Originally posted on VMware Blogs by Dave Wolpert

Multi-cloud environments are now the de facto architecture for IT organizations worldwide. Recent VMware research found that 73% of organizations use two or more public clouds today, and 81% expect to be multi-cloud by 2024.1

Moor Insights & Strategy recently released a report, Embracing Multi-Cloud Services: Enabling A Flexible, Scalable, Virtual Infrastructure, that explores the rise of multi-cloud and the benefits—as well as the challenges—that it presents.

The Opportunity and Challenges of Multi-Cloud

Organizations use different clouds for a variety of reasons, frequently to take advantage of certain best-in-breed services offered by a specific hyperscaler. As the report notes, “Embracing multi-cloud by picking and choosing the best cloud offerings across multiple providers can tremendously impact how IT organizations operate. If done well, multi-cloud environments can accelerate digital transformation efforts and benefit businesses.”

Despite the benefits of multi-cloud environments, however, the inevitable outcome of managing a cloud estate comprising multiple public and private clouds is complexity. The root problem: each cloud exists in a silo, with its own stack for management, security and other functions.

“Every cloud service provider has its own tools, APIs, and processes for managing workloads hosted on its infrastructure. Often, there are different tools for managing different services, even within a single cloud service provider. There are no standards for deploying and managing the lifecycle for workloads across multiple clouds. This lack of standardization leads to different experiences for IT practitioners managing multiple clouds.”

— from the Moor Insights & Strategy report

The net effect: reduced visibility across the entire cloud estate and increased time, cost and skill required to run it all effectively.

Multi-Cloud Services as a Solution to Cloud Complexity

One solution for reducing multi-cloud complexity is a software abstraction layer that spans clouds, enabling end-to-end visibility and consistent management of all of an organization’s clouds, whether public or private. VMware calls these abstracted services multi-cloud services, which it brands as its Cross-Cloud services portfolio. While other software vendors refer to these services by different names, we are all attempting to solve the same underlying “cloud silo” issue.

Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy predicted years ago that multi-cloud would become the norm and that this would inevitably present some challenges. He recently sat down with Vittorio Viarengo, VMware VP of Cross-Cloud Services, to explore this further.

In this video, they discuss:  

  • Definitions: Multi-cloud as an architecture, multi-cloud services as a conceptual solution to multi-cloud complexity, and VMware Cross-Cloud services, a portfolio of multi-cloud services to address those challenges.
  • The evolution of cloud services in the last year and the stages of customer adoption of multi-cloud models.
  • The cost and complexity challenges of multi-cloud environments.
  • The role of abstraction as a means to counter complexity.
  • How VMware Aria—a set of multi-cloud app and cloud management services within the Cross-Cloud services portfolio—can reduce the complexity of multi-cloud.
  • Competition: The need for a software ecosystem, the role of hyperscalers, and how VMware is taking a platform approach to solving the problem.

Ultimately, the challenges of multi-cloud environments can be overcome with the right strategy, backed by the right technologies. As the Moor Insights report concludes, “Embracing a multi-cloud infrastructure, complete with multi-cloud services, allows IT teams—the ultimate enabler for any digital transformation project—to focus on delivering value to the business.”

Jens Koegler

Jens Koegler is VMware's Healthcare Industry Director in EMEA. He is helping our healthcare customers develop and run modern applications to drive innovation and ensure better patient care through a digital foundation that includes data center, hybrid cloud, mobile, networking and security technologies. VMware plays a strategic role in the healthcare industry. Its leading innovations in enterprise software help ensure consistent patient care and reduce IT access time for healthcare professionals so they can spend more time with their patients. Jens plays a key role in helping customers understand how new applications, devices, the latest IT technologies and digital transformation are driving innovation in healthcare.