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19 Mar 2019DISCOtecher

Unlocking the benefits of multi-cloud: a view on Gartner’s report

In the second of two interviews on Gartner’s Technology Insight for Multicloud Computing report, Paul Scott-Murphy, VP of Product Management for Big Data and Cloud at WANdisco, and DISCOtecher, WANdisco’s Director of Product & Channel Marketing, explore what businesses can do to make the promised benefits of a multi-cloud architecture a reality.


DISCOtecher: Hi Paul, thanks for joining our second discussion on Gartner’s Technology Insight for Multicloud Computing report. In our last conversation, we discussed Gartner’s perspective on the risks and challenges of deploying a multi-cloud architecture. Today, I’d like to talk about how organizations can overcome those risks and unlock the advantages of multi-cloud. But to recap, what was the main takeaway from our first discussion?

Paul: In our first blog, we explored the reasons why ensuring consistent data across multiple cloud vendors and instances is a key enabler for multi-cloud deployments. Gartner agrees that globally consistent data—accessible by users and applications at all times—is essential to realize the full potential of a multi-cloud architecture. At WANdisco, we call this a LiveData strategy—and with our LiveData for MultiCloud product, enterprises can ensure that any change made at one location is instantly visible across every part of the infrastructure. In short, everyone across the business is working from the same version of data.


Gartner agrees that globally consistent data—accessible by users and applications at all times—is essential to realize the full potential of a multi-cloud architecture.



DISCOtecher: It sounds like companies with this ability won’t be constrained by distributed data sources. What about data management—does LiveData for MultiCloud make multi-cloud architectures easier to manage?

Paul: Very much so—and if we think about some of the reasons that businesses are targeting multi-cloud architectures, it’s clear why.

As the Gartner report states: “organizations typically pursue multi-cloud computing to obtain greater breadth of capabilities and to reduce concentration risk.” When it comes to capabilities, different cloud providers are better suited to different business needs. Each has a distinct pricing model, which makes some clouds more cost-efficient for certain use cases. Similarly, some providers may be better adapted for specific functions because they include specialized services, such as analytics or machine-learning solutions. And if we think about concentration risks, using a variety of different cloud regions or cloud vendors minimizes the threat of downtime if one location suffers an outage.


With LiveData for MultiCloud delivering a single, continually updated version of critical business data in every distributed location, businesses can make data changes in any of their cloud instances without introducing consistency issues. This enables them to orchestrate the entire multi-cloud infrastructure as a single, integrated environment.


With LiveData for MultiCloud delivering a single, continually updated version of critical business data in every distributed location, businesses can make data changes in any of their cloud instances without introducing consistency issues. This enables them to orchestrate the entire multi-cloud infrastructure as a single, integrated environment. As well as making data management significantly easier, businesses can ensure that all analytics workloads use the same accurate version of data, which reduces the risk of inaccurate results.


DISCOtecher: And what are the risks if businesses can’t ensure consistent data across their multi-cloud environments?

Paul: Gartner notes that: “some multi-cloud architectures require data to be replicated across multiple cloud providers, either synchronously or asynchronously.” In a redundant multi-cloud architecture for an analytics platform, it is very important to maintain constant data integrity and consistency across the different cloud providers. However, cloud providers’ native object storage replication capabilities are unable to deliver immediate consistency. This can cause complex data consistency issues, which are extremely difficult to unravel. By using LiveData for MultiCloud, businesses avoid this risk because data is continuously replicated—and therefore always consistent—across all locations.


Cloud providers’ native object storage replication capabilities are unable to deliver immediate consistency. This can cause complex data consistency issues, which are extremely difficult to unravel.



DISCOtecher: Does storing data across multiple different cloud platforms create security risks?

Paul: That’s a great question. Naturally, businesses need to be careful about how they manage sensitive data. When migrating this kind of data to a cloud platform, it’s also crucial to replicate the associated metadata, because this contains the relevant access policies and permissions. This ensures that only authorized users can access the data once it is migrated to the cloud.

There are other ways to mitigate the risk of multi-cloud deployments. For example, a business might choose one highly secure cloud vendor for its sensitive data, and store less-sensitive data with other providers that offer more cost-efficient storage options. Alternatively, businesses might keep all sensitive data on-premises, and back up other data to the public cloud.


DISCOtecher: That’s interesting, thank you. The report points out that many businesses are targeting multi-cloud environments to reduce the risk of downtime—but a multi-cloud architecture isn’t enough on its own, is it?

Paul: That’s right—Gartner points out that a “multi-cloud architecture may result in overall greater application resilience by reducing the likelihood that systematic failure of any given cloud provider will result in application failure.”

However, it is only by ensuring consistent data at all locations that a multi-cloud environment becomes truly resilient. Maintaining current versions of data across multiple platforms means that if one cloud instance goes down, no data is lost. In many cases, business users will be unaware anything has happened: operations continue seamlessly using other cloud and/or on-premises components.


It is only by ensuring consistent data at all locations that a multi-cloud environment becomes truly resilient.



DISCOtecher: So how can businesses enable a LiveData strategy?

Paul: Enforcing consistent data across a multi-cloud environment requires continuous replication—and traditional, batch-based replication tools simply aren’t up to this task. LiveData for MultiCloud from WANdisco is the only solution that can continuously replicate data—and metadata—across multiple, geo-distributed environments. So if you’re planning a future-ready multi-cloud architecture, LiveData for MultiCloud is the way to go.

If you’re interested in exploring another analyst’s point of view on how a LiveData strategy can address the data-consistency challenges of a multi-cloud world, then IDC’s Technology Spotlight report is also a valuable read.


DISCOtecher: That’s great—thanks for your sharing your insights with us, Paul.

Paul: You’re very welcome.


About the author

 

At WANdisco, we value our relationships with industry experts and partners and highly value their educational material. This blog series is made up of their opinions and ideas relevant to our followers and we support them - and respect their personal viewpoints.

Twitter: @WANdisco

 

As VP of Product Management at WANdisco, Paul has overall responsibility for the definition and management of WANdisco's product strategy, the delivery of product to market and its success. This includes direction of the product management team, product strategy, requirements definitions, feature management and prioritization, roadmaps, coordination of product releases with customer and partner requirements, user testing and feedback.


About WANdisco

WANdisco is the LiveData company that empowers enterprises to revolutionize their IT infrastructure with its groundbreaking distributed coordination engine (DConE) in the WANdisco Fusion platform, enabling companies to generate hyperscale economics with the same IT budget — across multiple development environments, data centers, and cloud providers. WANdisco Fusion powers hundreds of the Global 2000, including Cisco Systems, Allianz, AMD, Juniper, Morgan Stanley and more. With significant OEM relationships with IBM and Dell EMC and go-to-market partnerships with Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle, Alibaba and other industry titans — WANdisco is igniting a LiveData movement worldwide.

For more information on WANdisco, visit http://www.wandisco.com

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