The Multi-Cloud Enterprise Is Becoming the Norm

Wednesday Oct 26th 2016 by Pedro Hernandez
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A new study from 451 Research finds that most organizations are juggling multiple clouds, adding complexity to their IT operations.

A new report from 451 Research, sponsored by automated cloud management specialist Embotics, reveals that most businesses (75 percent) are using more than one public and/or private cloud. And those multi-cloud environments are turning into a bit of a handful for IT departments.

In their survey of 166 enterprise IT organizations in the U.S., the companies found that 54 percent of those using multiple clouds were also using tools from various providers. Sixty-five percent were using some sort of cloud management platform.

Over 80 percent of those polled said their cloud management tools were lacking some critical functionality. Top complaints include digital asset tracking and management and slow response times.

Another big challenge is VM sprawl, along with a lack of visibility into virtual machine (VM) use over time. Only 12 percent of respondents said they could identify who logged into their VMs and how often. Another 12 percent said they had the ability to analyze VM workloads. Just over half of respondents said they are now using container and orchestration technologies or plan to use them over the next 12 months.

"IT departments being tasked with transformation to cloud-based infrastructure are struggling with the challenges and complexity of managing multiple environments, and our research shows that a majority of the platform providers they turn to today are falling short in supporting that transformation," said William Fellows, research vice president at 451 Research, in a statement. "As enterprises continue along the cloud maturity curve, we anticipate a sharp demand for cloud automation, self-service and provisioning capabilities as they seek to increase efficiency, flexibility, spend and agility."

Another challenge is enforcing security in multi-cloud environments.

To address this need, network security policy management provider Fireman announced on Oct. 25 that it had acquired FortyCloud. FortyCloud's cloud infrastructure cloud security broker technology enables businesses to manage and securely connect to their hybrid and public cloud environments. The solution supports several public clouds, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud and Rackspace, among others.

"While the security needs are very similar in cloud infrastructure and on-premise networks, the technology implementations can be very different," said FireMon CEO Satin H. Mirchandani in a statement. "FireMon intelligent security management solutions allow the network and security teams to quickly deliver the capabilities the business demands to stay competitive."

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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