The landscape of business IT and computing has altered dramatically over the last few years. At least 91% of organizations have adopted the public cloud for a multitude of tasks. Public Cloud refers to cloud computing services such as storage, software, and virtual machines provided by third parties over the internet. Some of the biggest public cloud providers are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Today, more and more companies are moving towards a cloud agnostic strategy. So, what does this mean, and how can your own business become cloud agnostic?
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Cloud Agnostic: Definition and Examples
One of the greatest benefits of cloud computing is its flexibility. If you’re running out of storage, your public cloud solution can automatically scale it up for you. This allows your operations to continue seamlessly.
Being cloud agnostic takes this idea of the flexible cloud one step further. Effective organizations are those capable of easily running their workloads and applications within any public cloud. They may also use a variety of cloud services.
This doesn’t mean that a company is completely indifferent as to which cloud provider it uses for each workload. Any organization will have established preferences for their cloud setup. This is often based on factors such as price, region, and the offerings from each provider.
Being cloud agnostic means that you’re capable of switching tracks to a different public cloud provider should the need arise, with minimal disruption to your business.
Why Be Cloud Agnostic?
It’s hardly surprising that more companies are looking to be cloud agnostic. Around 93 percent of enterprises now run a multi-cloud strategy, involving utilizing two or more public cloud solutions, This allows businesses to take advantage of the differences in features or prices between providers.
Another reason that companies want to embrace this strategy is to avoid vendor lock-in. Cloud computing has revolutionized the ways that companies do business. It does so by giving them access to more products and services without having to support and maintain their own hardware and infrastructure. However, this increased reliance on cloud computing also comes with the risk of dependency.
While it might seem impossible for an Amazon or Google to go out of business, remembering companies like AOL show that it’s not completely unrealistic for a vendor to cut services. By making your company more flexible and adaptable, being cloud agnostic inoculates against the risk of vendor lock-in.
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Cloud Agnostic: Pros and Cons
- No vendor lock-in: Companies that are cloud agnostic can diversify their portfolio and become more resilient to failure and changes in the business IT landscape.
- More customization: Using a strategy that’s cloud agnostic and multi-cloud lets you tweak and adjust your cloud roadmap exactly as you see fit. You don’t have to miss out on a feature that’s exclusive to a single provider just because you’re locked into a different solution.
- Redundancy: Having systems in place across various clouds means various solutions to a range of challenges.
- Greater complexity: Being cloud agnostic sounds great on paper, but the realities of implementation can be much more difficult without the right support. Creating a cloud strategy with portability built in from the ground up may incur additional complexity and cost if you don’t choose the right providers.
- Working to the lowest common denominator: There’s a small danger that you might end up dependent on a feature that only works on one particular cloud service. Even if AWS has a great new feature for your business, for example, you may be reluctant to use it unless you can guarantee that you can replicate it in Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform. For flexible companies, this will rarely be a real drawback, but it’s certainly something to be aware of.
Strategies for Being Cloud Agnostic
There are several key strategies that you can adopt to help your business work more smoothly with the modern cloud. These will be advantageous for your business no matter where you stand on the cloud agnostic spectrum.
Container technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes are an invaluable part of using the modern cloud. Essentially, a container is a software unit that packages source code together with its libraries and dependencies. This allows the application to be ported from one computing environment to another without conflict.
Another tactic for is to use managed database services. These are public cloud offerings in which the provider installs, maintains, manages, and provides access to a database. The major public clouds such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google all offer theoretical possibilities for migrating between providers.
IronWorker and the Cloud Agnostic Approach
Using products such as IronWorker that can deploy in any language and on any cloud, including fully on-premise deploys, is the easiest and most cost effective way to remain cloud agnostic. This is because with virtually one click, you can save your settings and deploy to whatever environment your enterprise wishes. In short, simplicity equals operational cost efficiency. We built IronWorker to maximize the Docker container environment. This makes it ideal for business within the modern cloud.
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