Organizations are combining diverse Cloud services from vendors like AWS and Azure, and leveraging their Cloud Architectures to expand their reach around the globe, reduce costs, and improve their AI/ML capabilities.
Manuel Cubillo, Encora’s Business Unit Manager for DevOps & Cloud Unit, is among the accomplished Innovation Leaders who have presented Encora’s software engineering perspective on the top 10 technology trends that will shape the next generation of technology.
Mr. Cubillo spoke to us about Multicloud, a rising trend that is helping organizations respond to emerging disruptions and succeed in a rapidly changing world.
What is Multicloud?
Multicloud usually refers to the practice of having your application, infrastructure, and the services that you use on the Cloud through not only one vendor, but through multiple vendors like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.
You can distribute your application, infrastructure, and Cloud services to multiple vendors for your convenience.
To what do we owe the rise of this trend?
Multicloud is gaining attention because organizations are currently facing multiple challenges such as costs management, the constraints of legacy systems or legacy applications, and also the challenge of respecting pre-existing contracts and partnerships while trying to evolve.
For example, you may have already invested time and resources in a certain cloud and you realize that another cloud vendor has an offer that better suits your needs or work as a great complement to what you already have. You would need to integrate the two (or three) to get the most out of each one.
Sometimes, you realize another cloud vendor is more innovative, has a specific offering in your vertical that you would like to leverage, or there is better cost-benefit relation for their services. Because your team is already using services from the original vendor and a significant technical skillset has been accumulated over time, the best thing might not be to get rid of them and start over but integrate the two. It's more and more common these days.
Another reason behind the rise of this trend is high availability. One way of implementing redundancy is to have backups on different clouds so, if one fails you can still have the others on different cloud services through automation or some technical mechanism.
Where do software companies currently stand on Multicloud?
Multicloud is not yet a general practice but some software companies are considering it as an option. For some, it is more comfortable to stand by what they have and the technology in which their engineering team is trained. The investment, learning curve, ramp-up, and potentially needing to hire someone new makes them think twice.
Mature organizations are taking the first steps. Adoption is growing but the majority of organizations are not implementing Multicloud, yet.
Where is this trend heading in the next two to three years?
The next few years are going to be decisive in Multicloud adoption. The early adopters are doing research & development and running test situations. They have the muscle to leverage experimentation without hurting their business.
Once they start sharing case studies with the benefits of their experiments, the next group will say, "It worked for them, so we can do it too." And then Multicloud will become a general practice. It might take two or three years but right now there are many early adopters, the benefits are clear, and companies are increasingly paying more attention.
How will a Cloud-first Approach impact the future of the tech industry?
A cloud-first approach will enable organizations to leverage all the flexibility and scalability benefits of the Cloud while gaining access to multiple benefits:
Saving money on capital expenditures such as licenses, platform, and infrastructure
Avoiding future migration and/or refactoring efforts to adjust to increasing needs
Greater adaptability to business challenges, both in the short term (i.e transactional peaks) and the long term (bigger user base or higher transactional levels)
How can Multicloud help with performance?
The biggest advantage is, you have more options. In the past, when you selected one vendor you had the offer of that one service, but Cloud vendors are currently competing with each other. They are constantly finding ways to innovate, and that innovation can be good for your organization.
Can Multicloud help with cost control?
When it comes to cost, there is another way that cloud vendors try to make a slight but important difference: Storage.
Maybe one vendor has very good prices for short-term storage but for long-term storage, there is a more competitive offer from a different vendor. The solution may be to go with one vendor for short-term storage, and for your backups, you choose a different cloud vendor. If you're "vendor-locked", however, you don't have this option.
Another example is availability zones. I can distribute my nodes or workload to some geographic regions in one Cloud and keep others with another service. These Multicloud choices are made depending on geography-based pricing.
By understanding the pricing and availability models of each vendor, you can come up with a Multicloud solution that works for you and your clients while saving money.
How does Multicloud contribute to scalability?
You can scale by using multiple vendors or the extra services that vendors provide. For example, if one Cloud vendor doesn't have advanced AI/ML capabilities, you can leverage the AI/ML capabilities of another vendor.
The options available to an organization, however, will depend on, 1) the budget, 2) the region, and 3) the cloud vendor’s offerings. There are multiple approaches for scalability but it comes down to leveraging the vendors with more options.
What are the challenges or obstacles involved?
When using Multicloud, you will need your engineering team to excel in different cloud services. There's going to be some ramp-up, so you can understand how different vendors work together given your use case.
You will need to go through many improvement cycles when working with a Multicloud approach. Maybe the first solution won't be the final solution. You must keep an agile mindset of adapting sprint by sprint.
How will Multicloud impact software and digital product engineering?
In the software industry, Multicloud will open up the possibility of creating solutions that are highly differentiated, more resilient, and highly available. By having a bigger menu of options, we can come up with solutions for scenarios that were formerly more complex or costly. That's going to help certain kinds of systems, solutions, and organizations.
In terms of devices, there will be natural consequences because we will be able to deploy solutions on a larger scale and all over the world. We will be able to do so safely, without worrying about how to react if something fails.
How will Iaas-Paas-Saas impact Multicloud?
The main cloud vendors will most likely include options/features to enable seamless integration with services or products that are or have been, considered competitors so far.
This could trigger innovation initiatives to offer cloud services and options that serve as a differentiator from competitor vendors, which will bring about new opportunities for the Cloud users to expand their horizons or gain improved access to the current foundational services.
For organizations implementing Multicloud, how can they get started?
The adoption of a Multicloud approach needs to come from your cloud-enablement strategy. You need to understand your client’s needs. As an example, some of the considerations are:
1. What you need to provide and how Multicloud would enable that for your customers
2. What your maturity level is
3. How used to using the Cloud you are
4. How much expertise your team has working with the service
There is a level of complexity in integrating two or three vendors. You may get into trouble if you follow the crowd to a new trend. First, understand what you need and what vendors offer, and then create an architecture that migrates one Cloud to using multiple Cloud services with the same level of responsiveness and quality.
How does Encora help organizations with the adoption of a Multicloud approach?
At Encora, we have many engineers with deep experience working with different cloud vendors. We have gained that experience through assisting multiple clients with diverse needs.
First, we will research and understand the specifics of your case and what you need to accomplish. Based on this foundation, we can compare your situation to things we have done in the past and act as an advisor on whether or not Multicloud is for you. We will let you know if you can get high-quality production by staying with a single cloud vendor.
If you need to go with the Multicloud approach, we can help you understand not just the pros and cons of different vendors’ offerings but also what the best architecture for the transition to Multicloud would be, and finally, the best roadmap to get you there.
A special thanks to Manuel Cubillo, an Encora Innovation Leader and the Business Unit Manager for the DevOps and Cloud Unit at Encora Central & South America.
The trend, Multicloud is one of ten featured in Encora’s 2022 Technology Trends. To read more, visit Encora’s 2022 Technology Trends.
"In the software industry, Multicloud will open up the possibility of creating solutions that are more resilient and highly available. By having a bigger menu of options, we can come up with solutions for scenarios that were formerly more complex or costly."
- Manuel Cubillo
Encora is a digital engineering services company specializing in next-generation software and digital product development. Fast-Growing Tech organizations trust Encora to lead the full Product Development Lifecycle because of our expertise in translating our clients’ strategic innovation roadmap into differentiated capabilities and accelerated bottom-line impacts.
Please let us know if you would ever like to have a conversation with a client partner and/or one of our Innovation Leaders about accelerating next-generation product engineering within your organization.