First Came the API Economy; Now Comes the Multi-Cloud Merge
Oracle and Microsoft recently directly connected their clouds. The move makes great business sense on multiple levels, given that both software giants have long powered most enterprises around the world. Now together in a new partnership, they’re elevating business to multi-cloud integrations, far beyond the standard API integrations, and into a merged cloud state. Here workloads and data move seamlessly, leveraging all features of both clouds, adding security, and eliminating integration hassles. Is this the path to a new way of working and managing a multi-cloud environment? We think so. Here’s a look at where this new cloud model stands now and how channel partners can leverage it for their customers.
The odd relationships between apps and clouds
The term multi-cloud essentially means working with two or more cloud services which can run the gamut from public and hybrid clouds to anything that is delivered as-a-service. That includes software-as-a-service (SaaS) to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and everything in-between. But there are two remarkable similarities in any given cloud mix, no matter how loosely we refer to them as multi-cloud. First, apps must work on, between, or across these clouds. And second, data goes wonky from all the silo isolation, rinse and repeat replications, API integration glitches, data transfers, analytics configurations, and other cloud peculiarities.
It is easy to see from this perspective why API integrations, as powerful and plentiful as they are, are not enough to render a multi-cloud into a seamless, high-performance, and high-efficiency platform of digital business.
These issues are not invisible to organizations. Efforts have been made to tame the multi-cloud beast and its inner workings. The API Economy, which is a synonym for API management, is one such effort, but it is contained to a single facet of cloud environments. Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is another effort, but it too has its shortcomings. A third-party hosts the hardware and tools on its infrastructure so the customer gets a convenient way to use a fully setup package. However, PaaS is just another cloud configuration, most often used for application development, and thus subject to the same wild nature as other clouds. Indeed, PaaS can be part of an organization’s multicloud.
Then there is multi-cloud management, which comes in both platform and tool forms. Certainly, these are very helpful in managing workloads and applications as they move from cloud to cloud. But they are also complex and require staff – either onboard or at a third-party — with very precise skill sets to deploy and operate them successfully.
In all three scenarios, API management, PaaS, and multi-cloud management, much of the emphasis is on controlling apps in how they function, how they communicate with other apps, and tracking where they go or reproduce among the clouds.
We think there’s another, simpler way to do most of that.
The multi-cloud merge
The partnership between Oracle and Microsoft merges the two into a seamless cloud environment with no barriers for apps and data to overcome. Data is no longer marooned on an island in the clouds, or in an app silo. Everything can easily span the clouds. Think of it as a multi-cloud merge into a single entity instead of the typical separate clouds that must be integrated and managed. From this perspective, you can see how much easier it is to work with, maintain, manage and secure a merged multi-cloud than a growing collection of APIs and unrelated cloud services.
While the Oracle-Microsoft partnership isn’t the first such step in the cloud industry, it is a meaningful one. More features and functionality are now possible. They include cross-cloud provisioning, supported cross-cloud deployment templates, collaborative support for new interconnected configurations, deployments, unified identity and access management, and cross-cloud networking in the form of a private, high bandwidth, low latency network connection.
Channel partners can leverage this new multi-cloud merge model and offer their customers a simpler way to leverage a more strategic use of cloud services and the data within them with the least friction, the highest efficiencies, and increased returns. Channel partners can offer this multi-cloud merge model to improve their own revenue and internal efficiencies as well.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.