Computing

Survey Surfaces Multi-Cloud Computing and Cost Challenges:

A survey of 360 CIOs and IT leaders in the US and the United Kingdom found that, as the number of cloud platforms an organization employs expands, the number of tools they are required to deploy and master does, too.

The survey, published this week by Virtana, a provider of a platform for managing cloud migrations, found nearly two-thirds of respondents (63%) reported their organization relied on at least five separate tools for migration, cloud cost optimization, integrated performance monitoring , application performance management and cloud infrastructure monitoring. A full 83% are expending some level of manual effort to consolidate data from all of these tools, or are simply using them in isolation from one another. Only 17% said data integration is fully automated.

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Nearly three-quarters (73%) also noted that siloed efforts limit their ability to realize the full potential of the cloud.

It appears that multi-cloud computing only makes managing IT more challenging. Not to mention the increased pressure a multi-cloud approach puts on DevOps and developers that already juggle an overwhelming number of tools for development, DevSecOps and more. And, of course, the risk of cloud misconfiguration grows alongside the number of cloud platforms an organization uses.

According to the Virtana survey, a total of 82% of respondents have a multi-cloud strategy, with more than three-quarters (78%) deploying workloads in more than three public clouds. A full 59% now run more than half of their workloads on public clouds. More than half (51%) also plan to increase the number of public cloud instances they support this year, with more than a third (34%) planning on using five or more cloud platforms.

More challenging still, more than three quarters (76%) are in the early stages of implementing serverless computing frameworks.
Overall, more than (52%) will continue to maintain a hybrid environment as part of their core IT strategy. A full 96% of respondents see value in workload portability, but only 71% are in the early stages of achieving that goal. Top benefits anticipated include maximized cost savings (58%), reduced cloud service provider risk (46%) and increased business agility (43%). However, nearly three-quarters (75%) have either no or few cloud governance capabilities (34%) or have stitched together disparate tools to achieve that goal (41%).

Jonathan Cyr, vice president of product management for Virtana, said that as the global economy becomes more challenging, it’s only a matter of time before sensitivity to cloud costs start to rise. Each time the overall IT environment expands, increases in complexity drive the total cost of IT higher.

It’s not clear to what degree that sensitivity to cloud cost might drive more IT organizations to centralize the management of IT environments. In theory, a single control plane could be employed to manage multiple cloud computing environments, but today most clouds are still managed in isolation from one another.

IT teams also find themselves inadvertently locked into a cloud platform. The more developers invoke proprietary application programming interfaces (APIs), the more difficult it becomes to migrate a workload from one cloud platform to another.

It’s all but certain there will be a cloud management reckoning in the months ahead. Development teams may prefer one cloud platform over another for many reasons but, as the cost of IT continues to increase, there will soon be tougher cloud cost questions emanating from the finance office.