Multi-Cloud Data Management: How Does It Work?

Utilizing a multi-cloud deployment model has its benefits but also challenges. We discuss how to handle data management in multi-cloud environments.

What is multi-cloud data management? Multi-cloud data management is the set of tools and procedures that allow a business to collect, store, and use data from a combination of multiple cloud computing environments.

What Is Multi-Cloud Data Management?

We’re all familiar with cloud infrastructure. Cloud platforms are large, dynamic, and scalable in terms of handling data and processing information for applications. They serve as the foundation for the most complex applications in the market today.

Generally speaking, there are three different types of cloud infrastructure:

  • Public Cloud: Public cloud infrastructure is what we normally think of when we think of the cloud. Different users share the resources and, more often than not, are offered on a monthly service. “Shared,” in this case, means that individual customers will have an instance of their services on a shared set of hardware used by others. Public cloud offers several advantages to businesses, including significant cost savings and scalability due to ease of resource allocation.
  • Private Cloud: Conversely, the private cloud can be on-premises or, in some instances, vendor-provided cloud capacity that doesn’t share hardware between different customers. While private cloud space is often costly, it also provides more reliable scaling and resource availability and several benefits to security and resilience.
  • Hybrid Cloud: Hybrid cloud is a blend of both public and private resources. Most configurations will include a set allocation of private cloud resources for mission-critical assets with additional public resources that can scale with demand. Hybrid clouds are often deployed for highly variable workloads and serve as the backbone for the practice of “cloud bursting,” or rapidly allocating and deallocating public cloud resources for a project as needed while maintaining a stable private environment.

It’s important to note the differences here because many modern cloud users will rely on hybrid systems to handle complex enterprise workloads. But a hybrid cloud is not a multi-cloud setup.

Multi-cloud systems are the harnessing of several cloud infrastructures. The delineation isn’t so much between private or public cloud environments but rather entirely different providers or vendors. With such a system, different infrastructures across vendors like Google, Amazon, or Microsoft can work in tandem to support different computational needs.

The most common form of a multi-cloud environment is a public setup, where an enterprise uses the public services of multiple companies to create a single, robust infrastructure. However, modern multi-cloud systems can combine public, private, and hybrid environments.

Administrators will use tools and procedures to link applications and workloads across these systems to stitch together multiple cloud systems into a single platform. This is called multi-cloud management, and apps and processes that focus on data specifically are known as multi-cloud data management.

Some of the basic components of a multi-cloud management system include the following:

  • Application Management: Cloud applications need a steady and continuous management process to ensure their security, stability, and continued evolution. When applications use cross-cloud resources, then this demand is much more pressing.
  • Cloud Management: Administrators must centralize and standardize policies across different cloud environments. This includes procedures around security, data management, data access, and so on. A central multi-cloud management tool can help operate such policies through a dashboard interface and intuitive controls that clearly define different cloud infrastructures, even if they appear seamless to the end user.
  • Storage Management: Data will often exist, usually in several instances, across the multi-cloud environment. Proper multi-cloud data management policies and procedures must be in place to map the journey data will take through different systems and how that will impact security or performance.

What Are the Costs and Benefits of a Multi-Cloud Data Management Infrastructure?

As with any technology, enterprises adopt it because it comes with a certain set of critical benefits that can support that organization’s mission, especially in terms of data-rich, high-performance research and computation.

Some of the benefits of multi-cloud management systems include the following:

  • Avoiding Vendor Lock: Putting all of your eggs in a single basket has some benefits but can also make you and your operation dependent on that vendor. By using multi-cloud management, you can approach such arrangements with a more modular strategy without locking yourself into a single infrastructure or management system.
  • Consistent Security and Compliance: Multi-cloud management allows you to manage your own policies, from data handling to security and application monitoring and observability. Accordingly, making decisions about implementation or changing configurations around security and compliance controls can occur from a centralized location, even across different cloud vendors.
  • Financial Management: Cost is a major concern for cloud systems, especially when the need for additional maintenance resources explode. A tight management approach can help admins better wrangle cloud resources’ size, scope, and application to minimize out-of-control spending.

Additionally, several challenges come with multi-cloud setups:

  • Complexity: Managing multiple cloud systems is significant, and even the best management tools can only reduce it rather than eliminate it. Having great management tools will help you better mitigate the pitfalls of managing such complexity.
  • Inefficiency: Without proper planning, multi-cloud storage systems can become inefficient. Saving money takes a strategic mind for cloud infrastructure management. While a multi-cloud system may save you money, it won’t necessarily do so without some thoughtful approaches to deployment and usage.
  • Security: Centralizing security controls is useful in multi-cloud, but adopting multiple vendors could theoretically open more attack surfaces. You’re relying on multiple companies to manage their own security, so make sure you pick reliable ones.

Support Robust Multi-Cloud Data Management with WEKA

Cloud infrastructure is increasingly the backbone of heavy research and enterprise applications. These applications also increasingly rely on multi-cloud infrastructure to maintain availability and scalability under heavy workloads. And as discussed here, managing data and processing access across multiple cloud systems takes a clear focus on the infrastructure, from top to bottom, to help manage operations and costs.

With WEKA, you get the following features:

  • Streamlined and fast cloud file systems to combine multiple sources into a single high-performance computing system
  • Industry-best GPUDirect performance (113 Gbps for a single DGX-2 and 162 Gbps for a single DGX A100)
  • In-flight and at-rest encryption for governance, risk, and compliance requirements
  • Agile access and management for edge, core, and cloud development
  • Scalability up to exabytes of storage across billions of files

The WEKA file system also works with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) cloud infrastructures.

Contact our expert team today to learn more about WEKA multi-cloud data infrastructure.