Moving to “the cloud,” as it’s casually known, is a misnomer. There isn’t a single, homogeneous cloud destination, but rather, a spectrum of different types of clouds ranging from private to public, and multiple varieties in between. In addition, there are multiple public cloud providers to choose from. As enterprises increasingly adopt diverse cloud strategies and run business-critical applications in multiple clouds, this has major implications for ensuring application delivery. And not all Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) are up to the job for multi-cloud deployments.
Cloud terminology can make your head spin. To clarify, here are a few simple definitions:
- Private cloud: Cloud computing resources are customized and used only by one enterprise. The servers and storage are in a company’s own data center or hosted by a service provider and connected via private networks.
- Public cloud: Cloud computing resources are built and operated by third-party cloud service providers (i.e. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform) and connected via the Internet.
- Hybrid cloud: A mixture of private and public clouds.
- Multi-cloud: A mixture of multiple public clouds (i.e., AWS and Azure).
The use of public clouds is on the rise and so is the adoption of multi-cloud strategies. Gartner recently surveyed public cloud users and found that 81% were using two or more public cloud providers1. Gartner estimates that the 10 biggest cloud providers will account for at least half of the total public cloud market until 2023.
There are many advantages to multi-cloud strategies, such as having the freedom to use the best parts of each cloud and avoid vendor lock-in, and better disaster recovery and resilience. For deployments across different geographies, it can be difficult to find a single cloud provider that covers all locations.
And sometimes, it’s just better economics. A company that spends millions on cloud infrastructure might shift their workloads between cloud providers, like Azure and Amazon, multiple times per month because of fluctuating prices.
How to Ensure App Delivery in Any Cloud
Multi-cloud isn’t the only trend that’s challenging application delivery today. Applications are deployed across a spectrum of environments. Enterprise have workloads in Kubernetes, on virtual machines (VMs), in data centers and in the public cloud. To optimize and secure business-critical applications, Application Delivery Controller (ADC) solutions must work seamlessly across all those environments.
To handle multi-cloud deployments cost effectively, ADCs must have the following capabilities.
1. Centralized Control
If you’re storing data and running apps in two public clouds, you’ll want ingress into your network and services that functions in the same way in both locations and with the same configuration. If you had management silos for each cloud, that would add cost and complexity to your operations and ultimately slow down your business. You need the ability to deploy, manage and monitor your ADCs from a centralized “single pane of glass.”
2. Intelligent Auto-Scaling
Scaling to meet traffic demand should be just as straightforward in multi-cloud environments as in private clouds. If an ADC has autoscaling capabilities and integrates directly with your cloud platform, you will be better able to “right size” your capacity across multiple public clouds because it will automatically launch or remove servers as your traffic requires. This enables scaling out automatically during busy times or traffic bursts as well as scaling back in to minimize costs during quiet times.
3. Powerful Analytics and Telemetry
When your mission-critical apps are deployed across multiple public clouds, you need clear and constant visibility of traffic patterns and app performance on all cloud platforms. You need an easy-to-use dashboard where you can see performance statistics in real time on all your cloud platforms, whether it’s latency, HTTP error rates or failed connections. With the benefit of machine learning, an ADC an learn how to detect traffic anomalies with precision and act quickly to resolve performance issues.
4. Resilient Network
Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) is a common ADC feature, but the requirements of multi-cloud demand additional intelligence and automation. You need the facility to route users and application traffic intelligently between cloud providers. In the event of performance degradation or disaster recovery scenarios, your ADCs should automatically route traffic to healthy sites in your network based on data from continuous Layer 7 health checks. Snapt Nova, for example, has 25 network points of presence (POPs) on six continents to deliver the best performance any time, anywhere.
Nova is a new breed of ADC that can be deployed into any number of locations and managed centrally. It is ideally suited for multi-cloud.
To see for yourself how Nova works, get started with the free Community Edition.