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How to help your customers optimise across a multicloud environment

24/06/2021 | Shannon McWilliams

A multicloud strategy can drive growth and fuel success

According to a recent Gartner survey of public cloud users, 81% of respondents said they are working with two or more cloud providers.

The popularity of multicloud computing is on the upswing as it enables companies to avoid vendor lock-in, take advantage of the best of what each cloud platform offers, and prevents downtime or disruptions during outages. Combining the strengths of each provider helps increase agility, resiliency, flexibility and cost savings by getting the best of multiple clouds.

But every cloud provider has its own way of doing things and has slightly different terminology, so how can you know whether customers are running the right workloads in the right clouds? Are they wasting money by having workloads in the wrong cloud or under utilizing what they're paying for?

Although a multicloud strategy provides many benefits like efficiency, cost containment and productivity, it can be complicated to wrap your arms around it all to know what to recommend. But Arrow’s deep, broad experience across multicloud platforms can help.

Waste not, want not

Flexera’s 2021 State of the Cloud Report shows that wasted cloud spend is a major issue, particularly as cloud costs continue to rise. And while survey respondents estimate their organisations waste 30% of what they spend on cloud, Flexera estimates on average, that figure is 35% or even more. So, if your clients spend $100,000 on cloud services, for example, and are like most, they lose $30,000-$35,000 unused dollars and profit.

Therefore, minimising waste is obviously key to success, so let’s explore five ways, suggested in the Azure Well-Architected Review, to improve spend and optimise the outcome of putting workloads in a multicloud environment.

1. Optimise costs: Optimising existing use of cloud leads to cost savings, which is the top initiative for cloud users in the year ahead. It’s no wonder since cloud waste exceeded $17.6 billion in 2020, having stemmed from idle and underused resources — virtual machines (VMs) being paid for by the second, minute or hour that often aren’t being used — and overprovisioned infrastructure: paying for larger instances than were needed.

To minimize waste and optimise cost, it’s good to explore multiple areas, such as ensuring cloud services are appropriately provisioned; monitoring and regularly measuring costs across your customers' workloads; and making sure performance requirements are well defined. Consider making sure unused VM instances are shut down, data is organised across storage tiers, and compute expenses are appropriately managed for various workloads, among other things.

2. Reach for operational excellence: By understanding which areas of what cloud are overused or underutilised, adjustments can be made to meet critical business needs. Think about analysing trends to predict operational issues before they occur, monitoring your customers' resources, using platform alerts and updates appropriately, and making sure dashboards are tailored to specific audiences, such as developers or networking teams.

3. Ensure performance efficiency: Although multicloud usage, in theory, points to greater productivity, efficiency must be measured to be sure. Therefore, IT solution and service providers should be able to do things like identify customers' performance targets and ensure workloads are agile and responsive to change so performance efficiency is an outcome.

Do you have a strategy for helping your customers maximise resource use and throughput while minimising response time? How about using appropriate performance tests on their workloads? Answering these questions will help confirm their clouds are running efficiently.

4. Check for reliability: Ensuring dependability includes having a disaster recovery plan in place, having application platform resiliency and availability, and identifying and mitigating potential bottlenecks or areas where failure could occur.

Think, too, of pinpointing and dealing with security-related risks to decrease downtime and data loss caused by such exposures so you can make sure your customers' multicloud landscape is reliable now — and stays that way.

5. Focus on security: Adopting more than one cloud service introduces multiple points of entry into a business, so robust risk management measures and vigilant proactive measures are in order.

Are you analysing threats to customer workloads and are security controls for accessing various clouds sufficient? How are they managing encryption and securing connectivity for workloads? Strengthening your customers' security posture to keep all their workloads on various clouds safe is a tall order — and can sometimes be too much to do on their own.

Arrow can help you guide your customers in multicloud cost optimization, operational excellence, efficiency, reliability and security needs.

The Arrow advantage

ArrowSphere, Arrow's cloud delivery and management platform, analyzes and normalizes this data across different clouds so your customers get a standard view to understand how their cloud money is being spent. We also offer services to help you determine which of your customers' workloads are appropriate to run on which cloud(s) to optimise their multicloud strategy.

As more companies move to a multicloud environment, cost optimisation services will become more important to your customers. Are you ready to deliver those services? Or perhaps they want to invest in a different cloud provider than you’re familiar with. Arrow has a deep understanding of the various providers and, through one comprehensive platform, enables you and your customers to transact in multiple clouds.

Multicloud usage is becoming more prevalent every day because of the various benefits it provides. But those benefits come with complications as well. Arrow simplifies the complexities of delivering multicloud services, regardless of those challenges and whether your customers are in the stage of crawling, walking or running to more than one cloud.

Learn more about how we can help you guide your customers in simplifying and improving the multicloud journey.