All Together Now: Meeting the Challenges of Cloud Integration

By: Brad Parks

An AWS cloud here. A Google Cloud there. An Azure cloud over there. Plus a collection of private clouds on premises. Or maybe a combination of a variety of public and private clouds in a hybrid cloud scenario. How do you bring them together? That’s what cloud integration is all about. 

As TechTarget aptly puts it, cloud integration is the act of combining different cloud-based systems into an integral whole ‘ and that can include joining cloud-based systems with on-premises systems. Cloud integration connects the disparate elements of various cloud and local resources into a single, ubiquitous environment that allows your administrators to seamlessly access and manage applications, data, services, and systems. 

So what’s the end game? 

That is, why integrate? 

Cloud integration gives you the opportunity to create a consistent view across your multi-cloud and hybrid environments ‘ and that includes virtualization platforms, automation tools, backup tools, and all the other tools required to run everything. Consistency is what’s key to simplifying management and operating more efficiently. 

What are the benefits of cloud integration?

For starters, let’s stay with the consistency concept, particularly in how you manage an integrated cloud environment. 

Bringing consistency (and better communication) to the cloud landscape 

Taking a consistent approach to integrated cloud management enables you to normalize your database so you can find what you need when you need it ‘ with a consistent view of storage, networking, and security that in turn helps you better manage costs, report on usage, and provision consistently. 

Consistent management for your integrated cloud also improves communication and collaboration. The reality is each cloud, along with each private and public cloud provider, has their own set of jargon and concepts. That can be difficult for any enterprise to make sense of. Think of it as individual cloud platforms needing to come together in a unified way, along the lines of my musings on trees, forests, and hybrid clouds. Consistent integrated cloud management allows you to better manage the forest view. 

Toppling the modern Tower of Babel

Along with different cloud types, you have different teams busily speaking their own languages. So how do you get them to all work together in a more consistent way? How does your ops team work with your finance team? How does your dev team work with your ops team? And how do all the teams gang up on the security guy? Having that layer of consistent language for integrated cloud management works to greatly improve internal communication and collaboration.

Making way for automation 

When you get everyone speaking the same language, you can work faster and operate more efficiently. And that opens the door to looking for more opportunities to apply automation in a consistent way to lessen the burden of time-consuming manual tasks like script writing. 

As a prime example, provisioning should be a consistent experience. It’s certainly not efficient if you’re going into each cloud portal natively. Questions like how do you provision a database in AWS which is different than Azure and different again than VMware can be resolved by taking a consistent automated approach to provisioning. 

Improving cost control

At the same time, having a more consistent view of costs across both on-premises and off-premises clouds allows you to see what storage is costing, and what networking is costing in support of these different applications. As a result, you can make smarter choices on where you place workloads as a way to drive better cost control. 

To take it a step further, when consistency lets your teams work together more collaboratively and helps you optimize costs across different clouds in your integrated environment, you can reap the added business benefits that come with increased revenue and a sharper competitive edge.  

Challenges, there must be challenges, right?

It’s not hyperbole to say that creating a consistent framework for integrating various clouds is hard ‘ whether you’re taking the homegrown path or seeking to select the cloud integration platform that best fits your needs. It bears mentioning some systems, integrators, and enterprises often build their own platforms to provide that normalized consistent view of their cloud environments. While this may work in a small group with one or two clouds and a dozen team members or so, it starts to fall apart when you have a big team managing thousands of workloads at enterprise scale.

And of course, there are always other challenges to be factored in.

Bridging the skills gap

Having multiple cloud platforms that need to be integrated and managed is synonymous with needing a staff with multiple skills. Industry studies show that many organizations are facing a skills gap that limits their ability to maximize the full potential of cloud infrastructure and platform services. Gartner notes that in 2022, at least 35% of infrastructure and operations staff must possess the software engineering skills to deliver the pace of innovation needed by business ‘ and through 2022, traditional skills will be insufficient for 60% of the operational tasks for which infrastructure and operations leaders are responsible.[1]

The more consistent your cloud management approach, the fewer different skills are required, which is one brilliant way to manage this skills gap. This also eliminates the need for (and the costs of) having, say, multiple AWS-certified engineers, multiple Azure-certified engineers, and so on. 

Meeting security and compliance requirements

Companies in more highly regulated industries like healthcare, government, and finance in different regions around the globe have the added challenges of security, data privacy, and data sovereignty. Cloud integration that offers a consistent view across the complete cloud environment can help you more easily meet differing and ever-changing compliance requirements.

How Morpheus can help

Morpheus is all about creating a consistent framework to integrate different clouds through a single pane of glass. We offer codeless hybrid cloud integration and automation that’s built in and ready to go. So you can deploy in minutes ‘ and move that much more quickly to reap the benefits and tackle the challenges of cloud integration. 

With more built-in integrations and native functionality than any other platform, Morpheus can be up and running in under an hour, including hooks to ITSM, ID Management, Infrastructure, IPAM, DNS, Backup, Logging, Monitoring, Load Balancers, and more. 

More importantly, we bring those integrations together into a logical, intuitive framework for automating and managing the full application lifecycle. This includes provisioning, CMDB updating, code deployment, ongoing maintenance, console access, and even teardown. It’s a cloud-aware and cradle-to-grave approach to modernize and manage all types of applications while bringing that much-needed consistency to cloud integration.

Just take a look at all the codeless integrations we support. 

Ready to learn more about Morpheus? Request a demo today.

[1] The Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services Skills I&O Teams Require for the Future; Gartner; March 2022

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