Mar 03 2023

Before Deploying Multicloud, Have a Clear Strategy

Businesses often begin with one-off projects, but it’s better to think holistically about which kinds of workloads belong on each platform.

Some businesses embrace multicloud strategically. Others wake up one day and realize they’re running a multicloud infrastructure.

“In many cases, it’s driven by rapid self-service,” says IDC Research Vice President Mary Johnston Turner. In the past, businesses often started in multicloud when individual developers or line-of-business teams simply selected a public cloud for their digital projects. That’s one way to move projects along, but it’s not very strategic.

“Enterprises today are intentionally evaluating the needs of different applications and data workloads and making business-led decisions about where the cost, performance, security and availability of different options make the most sense,” Turner says. Multicloud deployments are growing rapidly.

According to VMware’s Multi-Cloud Maturity Index, nearly two in three organizations today are operating on at least two cloud platforms, and the average number of public clouds used by organizations is expected to rise by nearly a third over the next five years, from 2.2 to 2.9.

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How Businesses Allocate Their Infrastructure

The more strategic the multicloud deployment, the easier it should be to manage. Therefore, understanding how companies arrive at their multicloud infrastructures is instructive. According to Turner:

  • A typical multicloud environment may allocate 40 percent of its traditional applications to cloud-based Software as a Service solutions.
  • Remaining workloads might then be split among multiple public clouds and on-premises, dedicated infrastructure spanning multiple technology generations, from mainframes and client-server models to virtual machines and containers.
  • Many organizations opt for one public cloud to handle commodity workloads or development testing and choose a different cloud provider for advanced analytics or mission-critical, custom applications.
  • In some cases, an organization might choose cloud providers in different operating regions for performance or other reasons, including specific sovereign cloud or governmental certifications required for that region.

LEARN: Find out about the tools businesses can use to manage cloud workloads.


The percentage of organizations expected to use multiple public clouds over the next five years

Source: VMware, The Multi-Cloud Maturity Index, October 2022

Inevitably, there may be workloads that can’t migrate to the cloud.

“On-premises workloads are typically characterized by security and compliance considerations or challenges with modernizing existing applications,” Turner says.

DISCOVER: Find out how to simplify and secure your multicloud environments. 

“In the end, successful efforts to implement workload-driven deployment strategies require new approaches to governance and decision-making that bring together internal teams to agree on how different classes of workloads should be managed.”

Bongkod Worakandecha / Getty Images

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