Talend’s Summer ’17 release officially GA’d at the end of June and it was our biggest Cloud release yet! Building upon our already robust set of connectors to AWS—such as EMR, Redshift, Aurora, etc.—with this release we added a comprehensive set of connectors for the Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure, which included services in the areas of data warehousing, Hadoop, NoSQL, storage, and data lakes. You can read more about the specifics of Talend Summer ’17 release here.
That said, some of our customers had more pressing questions about how to devise a comprehensive strategy for managing a multi-cloud, geographically distributed IT environment, because they essentially inherited such environments by happenstance – i.e. several of their departments had spun up multiple cloud deployments on varying vendor platforms. While at first blush, the world of multi-cloud can appear to be nothing more than a managerial headache for IT leaders, it actually offers a myriad of both opportunities and challenges that need to be carefully considered when architecting a global enterprise approach to cloud management. For this reason we sat down with our CTO, Laurent Bride to get his seasoned advice on best practices for companies seeking to thrive in a multi-cloud world.
In the following three short video clips you’ll hear Laurent expound upon three key questions facing IT leaders today when it comes to managing multi-cloud environments today:
- What are the top 3 benefits of maintaining a multi-cloud environment?
- What are the top 3 challenges multi-cloud environments raise for customers?
- What are the top 3 considerations to bear in mind when managing a geographically-distributed, multi-cloud environment?
Benefits of Multi-Cloud
When it comes to extracting the most value from a multi-cloud environment—whether inherited or created—customers have the opportunity to avoid vendor lock-in and exploit the best services out of each cloud vendor, because—for example—some cloud vendors tend to innovate in areas such as storage, while others exhibit expertise in data warehousing or artificial intelligence. By having a foot in multiple cloud platforms, customers can pick the best services offered by each vendor – whether that be low-end commodity services such as storage or compute, or higher-end services such as databases or Big Data. Cloud vendors offer different prices for each of these services based on time commitment versus the spot price on the open market, thus companies can also gain the best performance for the lowest price, plan for that cost accordingly over time, and switch from one vendor to another when needed as business requirements change.
Challenges to Bear In Mind in a Multi-Cloud World
While there are certainly many benefits to be gained from a multi-cloud environment, there are also quite a few challenges IT leaders should anticipate and plan for. Many organizations are still trying to figure out the set of scenarios that each cloud vendor is particularly well suited for. For instance, in machine learning or artificial intelligence, Google has made tremendous advances with Tensor Flow, especially around deep learning. For organizations requiring a strong set of services within the public cloud and private cloud, AWS has made moving workloads between its VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) and public clouds quite seamless. Additionally, when it comes to integrating an extensive set of on-premises investments with new cloud investments, especially when the on-premises investments are heavily Microsoft-oriented, Microsoft Azure is a clear choice due to their continued commitment to help their customers have a cloud-first strategy that is tightly integrated with an on-premises suite of business applications.
The other challenges with multi-cloud solutions stem from the need for governance and security. Companies need to think seriously about how their rapidly changing business processes impact integrations, implementing a robust framework to track and audit events, identity management, and compliance. With the volume of data being generated in the cloud today, ensuring metadata consistency is a key part of any enterprise IT shop’s list of to-dos.
Physical Geographic Location and Future Business Expansion
IT leaders at global businesses must also tackle the challenges of dealing with multiple geographies. In such cases, building out a geographically-distributed multi-cloud strategy entails adhering to the numerous rules and regulations of the countries where cloud data will reside. For example, in Europe, the GDPR regulations place a heavy emphasis on data privacy, with stiff fines for non-compliance. The era of cloud also brings with it expectations around fast application performance. This translates into selecting the right geographically located cloud service provider that will best process the data where is it stored in order to reduce latency. And when thinking about data movement, the actual computation needs to be close to where the data is stored.