Even if you’re not (yet) multi-cloud, you should use cloud agnostic tools

There’s a simple fact for public cloud users today: you need to use cloud agnostic tools. Yes — even if you only use one public cloud. Why? This recommendation comes down to a few drivers that we see time and time again.

You won’t always use just this cloud

  • 62 percent of public cloud adopters are using 2+ unique cloud platforms
  • 74 percent of enterprises describe their strategy as hybrid/multi-cloud today

In addition, standardizing on cloud agnostic tools also can alleviate costs associated with policy design, deployment, and enforcement across different cloud environments. Management and monitoring using the same service platform greatly reduces the issue of mismatched security policies and uncertainty in enforcement. Cloud agnostic tools that also operate in the context of the data center — whether in a cloud, virtualized, container, or traditional infrastructure — are a boon for organizations who need to be agile and move quickly. Being able to reuse policies and services across the entire multi-cloud spectrum reduces friction in the deployment process and offers assurances in consistency of performance and security.

How do you decide what tools to adopt?

What we hear is that managing the cloud infrastructure is quite a complex job, especially when you have different clouds, technologies, and a diverse and opinionated user community to support. So a common theme with many of the third-party tools we see used tend to include freemium models, a technology someone used at a previous company, tools recommended by the cloud services provider (CSP) themselves, and open-API-driven solutions that allow for maximum automation in their cloud operations. It also serves the tools vendors well if deploying the tool includes minimum effort — in other words, SaaS tools that do not require a bunch of services and integration work. Plug and play is a must.

For context, here at ParkMyCloud support AWS, Azure, Google and Alibaba clouds, and usually talk to DevOps and IT Ops folks responsible for their cloud infrastructure. And those folks are usually after cloud cost control and governance when speaking with us. So our conversations tend to focus on the tools they use and need for cloud infrastructure management like CI/CD, monitoring, cost control, cost visibility and optimization, and user governance. For user governance and internal communication, Single-sign On and ChatOps are must have.

So we decided to compile a list of the most common clouds and tools we run across here at ParkMyCloud, in order of popularity:

  • Cloud Service Provider:
  • AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba Cloud — and we do get requests for IBM and Oracle clouds
  • Infrastructure Monitoring (not APM):
  • Cloud Native (AWS CloudWatch, Azure Metrics, Google Stackdriver), DataDog, Nagios, SolarWinds, Microsoft, BMC, Zabbix, IBM
  • Cost Visibility and Optimization:
  • CloudHealth Technologies, Cloudability, Cloudyn/Azure Cost Management, Apptio
  • CI/CD + DevOps (this is broad but these are most common names we hear that fit into this category):
  • Cloud Native, CloudBees Jenkins, Atlassian Bamboo, HashiCorp, Spinnaker, Travis CI
  • Single Sign-On (SSO):
  • ADFS, Ping, Okta, Azure AD, Centrify, One Login, Google OAuth, JumpCloud
  • ChatOps:
  • Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts
  • Cloud Cost Control:
  • Cloud Native/Scripter, ParkMyCloud, GorillaStack, Skeddly, Nutanix (BotMetric)

Beat the curve with cloud agnostic tools

Originally published at www.parkmycloud.com on October 4, 2018.

CEO of ParkMyCloud