Devops or devsecops (I’ll use devops for this post) is more than just a quick way to build and deploy software within the cloud and on traditional systems. It is now a robust standard, with widely accepted best practices, processes, and tools.
However, as multicloud becomes the new path to cloud computing, I am asked how it will affect existing DevOps programs. Specifically, how development can change and what issues need to be addressed before and after moving to DevOps to take advantage of multicloud platform goals.
First, let’s talk about the changes and the challenges.
First: complexity. Yes, if it is a multicloud, it will be necessary to manage the complexity, including the developers. Managing multiple cloud platforms and technologies can be complex, especially if each has different tools, processes, and security requirements. This can make it difficult for DevOps teams to effectively manage and automate their IT environment.
This translates into additional costs and training. If you look at most of the challenges with the complexity of multiclouds in terms of operations, Devops plus multicloud basically reflects those challenges.
Second: integration. Integrating different cloud platforms, applications, data, and other technologies can be complicated and expensive, especially if they have different APIs and data formats. The goal is to create a seamless multicloud environment that supports the specific needs of application development, deployment, and operations.
Integration really falls under the umbrella of complexity, but it’s a specific need that development engineers need to address. Single cloud deployment is hard enough; however, intra-cloud integration is not as difficult as cross-cloud integration that occurs within a multi-cloud deployment.
While most deployed data and application sets are not tightly coupled, data and processes still need to be exchanged between the plural clouds that are the target platforms for deployed applications. Additionally, devops processes and toolchains must test these integrations as well as address security and performance.
Are you sensing a pattern here? There is simply more work to be done when using DevOps with multicloud.
Third: security and compliance. Ensuring security and compliance across multiple platforms and cloud technologies can be a huge hassle, especially if each platform has different security and compliance requirements, which often happens. Devops teams must ensure that their target multi-cloud environment meets requirements and that data is protected from threats, including legal ones.
Fourth: cost. This is another problem related to complexity. Running multiple cloud platforms and technologies is expensive, especially if each platform has different pricing models and cost structures. DevOps teams must consider the cost implications of a multicloud environment and find ways to optimize costs while ensuring that their cloud environments meet their needs and the needs of their workloads.
This is where finops comes in. Finops should be integrated into a devops process and toolchain to address which target cloud platforms will be best optimized to fit purpose and cost.
Finally: collaboration. Improving collaboration between different teams can be a big problem, especially if each team is responsible for a different cloud platform or technology. Devops teams need to find ways to improve collaboration, communication, and automation across their entire IT environment. Otherwise devops won’t work, which is mostly about people and culture.
Of course, you will find many other problems related to your specific organization and technology solution. The most important thing is to deal with the added complexity. The best advice is to deal with complex cloud (multi-cloud) deployments on your terms. Not the terms of complex system implementations.
Employ abstraction and automation to mediate complexity for developers. Find cost efficiencies that may not exist for single-cloud deployments, but are a benefit of multicloud. After all, that’s the reason you’re implementing multicloud in the first place: to take advantage of cloud services that are the best or most cost-effective. It will be part of Devops to find the path and the most profitable solutions.
A multicloud implementation combined with a good devops program, process, toolchain, and culture should pay for itself within its first year of operations. But ultimately it is up to you to address these issues that I have raised. Good luck.
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