer, especially over long distances, this is less relevant now because all the cloud providers locate (or “co-locate” in tech speak) their physical infrastructure near each other’s. This proximity — in some cases different rooms within the same colocation facility — means millisecond latency between clouds. This, plus the addition of more cloud data center regions worldwide, means the distances between cloud regions are shrinking.

In addition, some major cloud providers have directly connected their respective clouds. Oracle and Microsoft, for example, teamed up on Oracle Azure Interconnect to provide fast private data flow between OCI and Microsoft Azure. This enables the many companies that run databases and applications on OCI and other applications and analytics on Azure with round-trip latency of 1.2 ms to 2.1 ms. That’s almost enough for most any enterprise requirement.

Myth 4: Multicloud is too complicated

uh uh This argument has been recycled throughout the history of information technology. Companies are told they must consolidate vendors to simplify operations and support. The problem is that different providers excel in different areas, and over reliance on one means the customer loses leverage when it comes to purchasing power.

Oracle and Microsoft, on the other hand, believe their customers are smart enough to handle “complexity,” like they did for decades on-premises, and are working to ensure their joint customers could use their applications of choice on their cloud of choice. A key aspect of the Oracle Azure Interconnect addresses that complexity by allowing businesses to use OCI Identity and Access Management or Azure Active Directory for single-sign access to resources running on either cloud.

Smart vendors could read the writing on the wall and will roll out more services to make interoperability between clouds easier. It helps that many popular open-source software packages — for example MySQL and Kubernetes — already run on all the major clouds.

Multicloud management and monitoring tools are only going to improve and expand as more customers and providers adopt multicloud strategies.

The multicloud model will abide

The real fact is, as more corporate data and workloads flow to the cloud (I should say clouds), business customers would use the services that best fit their needs, regardless of which provider runs them. At the same time, businesses would weigh price differentials between clouds on basic compute, storage, and networking services. In particular, they would insist that charges for the flow of data between clouds, or from their clouds to their own customers, be affordable and free of tacked-on charges.

Over the relatively short history of cloud computing, we were first told that no one would ever move anything to the cloud. Then, fingers wagged that no one would move “production” or strategic data into the cloud. Later, we were warned about the dangers of multicloud. These much-spoused certainties turned out to be fleeting because technology abhors a vacuum and business leaders like having options.

Today’s reality is as different from the past as the future will be from today. The one happy constant, it seems, is that customers would always have more and better choices. Providers who want to hold onto their customers should take note.


Leo Leung is the vice president for product management at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

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