CIONET Trailblazer: Going Single or Not? - English version

Published by Charlotte Coen
October 25, 2023 @ 9:21 AM

In this CIONET Trailblazer episode, we're joined by Olivier Lallemand, Chief Operations Officer, Applications at NRB. We'll question whether organisations should employ multiple cloud computing services rather than relying on one. With Olivier's expertise, we'll uncover strategies, real-world applications, and practical insights essential for navigating the challenges of single or multi-cloud environments.

Organisations frequently base their IT strategy on a singular cloud. This choice allows them to maintain an overarching view of the creation, performance, and cost of their assets. "Many clients still opt for this tactic because it offers an easy way to monitor various resources while maintaining a level of consistency. However, over recent years, we've witnessed a steady shift towards a multi-cloud approach, but with a single management interface," explains Olivier Lallemand, Chief Operations Officer of applications at Group NRB.

Tackling Challenges Head-On

Consider this scenario: A business builds its IT strategy on a public cloud (e.g., AWS) and later desires a specific feature or a SaaS solution exclusive to another provider (e.g., Azure). Consequently, they immerse themselves in a multi-cloud approach, despite the ensuing complexities. To mitigate this, they'll typically seek a management solution that allows them to monitor all resources from a singular interface. The advantages? Time-saving, improved visibility, and architectural coherence.Olivier Lallemand - NRB

Of course, every solution comes with its set of challenges. As Olivier Lallemand points out, "The eighth wonder of the world hasn't been discovered yet." Hyperscalers evolve swiftly, and multi-cloud management platforms sometimes struggle to fully control the functionalities of a public cloud. As a result, operational teams are often compelled to delve into specific cloud management tools to execute certain specialised tasks.

Reaping the Rewards of Multi-Cloud

The inability to integrate all operators from a unified interface shouldn't deter the adoption of a multi-cloud strategy, especially when using a multi-cloud management platform. The benefits are just too compelling. "I'd highlight three main ones: finances, security, and governance," continues Olivier Lallemand.

A multi-cloud platform offers enhanced cost visibility across different resources. "Its features are quite compelling. For instance, it can compare various public hyperscalers and suggest transferring applications from one provider to another to optimise costs, both during analysis and operational stages."

More than ever, an IT architecture must ensure the utmost security and safeguard the critical data it hosts. "By utilising a multi-cloud management platform, we employ templates that facilitate resource deployment based on specific scenarios, ensuring data security and confidentiality."

Governance is equally paramount. A multi-cloud management platform enables setting precise rules that are infallible. "For example, if a workload contains private data, it can be automatically encrypted based on its categorisation, potentially with the encryption key held solely by the end client. Such features exemplify the power of a multi-cloud management platform," assures Olivier Lallemand.

The Blueprint for Successful Transition: Step by step

Given these benefits, an increasing number of organisations are gravitating towards multi-cloud management platforms. NRB isn't lagging and is integrating functionalities into its NECS multi-cloud management platform that facilitates the hybridisation of IAAS workloads across various clouds. "Recently, a company approached us to transition from a public cloud strategy to a multi-cloud approach, supported both locally and on Azure. This switch now allows them to host their resources uniformly while easily gathering performance and cost data," describes Olivier Lallemand. "Another client, operating on a private cloud, uses this multi-cloud management platform to concurrently collaborate with various service providers, each handling a segment of their operations. Wishing to oversee their entire infrastructure via a single interface for cost control, they employ NRB's platform which meets their expectations perfectly."

In theory, transitioning from a single cloud to a multi-cloud strategy poses no operational risks. However, if governance isn't firmly established, this can quickly lead to significant security threats or financial oversight loss. "Many have faced setbacks due to hasty transitions without a step-by-step plan. They exhaust significant resources and find themselves overshooting their budgets, even though they anticipated major savings," continues Olivier Lallemand.

To circumvent such mishaps, it's vital to establish robust governance (type of cloud, legal constraints, etc.) and a comprehensive landing zone for each cloud (segmenting administrative, financial, and security zones) to fend off cyberattacks or control losses. Once governance is applied, landing zones set up, and the new operational method adopted, clients have a resilient solution with efficient piping, capable of interlinking various environments. "At NRB, we place significant emphasis on this deliberation. Our Cloud Adoption Program enables us to set the rules that will steer our clients' clouds," concludes Olivier Lallemand, Chief Operations Officer – Applications at Group NRB.


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