By 2020 over 90% of companies will be utilising cloud
services offered by multiple providers, using various orchestration tools. To
ensure they retain full mobility and flexibility, businesses need to be wary of
components which could potentially cause cloud lock-in.
The first necessity is therefore to avoid relying only on a
single technology or orchestrators which are “cloud-dependent”. And as
operational efficiency in multi-cloud environments is dependent on accurate
synchronisation of IP resources across clouds, the second necessity should be
to make sure the IP address management (IPAM) solution implemented is
independent of whichever orchestrators and tools are being used.
IPAM and DNS, together with IP protocol, are the glue of
the complex network that permits communication between all cloud islands. For
enabling easy transition in order to ensure cloud independence, choosing the
right DDI (DNS-DHCP-IPAM) solution therefore becomes key.
technology brings vendor lock-in
Lock-in can be extremely detrimental, particularly when you
reach the stage where you need to transition out of a certain cloud for
requirements such as scale, security or governance. Unfortunately, companies
forget to prepare for that at the start of their cloud journey, so too often
become trapped by proprietary technology.
Take the example of a cloud-dependent orchestrator, or a
database which does not adopt standards. If you had made the decision to work
with such tools, you would be left reliant on working only with the associated
cloud provider, as the alternative would be to re-engineer your network and
re-train your internal staff. It’s a worrying fact that, according to IDC
research, at the end of 2017 only a handful of enterprises were confident they
have a multi-cloud strategy which allows companywide, well-orchestrated,
automated, and secure operations.
Then at the next level there’s the risk of incorporating
IPAM solutions which do not integrate well with the deployed IT automation
ecosystem. Selecting an unsuitable IPAM, or indeed DDI, will give you a major
headache when you try to migrate or extend deployment of your services onto
Another common scenario is where lack of communication
between siloed teams leaves your organisation using multiple IPAM solutions,
which in turn brings conflicts due to inability for IP synchronisation. And
good luck if one day you decide to bring everything back on premise!
cloud-agnostic orchestration, you’re as free as a bird
True cloud independence requires the capability to move
from one provider (whether public or private) to another, in as frictionless a
manner as possible. Because of the enhanced efficiency it brings, orchestration
should therefore be given top priority in any cloud deployment strategy. As
well as using orchestrators which work with multiple clouds, businesses would
do well to make sure processes and workflow for provisioning resources (IDs and
IPs) take place at the highest level, allowing for complete traceability of
which resources were correctly provisioned.
To maximise independence, the IPAM used should obviously be
capable of integrating with almost any orchestrator through its API or
adapters. DDI becomes a key component, as it is in fact an abstraction layer
for DNS synchronisation and IP address provisioning. Using an integrated DDI
solution to manage your infrastructure eliminates risk of conflicts which can
occur when multiple IPAMs are in place.
A centralised and cloud-agnostic IP address management
process that can accommodate any cloud provider can bring consistency of IP
address plan across the various providers a company can have. It gives the IT
team a unique repository, as well as global management of the IP address system
to make multi-cloud effective, secure, and well-managed.
An automated DDI allows enterprises to move to different
DNS servers of different cloud providers through APIs, without the heavy
lifting of reformatting all the workflows. By adding one-click functionality
for deploying services, as well as “one-click reversibility” – where customers
can test a workload in one platform and move it to another or bring it back on
premise – challenges brought by manual resource provisioning are easily
overcome. Enterprises wary of cloud dependence or lack of multi-cloud
interoperability will consequently be less hesitant to launch their cloud
future-proof your cloud strategy, IPAM is key
Modern network infrastructures sprawl over on premise and
off-premise – across many clouds – limiting visibility into the virtual
networks or IP addresses. Cloud migration is heavily dependent on IPAM as you
need visibility at the start, and capacity to manage the migration in
correlation with DNS services. Automating these tasks using vendor and platform
agnostic solutions helps avoid time-wastage, reduces cost, and takes away much
of the risk. And most importantly, it’s a major step towards ensuring your
business remains truly cloud independent.