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The movement to the cloud is no longer an option but a default choice for many enterprises. With the adoption of Cloud Computing in Enterprises both Startups, SMEs, and large corporations are shifting their workloads to the cloud. With the adoption of the cloud, the debate on which cloud provider to choose has emerged as a key question for enterprises.

Till a couple of years, cloud computing predominantly revolved around Amazon’s AWS offering, but with Azure playing catch up in terms of functionality and GCP pioneering aspects like per-second pricing enterprises now have multiple options to choose from.

For the larger corporations, the bigger question is that, among public, private, or hybrid cloud architecture, which one should be used to get the maximum advantage? One of the options that enterprises have is to explore multi-cloud management. This can be used as a strategic approach by enterprises to meet their business needs.

What is Multi-Cloud Management?

Multi-Cloud Management can be defined as a combination of two or more cloud service providers (CSP’s) like Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, and Google Compute Platform. Each CSP brings its own set of functionalities for example an enterprise might be using AWS infrastructure for data archiving but IBM Bluemix for IoT analytics. Also, since the resources for multi-cloud management are distributed, the chances of overall data loss are reduced.

Why is Multi-Cloud Management required?

Once a corporation shifts towards a Multi-cloud environment the initial days of this adoption might come across as seamless but as development environments scale then managing this infrastructure becomes a challenge.

To automate infrastructure provisioning scale up/scale down, security, and budgeting across cloud platforms. A well-defined multi-cloud management solution provides the visibility to manage complex multi-cloud architecture and provides features like-

§ Self-service: IT resource provisioning is impossible without automation and giving developers Self-service capabilities.

§ Service Desk Console: Managing services from multiple cloud providers a centralized console enables identifying, comparing, configuring, procuring, and governing services is important.

§ Workflow automation: Cloud management enables workflow automation. Organizations can take actionable steps needed to create and manage computing instances, without human intervention.

Challenges to Multi-Cloud Management

Despite the advantages of a Multi-Cloud environment, enterprises still face challenges when adopting Multi-Cloud Management. Some of these challenges are:

  1. Expense- Managing cost in a distributed cloud environment can be a significant challenge, also allocating expense in a large corporation which is distributed across functions and geographies creates its own bottlenecks.
  2. Performance- When computing instances are distributed across multiple cloud providers then managing latency and integration can be complex resulting in performance issues.
  3. Automation- A single cloud service provider will provide tools to help developers better manage its infrastructure but with a Multi-Cloud environment, automation tools become a necessity!
  4. The occurrence of Cloud Sprawl- For ease-of-use IT departments give flexibility to their development teams to scale computing infrastructure on demand, if this is not managed properly, unused computing instances can quickly add costs

How IBM Enables Multi-cloud Management?

Corporations need to be able to respond to the dynamic business environment and to do that software development teams are required to adopt a new approach to IT management. Whether the software is deployed on Cloud, In Premise, or Hybrid, it no longer matters. Businesses need to be managed seamlessly without any downtime.

IBM through its Cloud Private offering has built a comprehensive stack to undertake multi-cloud management. Some of the areas where it enables corporations are-

API Management

IBM offers IBM API Connect, which helps corporations manage the complete lifecycle of API’s right from creation to security and analytics


Monolithic applications are a thing of the past, corporations are transforming their centralized server-based solution to a microservices-based architecture, helping them be flexible, agile, and scalable.

IBM extensively leverages Kubernetes based container framework that integrates with Prometheus an open-source monitoring framework and Fluent a data log collector for managing microservices.

Cloud Automation and Monitoring

Managing multiple cloud environments is a must-have in modern enterprises and IBM Cloud Automation Manager (CAM) is designed specifically to support this, giving IT teams the capability to proactively manage disparate environments including VMware cloud, Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, and IBM Cloud.

IBM Cloud Monitoring solution offers software development teams a toolkit for Application Performance Management helping them predict issues and resolve them before they impact the production environment.

In conclusion

With Cloud Computing solutions maturing enterprises need to have a range of deployment models and microservices should act as the foundation layer. IBM’s offering help corporations achieve just that helping them deploy containers in a secure and scalable manner.