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Multi-Cloud is the Worst Practice? What's Your Take On The Below Please?

Greetings all, I recently came across this publication, here is an excerpt from it:

"In practice, every “we’re multi-cloud” story I’ve ever seen in the wild means “we’re over 80% on our primary provider, then have a smattering of workloads on others.”

Any choice you make constrains your options. Multi-cloud is the embodiment of the ideal “indecision is the key to flexibility.” The trouble is that you’re going to spend so much time avoiding making a commitment to one provider that you’ll spend an ever-increasing amount of engineering toil keeping your environment functional at a relatively basic level that you’re going to struggle to really innovate as a business.

As Ben Kehoe so eloquently states, multi-cloud is like cow-tipping: We know it doesn’t exist because there are no videos of cow-tipping on YouTube. In this case, there are no articles or conference talks of companies talking about their successful multi-cloud strategies paying off.

To really drive that point home, consider this: VMware’s entire business is predicated on this bet paying off, and yet VMworld 2019’s keynote featured a fictional company called Tanzu Tees making hilariously awful technology choices to use a whole bunch of different cloud providers interchangeably rather than an actual customer using these things because real companies just don’t make IT decisions this poorly. (It may be perhaps more accurate to say that they don’t make decisions this awful and then admit to them on stage.)

If vendors that are themselves highly incentivized to demonstrate multi-cloud success stories can’t find anyone to get on stage and talk about it, what does that tell you about the model’s viability?"

I would love to hear the Aviatrix team comments on this? What's Your Take on The Above?

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  • Brunner,

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This simply comes down to a matter of perspective. Both Corey in his blog and Ben on his Twitter thread, are viewing “multi-cloud” from the application development perspectives. I would agree with them, we do not see too many enterprises re-factoring applications for “multi-cloud” portability.

    However, if you view “multi-cloud” from a network perspective, a “multi-cloud” network architecture is a strategic imperative for almost every enterprise company we are working with. We have hundreds of enterprise customers, and while as Corey mentions, each has a primary cloud and a secondary cloud…and a growing number have presence in a third and some in fourth clouds.  To be clear our customers view “multi-cloud” as multiple public clouds (AWS, Azure, GCP, OCI, etc.). Private “cloud” is considered “on-prem”.

    So, why is a “multi-cloud” network architecture a strategic imperative for our customers? There are three main reasons:

    1.     Hard customer driven requirements

    In this case the business needs to be able to deliver services to their customers. Those customers have chosen their primary cloud and want services they choose to be delivered in that cloud. Example: Informatica

     

    In another example, our customer’s IT team had taken the stand that they did not and would not ever need to be “multi-cloud”. This was 100% the case, until it wasn’t. The business brought a new, very large customer with the hard requirement for them to be in a different cloud. Business wins every time, IT is a services to the business. Without Aviatrix “Multi-Cloud” Network Architecture they would never have made the timeline and would have lost the deal. They won the deal.

     

    2.     Mergers and Acquisitions

    In a world where change is inevitable and constant, and cloud first businesses are challenging well established business models every day. Consolidation is a key part of growth and/or survival and speed of integration often determines success or failure. Re-tooling an acquired businesses’ entire application to operate in a different cloud, under a different network architecture, different automation, different underlying constructs is not an option. On the other hand, a “multi-cloud” network architecture that provides a consistent network design, consistent security policies and consistent Infrastructure-as-code automation and operational model, which simply extends between the multiple clouds and supports the applications, unmodified, is the right strategy.

    3.     Multi-Cloud Optionality

    Optionality is quite the opposite of Corey’s position that “Any choice you make constrains your options. Multi-cloud is the embodiment of the ideal ‘indecision is the key to flexibility.’” As I began, this is a matter of perspective. I agree with Corey from an application perspective. Re-tooling or developing an application to be “multi-cloud” implies a lowest common denominator approach, eliminating the ability to take advantage of powerful, but unique capabilities and services offered by different clouds. However, from a network perspective Aviatrix has demonstrated that we deliver advanced networking, security and operational visibility that goes well beyond the basic networking capabilities and services any cloud natively provides and with an architecture that is consistent across all clouds. We do this by supporting the unique native capabilities of each cloud through cloud native APIs, forming an abstraction layer that extends across all clouds. Our “Multi-Cloud” network architecture creates a “superset” above each cloud, rather than being restricted to any lowest common denominator.

    In the end, it’s about perspective. Aviatrix and our customers are delivering “multi-cloud” network architectures that support application environments that operate in the clouds that those applications were design to operate in. From an application perspective you want to take advantage of the unique capabilities each cloud provides. Some workloads simply work better in the clouds they were developed to work in. From a networking perspective you want operationally consistent, repeatable “multi-cloud” connectivity and security that connects those applications, regardless of what cloud they are deployed in.

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