Say Goodbye to Vendor Lock-in

With 89% of organizations relying on multi-cloud infrastructure, it’s clear a multi-cloud architecture is becoming a staple in digital transformation. Why all the excitement about multi-cloud? The primary reason is choice.

By using different public clouds for different purposes, you can optimize according to the strengths of each cloud. Many organizations establish a primary cloud vendor for their infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS), then use their secondary cloud for specific use cases or to lower costs. Relying on more than one cloud can also reduce any perceived vendor-related risk. Best-of-breed services and lower risk—what’s not to love about multi-cloud?

The importance of data mobility across clouds

Unfortunately, multi-cloud strategy isn’t as straightforward as signing up with a few different cloud providers and allocating workloads. Ask any data storage expert and they’ll give you a long list of technical reasons why you can’t move your mission critical structured data to and from a cloud with a few clicks (For more information, see this Cirrus Data whitepaper.). Whether your business has a deliberate multi-cloud strategy or it evolved organically, you need data mobility—the ability to securely move your block data between clouds.

Cloud migration can feel like a process of elimination. The solution you use for one cloud provider might not work with the next. For example, using a free tool to move your data onto AWS could work fine, but that same tool might not enable you to repatriate that data. The amount and type of data being migrated matters a lot too. There are plenty of solutions available for file data or small block migrations, but when it comes to enterprise level block migrations, your options get limited fast.

You can try a manual approach to data mobility, but this involves work that’s both tedious and critical. Migrating hundreds or even thousands of LUNs, the painstaking steps of LUN creation, host-group creation, WWPN/ IQN association, and LUN masking can be time consuming and extremely prone to human error. These lengthy setup processes often slow data migrations. Beyond disrupting your business processes, this can also hurt morale on your IT team as your cloud experts are forced to oversee configuration work instead of more strategic initiatives. Now imagine going through that process every time you want to use your secondary cloud provider. It would be a non-starter for most.

This high-level review of just a few of the risks associated with cloud migration underscores the importance of data mobility that is simple and secure.

How to overcome the challenges of multi-cloud strategy

Put simply, the most common challenge of multi-cloud infrastructure is managing complexity. When your cloud applications and workloads are spread across multiple public clouds, it can be difficult to oversee how everything is performing and to fix issues as they arise. Complexity can also increase security risk, as system complexity and failures in compliance increase the cost of potential breaches.

The result? Many businesses face a tension between the flexibility advantages of multi-cloud alongside its potential to increase complexity and security risk. To mitigate the risks of multi-cloud strategy while maximizing its benefits, follow these best practices:

  • Experience matters. Don’t risk your mission critical block data with solutions designed for disaster recovery or small data sets. Not all data is the same and not all solutions are designed natively for the cloud.
  • Embrace automation for speed and accuracy. By relying on a cloud migration solution that can automate data migration processes, you can perform migrations four to six times faster while reducing the chance of errors.
  • Enforce limited downtime. Look for data migration solutions that keep your critical databases and applications online during migration. Your business can’t afford to be offline for long periods and any downtime should wait for holidays and weekends.
  • Ensure your data mobility solution can move block data across any cloud. To maximize your business agility in the cloud, be sure your data mobility solutions can smoothly migrate workloads across all major public clouds.

The good news is you can now harness the benefits of multi-cloud without being locked into one solution. Want to learn more about how Cirrus Data solves the data mobility for the cloud? Our solution center is available here.