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From Accidental Multi-Cloud to Data Cannons and More: The State of Multi-Cloud

Matt Wallace talks about multi-cloud deployments

During the CTOAdvisor Road Trip, Faction CTO Matt Wallace systematically breaks down the difference between ‘multi-cloud’ and ‘multiple clouds,’ and explains emerging use cases for true multi-cloud deployments. Watch the full video to hear about this and what to do when all your teams need access to the same copy of data.



Hey, how’s it going? It’s Keith Townsend or principal, CTO advisor. We’re on the CTO advisor row trip, talking again with Matt Wallace, CTO of Faction Inc. Matt, welcome back to the program.


Thank you, glad to be here with you.


So Matt, over the past two years, me and you have been getting into these really abstract conversations about multi-cloud, and data, and how to leverage data across multi-cloud, and I think one of the good things that we can do both CTO advisors is talk kind of the high level of how do we get here, like two years ago, we were talking about hybrid multi-cloud imaginary.


Now we’re talking about multi-cloud real, I’ve always said it was imaginary. You always said it was real. I think I have to eat a little pro. It’s real.


What is Faction’s Multi-Cloud?

I appreciate that. To be fair, a lot of the talk around multi-cloud, especially two and three years ago, is maybe less real than today. Because you have people who if you ask them, Are you multi-cloud, they go, Well, I’ve got Office 365 and I use Amazon. So of course, I’m multi-cloud. And I mean, I don’t want to quibble about the, you know, taxonomy, right?


You want to call it multi-cloud, it’s multi-cloud. But our vision for multi-cloud, you know, was multiple clouds, used in harmony in some sort of strategic way. And, that I think, is getting more common. But it was really rare then, and we’re seeing it more now.


So back then I saw a lot of accidental multi-cloud was via M&A. Via just shadow IT, IT departments looked up and, man, my data is spread across multiple clouds.


Multiple clouds, which is not necessarily the same as multi-cloud.


And customers within customers were building multi-cloud applications without any real strategy around data, compliance, data protection, etc.


And I’m not panning it. If you have a team that wants to use one cloud and another team that wants to use another it’s not inherently wrong, but you’re being sort of derelict in your duty when you don’t think about what happens when all of my teams end up needing to access the same data. That’s where you need a plan and a strategy. And that’s where some people kind of fall short. And we’re seeing a lot of people need some help nowadays.


What are the use-cases of multiple clouds?

So talk to me about those use cases, what are some of the use cases that Faction inc. is seeing out in the field for multiple clouds?


Sure,  I’m going to talk about multi-cloud. Sometimes it is starting in multiple clouds. And it’s a question of how do you bring it together?


So I mean, you could pick a high level, anything that has a lot of data, where you have more than one team or more than one organization that needs to access it, I think the place where we’ve seen the most interest is actually in healthcare and life sciences.


So nowadays, there’s been this huge cost reduction in doing things like genomic processing, and that type of analytics with life science data. And so you see, not only many teams across a huge company, like doing pharmaceutical work, and that sort of thing, trying to collaborate with the same genomes and the same other data.


But you also see different organizations collaborating, one might specialize in, you know, drug development with DNA, the other might be doing something cutting edge with RNA, and they want to work together and put parts of their data pipeline together. And so whether it’s multiple teams or different enterprises, you see them trying to figure out, Hey, how can we run different applications or stages of an application without having to move or copy data without data gravity making this just slow as molasses.


So I’ve lived this, I’ve worked for large biopharmaceutical, and even without talking about that, there’s some public stuff about what the University of Oregon and universities of Washington have done about collaborating with academics collaborating with commercial space, and the ability to separate use cases and use the same datasets.


What are the differences between multiple clouds and multi-cloud?

I built what we call data cannons, and the private IT space to get data from on-premises to our academic partners. So we could collaborate, why move the data, if you can use the data in the same centralized location. Now with that comes a bunch of technical challenges. We’re going to get into the technical challenges in the next conversation. But before we get into that conversation, I want to delve a little bit more into this difference between multiple clouds and multi-clouds. How did you define the difference between multiple clouds having a relationship with AWS, Salesforce, IBM, Google Azure, versus multi-cloud?


Multiple Clouds

Sure, if you have multiple clouds, and they each have their own data and their own use case or their own team, and there isn’t a driving reason to unify those, I say, you know, lucky you, you know that’s multiple clouds each separate for their own purpose.



Multi-cloud happens when you start whether, you know, intentionally, or because it’s sort of thrust upon you, you know, things like mergers and acquisitions tend to make this your problem whether you wanted it or not.


But once you have an environment where you have the same data, and you have different teams that really want to access it for different purposes, you’re in a multi-cloud situation now, whether you want to be or not. And you can solve that by trying to distribute the data replicated, copy it, like your data cannon example, right?


People are solving the problem that way. You know, this is why I like to talk about what Faction has done because it really allows you to have a new architecture with a centralized data repository, but access to all the clouds and all the services at the same time without a copy without any movement. And once you see, you know, two different teams, two different applications touching the same data, literally seconds apart without having to do any movement. And you realize that data can be at any scale, even many, many petabytes. It unlocks the possibility for how your teams can work together and collaborate.


Learn More About Multi-Cloud

So Matt, I really enjoy you taking this beautiful walk. In Colorado. This is amazing. If you want to learn more about the CTO advisor, you can follow me on the web, to find out where we’ve been in this great country of laws. If I didn’t ask Matt tough enough questions, go watch the technical multi-cloud video and we’re even tougher on them. Or you can DM me at the CTO advisor on Twitter. DMS are open. Talk to you on the next CTO dose.

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