More than a buzzword, multi-cloud is appealing to innovators, data scientists, developers, and many applications across industries. When done correctly, it allows you to manage data in a central location that is accessible to all clouds simultaneously via high-speed data access over low latency connections. 

But how do you know that the time’s right to move to multi-cloud? Here are four signs that your organization is ready:

Sign #1: Data Gravity Is Bringing You Down

You’re rapidly acquiring or creating new data, and the insights you can obtain from it are becoming increasingly valuable to your business. The ability to extract  that business value requires fast access to your information, but even the best-designed networks’ performance is limited by the speed of light. To overcome this network limitation, organizations place applications and data in close proximity to each other. That works well when your datasets are small and your applications are all in one place, but it becomes problematic when your data grows or you need to access services from multiple clouds. When working with larger and larger datasets, moving the data around to various applications becomes cumbersome and expensive. This effect is known as “data gravity.” Over time, as you add more applications and more data, the problem worsens: the data you rely on becomes impossible to move, due to the rate of growth exceeding your ability to extract or migrate it.

Because data gravity can lock you into an on-premises data center or a single cloud provider, data gravity hinders your business’s ability to be nimble or innovative. This happens because your data is in the wrong place, with network connections that are too slow. to take advantage of the latest capabilities from other cloud providers. Data gravity’s detrimental impact is particularly noticeable for digital transformation, containerized environments, microservices, and edge computing. Vanquish data gravity by putting your data into a centralized data store with low-latency connections to all major public cloud providers. 

Sign #2: A Single Cloud No Longer Meets Your Innovation Needs.

Using a single cloud provider is a common first step in the cloud journey because it is simpler to manage one provider, but the drawbacks eventually manifest. Staying with a single cloud prevents you from using new services released by other clouds, which could give your business a competitive edge and provide a better solution for your requirements. Relying on a single cloud also locks you into a potentially unsatisfactory relationship with that cloud provider, while subjecting you to limits and fees when you extract the data. 

No single public cloud can provide the best option for every situation and every workload, but combining the capabilities of several clouds maximizes your business outcomes. With a multi-cloud approach, you are free to use the best-in-class services from more than one hyperscale cloud provider at a time. As public cloud services steadily increase (Google Cloud Platform currently offers more than 100 services, Amazon Web Services offers more than 165, and Microsoft Azure more than 250), this flexibility allows your business users and developers to select the specific cloud services that best meet their needs, offering competitive advantages and productivity gains that wouldn’t be attainable through a single cloud.

Sign #3: Data Extraction Costs Are Rising. 

Cost management is a significant consideration for how you work with your data. On one hand, cloud vendor lock-in subjects you to egress fees on every gigabyte whenever you decide to take your data out of their cloud. On the other hand, trying to juggle multiple copies of the same data across different clouds in a DIY strategy can increase storage and networking expenses while creating management headaches. These direct and indirect data extraction costs can restrict data availability, hampering your ability to work with and innovate through your data. 

A well-designed multi-cloud strategy can minimize costs while increasing the number of valuable capabilities available to your users and developers. Multi-cloud can help you optimize costs based on performance needs, provide accurate cost projections, and help you shop for deals on cloud services and resources. Look for data services that are persistent, low-latency, attach to multiple clouds, reduce duplication, and scale when you need it. 

Sign #4: You’re prepared to future-proof your organization.

Perhaps now is finally the time to take action on initiatives to future-proof your business. Multi-cloud can help implement priorities in your strategic planning cycle, such as shoring up your disaster recovery planning to safeguard the longevity of your business. If the rapid changes prompted by COVID-19 are accelerating your move to the cloud, multi-cloud can support an effective migration. If you’re looking for new ways to stay ahead of the competition, multi-cloud provides access to the tools to help you do so, today and moving forward. It can also guarantee the flexibility of being able to tackle new workloads without being forced to copy or move your data closer to the latest cloud capabilities.

If any of the four signs above feel familiar, you’re ready for multi-cloud’s strategic advantages. Multi-cloud allows you to add future use cases you haven’t yet conceived. It ensures that your data will be there when you need it, even when a compute instance or container is deleted. It enables you to scale storage independently of cloud compute and network resources, to access data by multiple clouds simultaneously, and to comply with data sovereignty regulations in the regions where you are (or plan to be) working, among other benefits.

To access these advantages, host your data in a central data lake that you can use with any cloud provider. Doing so allows you to maintain control of your data, access best-in-class cloud data services from every cloud, and avoid storing multiple (possibly out-of-sync) copies of the same data—all while eliminating data gravity concerns and helping your enterprise be as agile as possible.

 

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