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Why agnostic cloud management platforms are the need of the hour for the Multi-Cloud Era

Author : Shriranga Mulay
Date : July 24, 2019
Category : Multi-Cloud

In today’s business world, it’s practically impossible for one platform, one provider and one type of cloud to serve all needs. Given this, ‘right solution for the right workload’ approach has become a de-facto in enterprises. While enterprises still continue to bank on private cloud to host mission-critical applications, hyper-scalers are widely being chosen for various medium critical and non-critical applications. Further, operating workloads with more than one cloud provider is also a norm. The result: Multi-cloud environments are everywhere—in businesses of all sizes, across industries. 

From avoiding vendor lock-in, leverage to negotiate price and best-of-breed capabilities to the ability to mix, match and combine the best options, the promise of a multi-cloud environment is too good to ignore. In fact, a multi-cloud approach is increasingly being recognized by enterprises and cloud evangelists alike as a key pillar of the digital transformation technology ecosystem. As businesses continue to intensify their digital transformation efforts, the multi-cloud reality is slated to expand further. 

While multi-cloud infrastructure has become the mainstay – it is no mean feat. Integration issues, data migration and data recovery, workload mapping and security and compliance issues are the key operational challenges that make managing a multi-cloud environment far more complex than managing a single cloud. No wonder, managing multiple clouds has been top of mind for CIOs. Managing multiple clouds has also been considered as a mission-critical business in cloud deployment, according to Gartner.

So, how can enterprises ensure security, governance and unified management—the things that have always mattered—in the multi-cloud world? This is where an enterprise-grade agnostic cloud management platform comes into the picture and completely fits the bill. Agnostic cloud management platforms offer far more than the ability to implement and move workloads between any available cloud platforms. 

Cloud Agnostic is the way to go 

A cloud agnostic solution provider serves as a one-stop-shop for all needs pertaining to multi-cloud. They can help enterprises through the entire journey of multi-cloud right from selection, integration, implementation to Visualize & manage, enabling them to scale-up their overall Business & Operational efficiency. The enterprises have the option to select and utilize one or more of the services over a period of time. Further, they can closely measure the performance of every cloud asset, irrespective of the provider or technology used through a single window.
Key advantages offered by agnostic cloud management platforms include: 

Security through a single pane of glass: Data and applications in a multi-cloud scenario are distributed across a range of platforms, technology stacks and hardware components both physical (legacy, on-premise IT) and virtualized (DC or cloud). As security policies are different and specific to every system and organization, applying policies uniformly is a challenge. A strong agnostic cloud management platform enables enterprises to manage and monitor all the security policies through a single interface in a consolidated manner. A single dashboard view addresses the key concern of mismatched security policies and uncertainty in enforcement associated with the multi-cloud spectrum.   

Migration Simplified: Migration of on-premise workloads to cloud platform in itself is a complicated and time-consuming process that requires multiple skill sets. In a multi-cloud environment, the migration needs to be across different cloud platforms or infrastructure (public, private, virtual private), which adds further complexity to the mix. Leveraging an enterprise-grade agnostic cloud management platform can prove a cost-effective option for a wide variety of migration scenarios pertaining to future and current needs. 

Agile and Rapid Deployment: An agnostic cloud management platform that also operates in the context of the data center, such as the one offered by Netmagic, can prove to be a game changer for enterprises that need to be agile and move rapidly. It enables enterprises to reuse policies and services across the entire multi-cloud environment, which greatly simplifies and standardizes the deployment process and offers consistency in performance and security. 

Automation: Routine tasks, such as application deployment and performance management, log management, to name a few, are time-consuming and complex in an environment as diverse as multi-cloud. A cloud management platform enables enterprises to create workflow-based automated deployments of infrastructure (across physical and virtual resources), which are agnostic to the cloud provider’s environments. As these platforms provide an extensive set of pre-built dashboards and customization options, right information can easily be accessed by the right teams. Further, cloud management platforms provide customers with the necessary tooling to help them create, deploy and manage their own infrastructure models, agnostic to the cloud provider. This essentially gives them a single platform to manage and control the entire hybrid infrastructure. An agnostic cloud management platform also empowers enterprises with the ability to have a common DevOps model work across various cloud providers, enabling improved collaboration and rapid scaling. 

Quality of the service provider 

As ignoring multi-cloud is no longer an option, adopting an enterprise-grade vendor agnostic cloud management platform can prove to be a critical right step towards tapping into the benefits of multi-cloud while mitigating the challenges and risks. The key is to opt for the right provider that has strong partnerships with leading cloud service providers for maximum benefits. The quality of the service provider plays a critical role. Ideally, the service provider should have the capability to manage multi-cloud scenarios using a single dashboard. The service provider must allow an enterprise to run all workloads on a variety of clouds including public clouds, hosted private clouds, and colocation servers while managing them through a single pane of glass.

The service provider must also have capabilities in managed services which could include services such as cloud platform configuration, hypervisor and OS management, backup support services and app server, database and middleware management. Most importantly, the service provider must demonstrate strong capability to provide common security across all platforms. This could also include skills like providing the flexibility to offer hybrid options in the form of burst in the cloud and have applications accessible across any cloud efficiently. Additionally, migration services of the provider must include the capability to convert data from different data formats and transfer them efficiently and quickly across clouds. This is critical as ensuring consistent data across multiple clouds is important for ensuring the success of multi-cloud deployments. 

The cloud service provider should also support open standards and not restrict its clients to proprietary cloud platforms. This will help in being truly cloud agnostic. 




Author : Shriranga Mulay

Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer – NTT Com - Netmagic


ShrirangaMulay is in-charge of improving existing technology service offerings and identifying and building new services based on next-generation technologies.He heads a 50+ member team based across India. Currently, he is working on implementing a new infrastructure monitoring and management platform as well as SDN (Software Defined Network). He has been the chief architect of Netmagic's cloud services platform creating the public cloud architecture in-house for maximum efficiency with minimal cost of operations.

Shriranga Mulay has spent over 13 of his 28+ years of experience at Netmagic. Prior to this, he has shouldered responsibilities at Datapro Electronics andDatapro Information Technology. He has also had a brief stint with being an entrepreneur. At Datapro, he played a key role in overseeing the company through the Y2K transition, and rewrote the c