Google Cloud: the Key to Multicloud SuccessA deep dive into how Google Cloud is the key to Multicloud success
July 12, 2022 | Google Cloud
The Multicloud approach is very enticing when you realize that you can rely on more than one provider for cloud services, whether public or private. In fact, the 2021 HashiCorp State of Cloud Strategy Survey indicates that 76% of organizations are already using a Multicloud strategy - with 53% achieving their business goals through it.
But as the statistics show, not everyone is excelling at it. With that being said, let’s clue you in on what you can achieve with Google Cloud as part of your Multicloud setup, what could stand in your way, and the steps to take to realize multicloud maturity.
What makes Google Cloud ideal for Multicloud?
According to Statista, global business usage of the Google Cloud platform reached 23% in 2021 and 19% of organizations surveyed were running significant workloads on Google Cloud. So while many organizations still use other cloud platforms, they are at the very least trying out Google Cloud.
This is can be attributed to its suitability for a multicloud setup through:
As your multicloud setup expands to serve the entire organization, it is crucial to harmonize different departments’ cloud operations. Some workflows require disparate teams to share data and applications so you have to break down silos and create consistency in records.
These efforts also come in handy when collaborating with another organization such as, a supplier, client, regulator, or some other entity. Additionally, if there’s an intersection between bits of work done using your different cloud providers’ products, you’ll need to link them.
Luckily, Google Cloud has an answer for each of these scenarios. Using Anthos, you can easily run workloads on virtual machines in different environments. Think of Anthos as the apex in a tree structure and below it, you have resources running on Google Cloud, on-premises infrastructure, other public clouds, and via edge computing.
More specifically, Anthos enables you to manage installations and upgrades concerning Kubernetes clusters and workloads, be it on AWS, Azure, GKE, on-premises, and bare metal servers. Not only will you get the same development and operations experience everywhere but also eliminate the need for a hypervisor layer for bare metal servers and other virtualized infrastructure.
With Cloud Build and Cloud Deploy in the mix, you can enhance the way you deliver applications and their lifecycle as a whole. For starters, you’ll be able to import source code and other assets from various locations and execute within Google Cloud.
Then, you can automate the deployment of completed releases, channelling them through standardized pipelines with a defined delivery sequence for each target involved. So basically, with Anthos in play:
It’s easier to work with multiple sources and targets.
Team members spend less time on migration (over 85% of database migrations are in effect in under an hour).
You save on hypervisor licensing costs.
Resources in transit have a more structured path.
This is what makes Google Cloud’s interoperability distinct. It’s not just about making different systems work together, but also making the resultant processes more efficient and easier to maintain. These capabilities encourage agile and DevOps approaches, with the possibility of up to 4.8X return on investment thanks to the flexibility that Anthos facilitates.
You can also use other integration and orchestration tools like Cloud Data Fusion and Cloud Composer to build and monitor data pipelines and workflows linking various resources.
One of the main challenges in achieving multicloud maturity is securing cloud resources. Many reports put security in the top two multicloud challenges; 47% of the HashiCorp survey respondents and 49% of respondents in Nutanix’s fourth global Enterprise Cloud Index survey.
Undoubtedly, visibility strengthens mutlicloud security, and fortunately, Google Cloud’s Chronicle offering adequately fulfills this need. Firstly, Chronicle enables you to analyze security telemetry more efficiently without worrying about the amount of processing power and storage directed towards threat detection.
Secondly, this offering transcends rules-based threat identification to continuously revisit information on Indicators of Compromise (IoCs) and compare it with newly generated data. Consequently, its bank of red flags increases over time and the system remains up-to-date on the evolving characteristics of cloud breaches.
And let’s not forget that Google Cloud’s security and resilience solutions can scrutinize your entire multicloud setup and point out your most at-risk resources. In a nutshell, Google Cloud revitalizes your mutlicloud security through scalability, intuitive recommendations, and continuous learning.
For those utilizing Anthos, you can automate the implementation of relevant security and policy actions at every development and deployment stage. Moreover, customers running their own nodes have greater control over security and worry less about operating systems and virtual machine compatibility.
Cost management remains a challenge for 43% of multicloud users, according to Nutanix’s ECI survey. One of the major issues here is, how to get right to the complete toolset you need without wasting time and money on irrelevant features. In addition, there’s the issue of managing costs as you scale.
If you try Google Cloud, for instance, you can benefit from the pay-as-you-go pricing and avoid provisioning resources that go unused. Alternatively, commit to a subscription term and enjoy discounts on Google Cloud services if you already know what you’ll need. Both of these options are available for Anthos users.
For first-timers, start with US$300 in free credits and over 20 free products and do trial runs for your workloads. As you better understand what products speak to your organization’s unique needs, you can look them up on the individual products’ price list. This approach emphasizes return on investment during digital transformation, enabling a gradual necessity-driven transition.
