Multi cloud is becoming the most popular cloud strategy among organizations of all sizes. According to Flexera’s 2022 State of the Cloud survey, 89% of businesses in the cloud use more than one cloud provider. A multi cloud DevOps strategy involves hosting workloads, data, and other elements of your DevOps pipeline across multiple cloud providers or platforms. It also requires central orchestration to keep everything working together. Many organizations adopt such a strategy to improve functionality, reliability, performance, and efficiency. In this blog, we’ll describe two common multi cloud DevOps approaches, vendor-neutral and single ecosystem, before discussing the benefits of multi cloud for your DevOps pipeline.
Adopting a Multi Cloud DevOps Strategy
There are two basic ways to approach multi cloud DevOps: vendor-neutral, or single ecosystem.
Vendor-neutral multi cloud typically grows organically as you migrate workloads and servers to the cloud on an ad hoc basis. You determine a need for a particular cloud service, then seek out the best vendor or platform for your use case. Sometimes you factor in orchestration from the beginning, but often this comes in after the multi cloud architecture has been built. In this case, the orchestration solution needs to be vendor-neutral so it can hook into all of your different clouds. In addition, if your DevOps pipeline extends across multiple clouds and vendors, each cloud needs to talk to the others (usually via APIs).
Single-ecosystem multi cloud, by comparison, is often a more deliberate approach. You start with a single cloud or orchestration solution and stay within that vendor’s ecosystem as you add additional cloud services. This ensures your orchestration solution has full control over all your clouds and allows your cloud applications and services to work together more easily. However, you are limited to whichever vendors exist within your chosen ecosystem. Therefore, you have less freedom to choose the features and capabilities that are best suited to your pipeline. Nonetheless, many of the big cloud DevOps ecosystems (like AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Salesforce) include so many different services that this lack of choice often doesn’t outweigh the benefits of single-ecosystem multi cloud. For example, the Salesforce AppExchange includes over 6,900 apps and partners, providing plenty of vendor and feature freedom within a single ecosystem.
How Multi Cloud DevOps Adds More Functionality to Your Pipeline
Now, let’s discuss how both approaches to multi cloud DevOps can benefit your business and your DevOps pipeline.
Multi Cloud DevOps Functionality
One of the biggest benefits of a multi cloud architecture is that you don’t have to find a single platform that offers all the features and capabilities you need. Instead, you can look for the best-of-breed solution for each of the workflows in your DevOps pipeline. This is especially true for vendor-neutral multi clouds — provided your cloud solutions can work together.
Even within a single multi cloud ecosystem, you can often find multiple vendors who offer similar services. This allows you to choose the best one for your needs. Plus, major multi cloud ecosystems tend to have strict vetting protocols for their included offerings, so you can be reasonably confident that each of your cloud providers will deliver on the features and functionality they promise.
This also means you won’t be dependent on a single vendor for your entire ecosystem. Making full use of your options to tailor your multi cloud strategy can result in overall cost savings.
Multi Cloud DevOps Reliability
Another benefit of multi cloud is that you can shore up availability for all your services, applications, and data. If one provider suffers an outage, you can rely on the others to keep things running. You do this by distributing and replicating resources across multiple clouds and by using an orchestration solution to provide automatic failover and traffic rerouting if a cloud goes down. So, even if one cloud provider goes down because of a natural disaster, cyberattack, or human error, your developers can keep working and your end-users can keep using your software.
Multi Cloud DevOps Performance
Multi cloud architectures also let you choose the cloud services that provide the best performance for your particular use case. For example, you may want to host your production servers with a cloud provider that has a lot of data centers in the same geographic region as your largest customer base. Or, you may find that one SaaS platform provides faster and more reliable API integrations. Plus, with the right orchestration, you can optimize performance by intelligently distributing workloads, applications, services, and network traffic to whichever cloud can best handle the load.
Multi Cloud DevOps Efficiency
Ultimately, all the above multi cloud benefits contribute to increased DevOps efficiency. By choosing the best platform for each component of your pipeline, you ensure your team has the right tools to deliver fast and high-quality software releases. By ensuring the continuous availability of your cloud resources, you reduce the impact of provider outages on your software development life cycle. Finally, by optimizing multi cloud performance, you reduce frustration and delays in your pipeline.
Multi Cloud DevOps Cost Savings
Though it’s less deliberate, the vendor-neutral approach to multi cloud is certainly valid and comes with its own advantages, namely that you avoid vendor lock-in. However, multi cloud DevOps reliability and performance are simpler to achieve within a single ecosystem, where it’s easier to orchestrate, replicate, and failover workloads and services. And, with large multi cloud ecosystems such as Salesforce, you still get plenty of options for vendors, features, and functionality.