Is a multi-cloud strategy really just a risk mitigation decision?

Is a multi-cloud strategy really just a risk mitigation decision?

Now that ParkMyCloud supports AWS, Azure, and Google, we’re starting to see more businesses who utilize a multi-cloud strategy. The question this raises is: why is a multi-cloud strategy important from a functional standpoint, and why are enterprises deploying this strategy?

To answer this, let’s define “multi-cloud”, as this means different things to different people. I appreciated this description from TechTarget, which describes multi-cloud as:

the concomitant use of two or more cloud services to minimize the risk of widespread data loss or downtime due to a localized component failure in a cloud computing environment. …. A multi-cloud strategy can also improve overall enterprise performance by avoiding “vendor lock-in” and using different infrastructures to meet the needs of diverse partners and customers.

From our conversations with some cloud gurus and our customers, a multi-cloud strategy boils down to:

  • Risk Mitigation – low priority
  • Managing vendor lock-in (price protection) – medium priority
  • Optimizing where you place your workloads – high priority

Risk Mitigation 

Looking at our own infrastructure at ParkMyCloud, we use AWS and other AWS services including RDS, Route 53, SNS and SES. In a risk mitigration exercise, would we look for those like services in Azure, and try to go through the technical work of mapping a 1:1 fit and building a hot failover in Azure? Or would we simply use a different AWS region – which uses fewer resources and less time?

You don’t actually need multi-cloud to do hot failovers, as you can instead use different regions within a single cloud provider – but that’s of course betting on the fact that those regions won’t go down simultaneously. In our case we would have major problems if multiple AWS regions went down simultaneously, but if that happens we certainly won’t be the only one in that boat!

Furthermore, to do a hot failover from one cloud provider to another (say, between AWS and Google), would require a degree of working between the cloud providers and infrastructure and application integration that is not widely available today.

Ultimately, risk mitigation just isn’t the most significant driver for multi-cloud.

Vendor Lock-in

What happens when your cloud provider changes their pricing? Or your CIO says we will never be beholden to one IT infrastructure vendor, like Cisco on the network, or HP in the data center? In that case, you lose your negotiating leverage on price and support.

On the other hand, look at SalesForce. How many enterprises use multiple CRMs?

Do you then have to design and build your applications to undertake a multi-cloud strategy from the get-go, so that transitioning everything to a different cloud provider will be a relatively simple undertaking? The complexity of moving your applications across clouds over a couple of months is nothing compared to the complexity of doing a real-time hot failover when your service is down. For enterprises this might be doable, given enough resources and time. Frankly, we don’t see much of this.

Instead, we see customers using a multi-cloud strategy to design and build applications in the clouds best suited for optimizing their applications. Bythe way — you can then use this leverage to help prevent vendor lock-in.

Workload Optimization

Hot failovers may come to mind first when considering why you would want to go multi-cloud, but what about normal operations, when your infrastructure is running smoothly? Having access to multiple cloud providers lets your engineers pick the one that is the most appropriate for the workload they want to deploy. By avoiding the “all or nothing’ approach,” IT leaders gain greater control over their different cloud services. They can pick and choose the product, service or platform that best fits their requirements, in terms of time-to-market or cost effectiveness,, then integrate those services. Also, this approach may help avoiding problems that arise, when a single provider runs into trouble!

A multi-cloud strategy addresses several inter-related problems. It’s not just a technical avenue for hot failover. It includes vendor relationship management and the ability optimize your workloads based on the strengths of your teams and that CSP’s infrastructure.

By the way — when you actually deploy your multi-cloud strategy, make sure you have a management plan in place upfront. Too often, we hear from companies who deploy on multiple clouds, but don’t have a way to see or compare them in one place — so make sure you have a multi-cloud dashboard in place to provide visibility that spans across cloud providers, their locations and your resources, for proper governance and control, so you can get the most benefit out of a multi-cloud infrastructure.

Announcing Google Cloud Platform Cost Control with ParkMyCloud

Announcing Google Cloud Platform Cost Control with ParkMyCloud

Now Supporting Google Cloud Platform Cost Control

Today, we’re excited to announce that ParkMyCloud now supports Google Cloud Platform!

Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers have been using ParkMyCloud for automated cost control since the product launch in 2015, and Azure customers have enjoyed the same capabilities since earlier this year. With ParkMyCloud, you can automate on/off scheduling to ensure your resources are only running when you actually need them. Customers such as McDonald’s, Fox, Capital One, Sage Software, and Wolters Kluwer have already saved millions.

If you use multiple public cloud providers, you can manage them together on a single dashboard.

Why it Matters

With the addition of Google Cloud Platform, ParkMyCloud now provides continuous cost control for the three largest cloud providers in the $23 billion public cloud market. This means ParkMyCloud enables enterprises to eliminate wasted cloud spend – a $6 billion problem in 2017. See more in our official press release.

How Does ParkMyCloud Work on Google Cloud Platform?

It’s simple to get started using ParkMyCloud to manage your Google compute resources:

  1. Connect – Create a ParkMyCloud account – no credit card required – and connect to your Google Cloud Platform account
  2. Manage – Discover and manage all your cloud resources in a single view
  3. Park – Just click the schedule to automatically “Park” (stop) and start resources based on your needs.

