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How to Overcome Deployment Challenges in Multi-Cloud Environments

December 1, 2022

The staggering growth in configuration complexity in recent years has changed how organizations approach application deployments. While a single public cloud deployment may have sufficed just a few years ago, the explosion of configuration sprawl and increasingly complex environments has driven rapid evolution in the application deployment space. That change is pushing more organizations to adopt multi-cloud strategies.

93% of organizations are already moving to a multi-cloud architecture, but how successful are these organizations in making the switch? In reality, multi-cloud is still a work in progress, and to prepare, organizations must build a robust configuration management system that can support it. With multi-cloud environments still being relatively new in the application deployment space, organizations must understand the challenges they’ll like face with adoption and how to overcome them.

In this blog, we’ll cover how multi-cloud came to be and some of the most common deployment challenges organizations face in multi-cloud environments. Let’s dive in.

The Emergence of Multi-Cloud

Before you can think about overcoming multi-cloud deployment challenges, it’s essential to understand how we got to where we are today. Since the beginning of cloud computing – circa 2007 – IT thought leaders assumed companies would eventually lean on multiple clouds for deployments instead of fully committing to a single cloud platform such as AWS, Azure, or GCP.

While that prediction hasn’t fully manifested into a robust multi-cloud scenario yet, all signs point to multi-cloud gaining momentum. And for a good reason — multi-cloud provides benefits that organizations would relish. These benefits include:

  • Avoiding single-vendor lock-in
  • Choosing “best of breed” cloud services for each workload
  • Being able to failover between clouds in the event of an outage
  • Enabling SaaS vendors to offer services on the customer’s preferred cloud.

Multi-cloud architectures haven’t taken off as fast as previously anticipated. For starters, multi-cloud environments are hard to implement. Operational complexity is unavoidable because each environment has its own variables, databases, and configurations. Cloud vendor pricing has also decreased over the years, meaning there’s less focus on preparing for alternatives if a primary cloud vendor raises their prices. Lastly, the failover between one cloud and another is a huge obstacle.

Many larger organizations are moving their applications from self-managed data centers to a cloud provider. While the shift from on-premise to the cloud puts them in a multi-cloud situation, it’s ultimately not a long-term solution to overcoming deployment issues. 

Let’s dive into how you can overcome your deployment challenges in multi-cloud environments.

Invest in Infrastructure as Code

Deploying to development, staging, and production environments across multiple clouds is a tall order. Configuration complexity is exploding. When you have multiple cloud deployments, the configuration complexity is multiplied by the number of clouds and environments you work in. To overcome the time-consuming and manual processes of provisioning and managing infrastructures, you need an automated solution that delivers faster deployments with fewer errors.

It’s unlikely that the number of applications you regularly release will start to slow. That’s where Infrastructure as Code (IaC) comes in. IaC enables you to manage environments with greater efficiency and accuracy. Codifying everything in your infrastructure, IaC bakes consistency into your cloud configurations and mitigates human errors during deployment.

The time is now to invest in IaC for faster deployments, error-free processes, and significant cost savings.

Look to Kubernetes

Environments can quickly get out of control without proper variable configuration in place. Containers are great for bundling and running your applications, but what happens when one of those containers experiences an outage or other issue? To safeguard your deployment process and minimize downtime as much as possible, your production environments must be easily configurable.

As an open-source container orchestration platform, Kubernetes automates your containerized environments, enabling you to scale a container across multiple systems and regions. With a Kubernetes deployment, you can run however many Kubernetes Pods you feel are necessary instead of having only one container running an application. Kubernetes also enables your applications to self-heal, ensuring containers are restarted, rescheduled, or replaced when one fails.

If you haven’t already, the time is now to start learning Kubernetes. Doing so will help you run multiple cloud environments reliably while lessening the manual burden on your DevOps plate.

Consolidate Secrets Management

Rampant secrets sprawl is on the loose, and DevSecOps teams struggle to manage secrets in increasingly distributed environments. We don’t have to tell you how vital secrets management is to build a well-running configuration management strategy. Still, as applications become increasingly complex and monoliths break up into microservices, the need for consolidated configuration data has never been more critical.

While building reliable and resilient deploys is undoubtedly a top priority for your teams, the safety and security of sensitive data and services should also be high on your list. That’s why organizations should invest in a single secrets management solution. To avoid costly data breaches and severe financial losses, you need centralized oversight and control of all secrets. Centralized access with a solid Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) capability is the best way to guard against secret sprawl causing misconfigurations that lead to unplanned downtime or a security breach. With the right centralized secrets management solution, you can unify access to all mysteries and configuration data with a simple API, CLI, or GUI.

If configuration sprawl is the headache, centralized secrets management is the aspirin. Working from a single record of configuration truth can make all the difference in increasing team velocity and minimizing security risks at all costs.

Utilize Cloud-Neutral Tooling

Working in multi-cloud environments requires your organization to be agile and scalable. A cloud-first approach doesn’t mean your wagon needs to be hitched to a single vendor. On the contrary, maintaining cloud neutrality is critical, allowing you to use tools that work across all clouds.

CloudTruth is a cloud-neutral solution that integrates with your existing configuration tooling and works across all clouds. We act as the globally available and abstracted single record of configuration truth for infrastructure, applications and secrets, and more. Compatible across all clouds, teams, and environments, we give you the robust configuration management system required for optimal deployment performance.

Schedule a demo today to get a closer look at the CloudTruth platform. We’d love to show you how our configuration management solutions can help you manage your infrastructure and applications at scale.

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