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Multi-Cloud: Challenges and Solutions

John Jainschigg - March 22, 2021

Complementing an article for TheNewStack, in this video, Mirantis Field CTO Shaun O'Meara talks about tech requisites for making multi-cloud work for enterprises, today

As usual, Shaun O'Meara, Field CTO and head of Product Management at Mirantis, is methodical about terminology. "Multi-cloud … is where I have more than one cloud infrastructure and am interested in spreading workloads across those two premises … In hybrid cloud, one of those infrastructures will always be public, the other private." Readers of Shaun's article: Multi-Cloud: Challenges and Solutions, published this week on TheNewStack, often question this definition, perhaps as being too simplistic. There's got to be something deeper that differentiates hybrid -- long a dearly-beloved marketing term and something that most organizations say they're actually doing, today -- from multi-cloud, often discussed as the Next Big Frontier, and something that internet wag Corey Quinn calls: "The Worst Practice." But there isn't. Multi-cloud is just hybrid, where "the other cloud" is … another cloud. What obscures the fact, O'Meara suggests, is that most solutions competing in today's market acknowledge the primacy of one platform over the other(s). They work, for example, from the premise that public cloud is the future, that adaptation to public cloud is the sunk cost, and that therefore, you want to run an outpost of your public cloud estate on your premises. Or they laud the private cloud platform and want you to do the reverse: run hosted "whatever platform you use" on someone else's infra. O'Meara suggests there's another way to think about it, and that Kubernetes, with its amazing ability to pave over deltas differentiating one infra from another, is one aspect of a solution that leverages your sunk cost wherever it resides, and lets you extend your cloud domain freely onto alternative platforms. Not just private and public clouds, but bare metal, edge servers, IoT devices. Shaun's video interview offers real insight, refuting those who suggest that multi-cloud is impractical and lock-in inevitable.