Although cloud computing has become standard practice for most IT organizations, the idea is still surprisingly misunderstood. “Cloud” seems to mean just about anything, depending on the context and who’s talking about it, which leads to confusion across the board. From the business users interested in the benefits of cloud to the IT professionals who know what it means but can’t keep track of the latest trends and terminology, the concept of cloud needs considerable clearing up.
The fluid language around cloud certainly doesn’t help. We IT folks love our acronyms and cloud doesn’t disappoint, from SaaS to PaaS to IaaS and beyond. In the old days, “cloud computing” usually meant public cloud, but these days private, hybrid, and multi-cloud deployment models muddy the waters (we break down the meaning of multi-cloud here.) With so much information and delineation – and so much hype – it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction.
To that end, let’s put five commonly-held beliefs about cloud computing to the test. Are these claims about a multi-cloud environment truth or myths?
- Cloud is highly dynamic: TRUTH.
In one sense, this is a gimme; the dynamic nature of cloud resources is a main reason why they have become so popular. Most of today’s multi-cloud environments are at least as dynamic (if not more) than traditional IT due to the inherent automation and configuration of cloud services. This makes them flexible, scalable, agile – all that good stuff – but also results in increased complexity when managing changes to applications.
- Cloud creates a “throw away” culture: TRUTH.
This is a significant difference between standard IT infrastructure and a multi-cloud environment. Traditionally, businesses invested in hardware and software assets, then did their best to make the most of them and maximize ROI. Cloud changes that. In a multi-cloud environment, it may be appropriate to destroy current resources, fix your deployment configurations, and then spin up a new instance. It depends on how an application is architected and the type of cloud resources used when you need to change an application or fix an issue to an application running in the cloud.
- Your cloud vendor always manages the services you use in the cloud: MYTH.
Cloud doesn’t necessarily need to be completely outsourced. IT teams can enjoy considerable control over their cloud resources depending on their level of sophistication, management technologies and capabilities, and business drivers – especially if you’re using IaaS- and PaaS-based services.
- The proliferation of new services is faster than ever with cloud: TRUTH.
The pace of change is a major differentiator between cloud solutions and services and traditional IT. The cadence at which the major cloud vendors (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) release new services is faster than anything we’ve seen before, often as frequent as their next major quarterly event. The upside for cloud users is that updates are often automatic and services are available for use right away. At scale, however, frequent updates and upgrades do require a close eye in order to configure and manage effectively.
- Management processes are so individual and automated that service management best practices no longer apply: MYTH.
The opposite is actually true: service management plays an even more important role in the management of your multi-cloud environment, as documentation of changes, problems, and incidents is still needed and will require more automation. Following configuration management best practices and having an automatically populated CMDB via multi-cloud discovery provides the single point of reference for service management processes to relate back to cloud resources.
The complexity of cloud can feel like the proverbial “blessing and a curse”. While it has opened countless doors for IT to add more and better value to the business, cloud computing also requires a unique and often innovative approach to manage and optimize.
Learn more about one of the ways that BMC helps you manage your multi-cloud environment in our new white paper, Why Discovery Is Critical to Multi-Cloud Success.
These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.