How to ensure optimal operations for multi-cloud environments

According to this 2022 State of the Cloud Report with over 750 respondents, 89 percent of organizations are running a multi-cloud strategy. This means companies use cloud services, such as databases, networking, or computing, of more than one provider (CSP). Additionally, 80 percent of participants reported a hybrid cloud environment due to a combination of public and private clouds.

With these overwhelming numbers, the trend is seemingly here to stay. Because of this, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation has recently released their report on Resiliency in Multi-Cloud following a related CTO Summit, providing the perfect base to take a deep dive into the matter at hand.

Resiliency challenges

Reasons why organizations run multi-cloud strategies are various. It can be due to legacy, mergers, or acquisitions. In a cloud environment, resiliency means the ability to avoid incident-related downtime, keep operations running, and to be able to adjust quickly when facing unexpected events. Spreading risk across multiple CSP can help with that. Because of this advantage, companies opt for a multi-cloud strategy to avoid having their entire operations disrupted in the face of network or cloud outages, which in return also saves significant resources. As reported by Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is 5,600 USD per minute – a considerable expense and unsurprisingly one that companies would like to avoid.

Multi-cloud architectures require a new approach to achieve high availability as it is still challenging to successfully implement multi-cloud environments that allow for optimal operations under all conditions. Some of the main challenges identified by CNCF’s CTO Summit participants include handling the increased risk inherent in multi-cloud environments and finding a way to best leverage processes, people, and technologies to achieve resiliency while also lowering operation cost.

One of the necessities that was pointed out when it comes to best practices regarding technology for such architectures, was the need to reduce complexity with the help of automation. Further, regarding processes and people, governance and being clear on access permissions are seen as fundamental.

A multi-cloud observability roadmap

Based on these challenges and necessities related to multi-cloud, we can deduct that observability is crucial for guaranteeing limited downtime and agile management. This can ideally be done with a central solution that provides a consolidated alert and incident management for quick resource assignment and system investigation. Furthermore, such a tool needs to be able notify dedicated staff and equip them with selected permissions.

In the case of multiple clouds, automation has been pointed out as especially important and this also applies to observability. An intelligent solution doesn’t just consolidate the health information of all clusters, it also evaluates the vast amount of information and can forecast system anomaly as well as recommend resolution actions and automatically apply them. Such a tool eliminates repetitive tasks by supporting automated upgrade actions that can automatically be applied to all clusters and clouds through one single command, reducing the chance of human error and saving valuable operation cost.

AIOps for automation across CSPs

NexClipper’s AIOps-based observability solution was specifically developed to reduce complexity and bring intelligence and automation to observability, supporting multi-cloud environments to achieve resiliency.

Alert noise can be especially time-consuming with a complex architecture. NexClipper is designed to lift that burden and the use of templates for execution actions makes automation and re-use easily possible. Additionally, NexClipper’s incident prediction and resolution suggestion uses machine learning and an integrated executor for Kubernetes/Helm/Http to run resolution actions.

In summary, with a central AlertHub and notification support, an Anomaly Detector based on alert rules and AI, an Incident Manager with a ticketing system for assigning the right resources, and a Resolution Advisor with an auto-execution function, multi-cloud environments can be managed efficiently by reducing the necessary resources, avoiding system downtime, and thus lowering overall monitoring cost.

If you would like to learn more, you have the option to further read up on NexClipper’s MetricOps or contact us with any questions you may have.

In conclusion, multi-cloud is going nowhere, and it is up to solution providers to respond to the difficulties discussed in CNCF’s CTO Summit in order to support organizations with tackling the unique challenges posed by such environments – NexClipper surely strives to be at the forefront of this.