You can prioritize processes needing an efficiency boost from cloud tools. While this happens, your IT team brainstorms and suggests more ingenious techniques for achieving efficiency and accuracy, such as Machine Learning, Big Data, and Real-time Analytics.
Later, the team slowly experiments with cloud products that build advanced solutions as the critical business processes continue. To top it all off, there’s an adoption framework to help you know what your organization needs to succeed in cloud usage. And once that is laid out, you can continuously evaluate your progress through Google’s Cloud Maturity Assessment exercise.
Potential Obstacles in your Multicloud journey
As you contemplate various multicloud structures, make sure you consider:
Expansion plans- If you plan on serving customers outside the country’s borders within a short while, you may want to check a service provider’s data center distribution and networking capacity before you pay. You don’t want the user experience to be smooth in one country and horrible in another.
In the case of Google Cloud, you can even go as far as taking a virtual tour of their data centers to understand just how reliable the service will be.Regulations- Data privacy laws are becoming more intricate for international business. For example, you’ll still be held to GDPR even when serving an EU citizen outside the EU. Stay on top of the applicable rules in each scenario to ensure your multicloud setup doesn’t handle user data and application traffic in a non-compliant manner.
If you want to know that your cloud provider checks all the necessary boxes, Google Cloud is quite straightforward in this area. Its compliance resource center lays out all the available compliance offerings by region and category.Comprehensive IT expertise- If you plan on having a highly interconnected multicloud setup, you may need to adjust your in-house IT team. Yes, each cloud provider will have support agents, but you might need more help.
Occasionally, some employees might get confused as you work to converge multiple tools into a single interface. An IT team conversant with every cloud tool in your setup can help with the necessary training to get employees up to speed with all the new changes.
Steps to take to realize multicloud maturity
It’s worth noting that 18% of organizations do not succeed at multicloud adoption as it can be a fairly bumpy road. Apart from the challenges mentioned above, others include:
- Achieving full visibility across all cloud applications
- Data integration
- Skills shortages
Undoubtedly, multicloud maturity will remain elusive for organizations that can’t get on top of these issues. If you’re determined to get the most out of a multicloud strategy, here’s how you can go about the adoption journey:
Identify and categorize cloud-ready processes
Firstly, pinpoint all the cases where you can apply a cloud-based solution. Arrange them according to the simplicity of migration. Usually, things like storage are quite easy, so you can start by performing backups.
From here, you can proceed to the more elaborate processes and differentiate them based on the ability to handle them using only one or multiple cloud providers’ solutions. This is the perfect time to internalize the Google Cloud Adoption Framework whitepaper.
At this point, you discover how ready you are to boost technical expertise within the organization. You’ll also know whether you have a clear leadership structure you can emulate in the cloud. Ultimately, the goal is to find that intersection between technology, people and processes.
Establish rules and monitor operations
Once you’ve figured out which applications and data you’ll be shifting to the cloud, you need to mirror your organizational structure within your cloud setup. Ascertain who everyone reports to and who has permission to do what.
Then, select a tool you can use to see who performed certain actions and how they progressed. Make sure you involve all stakeholders to understand the impact of cloud migration on their respective and collective workflows.
This conversation will birth feasible policies that you can continuously refine as you monitor the multicloud usage within your organization. At this stage, you establish who’ll have access to specific resources and the context in which they will.
Transfer your primary workloads
This is the step where you switch from on-premises infrastructure to your provider’s infrastructure. It is also the time when you can move workloads from one provider’s tool to another provider’s tool. Monitoring and visibility will now be crucial to gauging the differences in results.
At this point, scale becomes vital. You ought to know just how much resources you’ll allocate to each workload and why. This level highlights the pursuit of cost-efficiency through tactics like automation. It is the point where you establish the practical fundamentals on how cloud usage will improve business gains. However, ROI evaluations at this point don’t paint the full picture.
Delegate management and adopt advanced solutions
Here, you single out the skills gaps exposed by your migration and lean on the provider by opting for offerings like managed databases. At this point, you should look into each provider’s unique advanced features, such as serverless and scalable schemaless approaches.
This is also the level where you consider building bridges between resources hosted by different providers, especially if it improves the end-user experience. You can choose between VPNs, Partner Interconnect, Dedicated Interconnect, and other options depending on what works best.
Commit to the new setup
This is the point where you determine whether you still need the older infrastructure or service features that were inadequate. The smart thing to do is make multicloud mandatory for new processes. In the meantime, you can keep the older infrastructure that is still relevant, say, on grounds of cost, control, or some other reason.
When the providers in your multicloud setup meet all those needs, you can then fully abandon legacy systems and redirect the funds to your new providers.
Adopting a multicloud setup can be a daunting journey, and it also requires continuous assessment and increased harmony between different departments. But even with competitors like AWS having a 7-year head start, Google Cloud now has almost 10% of the cloud infrastructure market. To better understand how a platform like Google Cloud increases the chances of multicloud success, schedule a free consultation with our team.