As we look towards the future of enterprise IT implementations, two things stand out. Firstly, IT is being designed with less emphasis on the specifics of a particular technology, and more on solving problems that the businesses are facing. The challenge today for IT is to provide the best solution to those problems. Secondly, from the organisations’ point of view, it is becoming imperative that the running of IT operations must become increasingly simpler.
These factors have definitely contributed to the success of the cloud. Cloud can provide, virtualisation at scale in the form of data centre resources such as compute, storage or data management. Furthermore, the cloud model leaves the complexities of running the underlying infrastructure to the cloud service providers. With a myriad of as-a-Service cloud offerings available now, businesses can outsource whole chunks of their IT infrastructure to cloud service providers should they wish.
As a natural progression of that, it is therefore not surprising that we are now seeing a growing number of organisations adopting multi-cloud strategies. Multi-cloud means that businesses can pick and choose the best cloud(s) that can fulfil specific business requirements, whether in terms of suitability, performance, service levels or cost. They are also free to move to another cloud provider if such a need arises.
At this point, given that each cloud is built differently, managing, processing and moving data and workloads across different clouds come with major challenges. Cloud and infrastructure providers are working hard to achieve seamless interoperability, and while they are making good progress, one of the underlying complexities of being able to achieve simple and effective multi-cloud is the underlying storage and the data it contains.
If your storage is fixed or not “cloud” aware, the tasks of moving major applications across your multiple clouds becomes a significant data migration project, not a seamless movement between cloud providers. When it comes to storage and cloud, one factor that will always remain a given is moving large volumes of data from point a to point b is always time intensive.
VMware are the furthest along to solving this issue. Most corporate on-premise clouds are built using VMware cloud foundation. VMware has over 4200 cloud service providers globally that build their clouds on the same foundation, including AVM Cloud. AVM Cloud Services which uses VMware cloud foundation in its services, serves as a Malaysian cloud service provider, promoting local data residency and shorten network latency.
VMware is also available on AWS, as recently announced on Azure. It has been the platform of choice on IBM cloud for longer than both of these, and it is reasonable to expect it will be available of Ali and Google Cloud in the future.
For companies that build their storage on VMware vSAN, it means that from within the vCenter console, they can manage storage across multiple clouds, albeit on-premise, hosted or public. One way of managing and provisioning storage for your entire multi-cloud strategy. Cloud Foundation can provide preconfigured vCenter and vSAN dashboards enabling IT departments to monitor the overall status of multiple vSAN clusters across multiple clouds without having to switch UIs.
More than that, VMware are working to improve this seamless integration constantly. As an example, earlier this year they announced “Elastic vSAN with AWS”, effectively enabling AWS elastic EC2 storage to provide the storage building blocks for vSAN.
As we look into the future, the natural progression will be able to allocate and switch storage between clouds, maybe even solving the problem of having to move data when you move clouds. When we consider the possibilities, vSAN is not only the clear choice as your storage foundation for a multi-cloud strategy, the constant advances and direction with this technology means that vSAN will be critical in helping you to continue to unlock the benefits of cloud as the technology evolves.
Once businesses have a better grasp and control over their sprawling data stores, they will be able to navigate their multi-cloud journeys better. For more on vSAN and how it could benefit your organisation, click here.