For example, Windows teams usually advocate for Microsoft Azure IaaS because they believe Microsoft will better support them in the difficult task of federating and extending Active Directory to Azure, while Unix teams looking at bottom-line costs and greater application programming interface services usually support the Google Cloud Platform and similar offerings.
Manage Cloud Environment Based on IaaS Services
Add all these factors together, and state IT managers quickly discover that they are not just migrating to the cloud; rather, they are migrating to a multicloud environment that requires a new layer of management and reporting. This migration comes with additional levels of complexity, complication, cost and confusion.
Deciding how to manage multiple cloud environments comes down to a series of requirements. State IT managers should compare these requirements with their own environments to choose a multicloud management tool.
Security and network segmentation controls: At the API, virtual machine and networking levels, IT managers need to have strong and consistent security controls to ensure a uniform set of access control and traffic flow rules for everything operating in a public cloud. By using a high-layer cloud management solution, IT managers avoid human errors that may compromise security and risk data breaches.
Comprehensive reporting and budget controls: While the scalability and reliability of cloud services is a big selling point, many agencies anticipate cost savings. State IT managers not only report these savings to their CIOs, but they also keep an eye on things so that misconfigurations or runaway applications don’t blow their budgets.
DevOps integration: In traditional DevOps environments, developers may have development, testing, quality assurance and production environments instantly available at all times. In an IaaS environment, use-based costs provide incentives to keep development systems trimmed, while the outside-the-firewall nature of the systems means that developers must be aware of security at all times. So, IaaS platform management controls must be fully integrated into DevOps processes and toolkits.
Cloud Partners Can Help Build an IaaS Management Layer
Fortunately, cloud service providers and virtualization vendors support both scalability and orchestration in their products, which means that — public or private — there are APIs, monitoring points and controls in place that can build a management layer.
State IT managers may ponder whether to forgo trying to integrate multiple providers, to create a do-it-yourself management system or to jump to an emerging commercial multicloud management toolkit. Once the scope of the problem is clear, states may choose to aggressively reduce the number of cloud service providers to avoid complexity. IT managers with deployments across multiple clouds may require more capabilities, like workload management.
Migrating to public infrastructure services can bring huge benefits and help state IT managers break through capital expenditure and staffing barriers holding back service delivery. But consider cloud management complexities and develop a strategy and toolkit for handling the management of multiple clouds before rollout.