Multicloud: How to Reap Its Myriad Benefits

By: Alyson Langon, Director, Product Marketing: Multicloud and as-a-Service, Dell Technologies

Increasingly, enterprises are embracing multicloud environments to enhance efficiency and innovation – but they may also introduce unwanted complexity. A recent MeriTalk survey of IT decision-makers across small, medium, and large organizations, conducted in partnership with Dell Technologies and Microsoft, found that 96 percent of organizations are utilizing some form of multicloud, but less than half have a well-established multicloud strategy. Half of those surveyed said their multicloud environments have grown faster than they can manage.

IT leaders can overcome these challenges – and reap the myriad benefits of multicloud – through a series of strategic steps. In a recent webinar, my colleague Nigel Burmeister and I discussed the impact of multicloud and offered advice on overcoming cloud complexity.

With dispersed workloads and data, it is typical for organizations to face challenges when they introduce a multicloud strategy, said Burmeister, portfolio marketing director for AI and multicloud at Dell Technologies. “You’re not alone … these multicloud environments balloon very quickly, and we can feel like it has gotten beyond our control.”

His advice: Simplify, standardize, and stay consistent.

“What I would counsel is to really try and drive consistency throughout that multicloud environment,” Burmeister said. “Using the same management tools gives you operational consistency across environments and simplifies things for your IT teams so you’re not having to retrain and relearn different ecosystems.”

Once consistency has been achieved, Burmeister said organizations should build on that foundation by adopting a multicloud management platform.

“You want platforms that give you the ability to seamlessly move things around, which is ultimately what IT teams are looking for,” he said. “That means the right workload at the right place at the right time.”

In the webinar, I outlined a series of benefits organizations want – and can expect – from multicloud. They include increased agility and operational efficiency, substantial cost optimization, better scalability and performance, and the flexibility to meet the needs of any environment.

Customers like the agility of the cloud experience. Multicloud allows you to choose from a range of best-in-class providers, and allows for a mix of on-premises and private cloud, so there is choice and flexibility available.

Among those providers is Dell Technologies, which helps organizations gain more confidence in multicloud through Dell APEX Cloud Platforms – a portfolio of fully integrated, turnkey systems that bring together Dell infrastructure, software, and cloud operating stacks to deliver consistent multicloud operations.

A key feature of APEX, Burmeister said, is multicloud by design, which empowers organizations to overcome complexity by collaborating with public cloud providers to optimize data placement and workloads for maximum value.

“APEX helps organizations unlock the benefits of multicloud without being constrained by siloed ecosystems,” he said. “It provides a modern cloud and a modern consumption experience across all environments.”

Any organization considering potential multicloud partners should weigh factors such as storage architecture, containerization capabilities to realize the full potential of apps and data, and the need to bring together operational consistency across your on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud experiences.

Security is an equally important consideration, because multicloud environments increase potential attack surfaces. Employing network segmentation to isolate critical data, enforcing strict access controls, and regularly updating and patching systems and applications can reduce the attack surface, Burmeister noted.

As for the future of multicloud, Burmeister and I advised IT leaders working to build out multicloud strategies to consider how to deploy and integrate artificial intelligence (AI) across their IT operations.

“How does my multicloud strategy support my business objectives around AI?” he asked. “There are going to be AI use cases and data spread across this multicloud environment. How do you have a multicloud by design strategy that delivers a unified cloud experience to ease interoperability across different environments?”

“You need to be thoughtful about where and how you do these things,” Burmeister concluded.

For more insight, view the webinar on demand.