If you’re new to ParkMyCloud, please see these additional resources:

  • ParkMyCloud Single Sign-On Integrations – integrate with Active Directory, Centrify, Google G-Suite, Okta, OneLogin, or Ping Identity for single sign-on to ParkMyCloud
  • Zero-Touch Parking – how to use the ParkMyCloud policy engine to create rules for schedules to be automatically applied
  • Resource Group Parking – create “logical groups” for your resources for sequenced startup and shutdown

See it In Action

We’re happy to schedule a demo for you to see ParkMyCloud in action – if you’re interested, please contact us.

Try Now for Free

You can get started now with a free 14-day trial of ParkMyCloud, with full access to premium features.

After your trial expires, you can choose to continue using the core parking functionality for free (forever!), or upgrade to use premium features such as the API, advanced reporting and SSO. Happy parking!

ParkMyCloud Adds Google Cloud Platform to Automated Cost Savings Tool

ParkMyCloud Adds Google Cloud Platform to Automated Cost Savings Tool

Customers to Realize Billions of Dollars in Reduced Cloud Spend and Waste Through Continuous Cost Control

June 6, 2017 (Dulles, VA) – ParkMyCloud, the leading enterprise app for optimizing and reducing cloud spend, today announced that it now supports auto-scheduling for Google Cloud Platform in addition to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. ParkMyCloud launched its “Nest for the cloud” platform in September 2015 to enable public cloud users to automatically turn off idle instances, saving 20-60% on their cloud bills every month. The company has seen rapid customer growth, and customers include companies such as McDonald’s, Fox, Capital One, Sage Software, and Wolters Kluwer.

With the addition of Google Cloud Platform, ParkMyCloud now provides continuous cost control for the three largest cloud providers in the $23 billion public cloud market. This means ParkMyCloud enables enterprises to eliminate wasted cloud spend – a $6 billion problem in 2017 (with the growing public cloud market, that’s a $17 billion problem by 2020).

451 Research Vice President William Fellows said of the announcement, “ParkMyCloud is the first vendor in the single-purpose cost control space to support all three major public cloud providers, which is great news for Azure and Google Cloud users. As companies mature in their use of public cloud and Google’s cloud becomes more relevant, cost control becomes even more of a priority.”

“Google has made enterprises a priority target for their cloud offering this year, so we knew it was imperative that we support these users as quickly as possible,” said ParkMyCloud CEO Jay Chapel. “We’ve helped Fortune 500 and multinational corporations achieve millions in savings on AWS and Azure, and we’re looking forward to doing the same for users of Google Cloud Platform.”

Tosin Ojediran, a DevOps engineer at a financial technology company, explains how the savings and immediate usability of ParkMyCloud made a difference for his organization, saying, “We sent the savings numbers to our CFO, and he said, ‘wow, this is awesome.’ ParkMyCloud was up and running in 5-10 minutes, it was easy to integrate, easy to use, and delivers what it promises.”

With the major milestone of Google Cloud Platform support achieved, ParkMyCloud plans to broaden its offerings within each cloud provider by adding cost-savings functionality for services beyond compute, while continuing to provide innovative features that allow customers to integrate continuous cost control seamlessly into their DevOps processes.

About ParkMyCloud

ParkMyCloud is a SaaS platform that helps enterprises optimize their public cloud spend by automatically reducing resource waste — think “Nest for the cloud”. ParkMyCloud has helped customers such as McDonald’s, Capital One, Unilever, Fox and Sage Software dramatically cut their cloud bills by up to 65%, delivering millions of dollars in savings. For more information, visit http://www.parkmycloud.com.

Start and Stop RDS Instances on AWS – and Schedule with ParkMyCloud

Start and Stop RDS Instances on AWS – and Schedule with ParkMyCloud

Amazon Web Services shared today that users can now start and stop RDS instances – check out the full announcement on their blog.

This is good news for cost-conscious engineering teams. Until now, databases were generally left running 24×7, even if they were only used during working hours for testing and staging purposes. Now, they can be turned off, so you’re not charged for time you’re not using. Nice!

Keep in mind that stopping the RDS instances will not bring the cost to zero – you will still be charged for provisioned storage, manual snapshots and automated backup storage.

Now, what if you want to start and stop RDS instances on an automated schedule to ensure they’re not left running when they’re not needed? Coming soon, you’ll be able to with ParkMyCloud!

Start and Stop RDS Instances on a Schedule with ParkMyCloud

Since ParkMyCloud was first released, customers have been asking us for the ability to park their RDS instances in the same way that they can park EC2 instances and auto scaling groups.

The logic to start/stop RDS instances using schedules is already in the production code for ParkMyCloud. We have been patiently waiting for AWS to officially announce this capability, so that we could turn the feature ON and release it to the public. That day is finally here!

Our development team has some final end-to-end testing to complete, just to make sure everything works as expected. Expect RDS parking to be released within a couple of weeks! Let us know if you’d like to be notified when this is released, or if you’re interested in beta testing the new functionality.

 

We’re excited about this opportunity to give ParkMyCloud users what they’re asking for. What else would you like to see for optimal cost control? Comment below to let us know.

Want tips, tricks, and insights for an optimized cloud?

> No, I like wasting time and money.