Blog · 03 Mar 2021

How to stop complexity creeping into your cloud environment

Underpinning your hybrid cloud project with a data fabric is the way to keep things simple.

Matt Watts
Chief Evangelist, Worldwide Enterprise and Commercial Field Organisation, NetApp

Let’s be honest: hybrid cloud computing has the potential to give you a bit of a headache.

With so much choice available, deciding how to use the cloud to achieve your specific goals can be challenging. Do you build what you need yourself? Do you go for a converged infrastructure… hyper converged? Object storage? Software-defined or put it in a container?

Then there’s the cloud. In its own right, each cloud is relatively simple. Amazon Web Services is as easy to use as Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform... but when you work with more than one, the complexity starts to creep in. I call this ‘simplicity squared’: each platform offers different ways to manage data, different monitoring tools, different levels of protection…

And the headache starts to set in.

Organisations today rightly deserve the flexibility to build a cloud solution entirely fit for their purpose. And while technology companies are always striving to make their tech as easy to use as possible, we must recognise that combining multiple, simple cloud elements creates potentially paralysing levels of complexity. When you map this out across complex businesses and large geographies – precisely where the hybrid cloud is supposed to offer most value – it becomes even more constraining.

So, how do we take steps to tackle it?

The answer is through the right data fabric.

Data fabric: the key to unlocking the potential of cloud

A data fabric is an architecture and set of data services that integrates data management across multiple locations – including multiple clouds, and on premises IT – to accelerate digital transformation.

By underpinning your hybrid cloud project with a data fabric, you should be able to achieve the same agility for data as virtualisation and SD-WAN deliver for compute and networking. That means a unified approach to data management across all clouds: consistency and control of data mobility, security, visibility, protection, and access.

If you want to beat cloud complexity, and realise the full potential of cloud, there are three key attributes to look out for when choosing a data fabric.

Three attributes of the right data fabric

  1. The data fabric should be embedded into all major cloud platforms. Otherwise, it simply won't deliver on its promise. In this way, you'll get a consistent set of data services – that’s consistent data protection, replication, encryption, and management – wrapped around your data, no matter where it’s located. If you want to move your data to another cloud, then that also shouldn’t be a problem. The key point of a data fabric is that your data should never be locked up in any one place.
  2. It should be transparent. When you start to move workloads to the cloud, collaborating with developers that are consuming from near limitless reserves of compute and storage, you deserve to know exactly what you’re paying for. To achieve that insight, your data fabric needs to act like a simple pane of glass: a window into what you’re using and what you might be wasting, so you are empowered to make smart decisions, always.
  3. It should help you get better and better at cloud. Cloud optimisation is the message here. Your data fabric should offer you a way to continually optimise your compute and storage, assessing and reassigning resources across all cloud platforms to ensure you’re always managing costs and performance: even business-critical applications.

Breaking down barriers

NetApp introduces genuine simplicity into the hybrid multi-cloud environment. We’re helping companies achieve this with Hybrid Cloud Managed Services from BT and the NetApp Data Fabric.

We’ve worked closely with Microsoft, Amazon, and Google for years and the NetApp Data Fabric reaches out to all cloud platforms through the BT network. It's fully transparent, plus it's designed to help our customers manage their resources – and their budgets. When we say we deliver ‘more cloud, less cost’, we mean that our customers can save as much as 75% on their cloud costs.

But for us, the benefits are further reaching. Through our technology, coupled with our close partnerships, we help our customers break down barriers. And that means they can realise the true potential of cloud.

Find out more

To see how Hybrid Cloud Managed Services from BT could simplify complexity and break down barriers towards your company cloud transformation, get in touch.