Multicloud Environments Have Advantages and Challenges
Maynard relies on Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and a private cloud. Together, the clouds support a range of applications, with the private cloud providing disaster recovery. In addition to networking, Maynard points to security and cost control as further multicloud challenges.
With security integration among the varied cloud iterations, “there is additional complexity in the rule sets,” he says, and cost control likewise gets complicated when IT teams are tasked with managing use across multiple clouds. “It certainly is an issue, and you have to watch it very, very closely.”
“We have people using the cloud for teaching and learning, administrative computing and research,” Rhoades says.
The challenge overall is visibility.
“First, it’s general resource visibility,” he says. “What’s in the cloud? Where is it located? Then there’s security visibility, granting our central security team better visibility into what’s going on in the cloud. The providers generate a lot of that data. It’s about getting all of that data from the different providers into a single pane of glass to allow the security teams to better manage alerts.”
There’s also visibility around cost.
"Budgets are tight across higher ed,” he says. “Where do we have opportunities to save money? Where are the opportunities for reserve capacity of compute and storage?”
At the University of California, San Diego, Executive Director of Enterprise Architecture and Infrastructure Brian DeMeulle also uses AWS, Azure and Google clouds. Like Rhoades, he points to visibility as the big hurdle, especially when it comes to managing costs in a multicloud environment.
“There was a lot that was just put on credit cards and other things. How much are we spending? We had an incident that involved a research group, and we had issues getting access to their accounts because it wasn't centrally managed,” he says.