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The Hybrid MultiCloud Polyglot

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Chris Gondek
Chris “Gonzo” Gondek

Exactly one year ago, I wrote my first NetApp blog since joining NetApp in 2019, titled “The Cloud Polyglot.” If you’re wondering what a polyglot is, check out that first blog here.

Since then, I set out to understand each of the major hyperscalers a little more fully than the direct experience I have had over the last decade or so. In fact, I completed each of their latest foundational training and certifications. Why spend all that effort across multiple cloud environments when most businesses typically make a strategic alignment to only one cloud ecosystem? Well, that question really got me thinking a while back. If there are multiple hyperscalers to choose from, why limit yourself to only one?

Adopting a strategy

It has been my experience that some heavily regulated industries are actually mandated to not put all their eggs in one basket from a risk perspective (that is, they must adopt a hybrid or multicloud strategy). After all, it’s mostly the same infrastructure-as-a-service offerings. When you peel back the branding labels, they’re all exactly the same under the hood: virtual machines, storage, containers and serverless, with perhaps some flavor of database.

Most businesses don’t adopt a multicloud strategy primarily because of the complexity of the strategy and the skillsets typically required. The key, as I wrote a year ago, is still the user experience (UX). Which brings me to the other main reason for the training and certification I undertook. I genuinely wanted to see if I could achieve everything I needed to from a data management perspective. As described in my original cloud polyglot blog post, I used the NetApp® Cloud Manager user experience versus the individual user experiences of each of the hyperscaler portals and consoles.

Hybrid multicloud

You may notice that this time I’m referring to the hybrid multicloud. I have for many years at various industry events and tech sessions established that when I refer to the hybrid multicloud, I mean information technology infrastructure anywhere. These days, we are spoiled with choices when deciding whether to maintain and operate data center facilities, or leverage service provider and colocations, or use hyperscalers (which have now started hosting VMware), or even keep that little broom closet going. Demand for an opex subscription model and cloudlike experience ensure that these are now the norm everywhere. However, not many data center infrastructure vendors offer a true subscription model. (Beware of the fake leases impersonating subscription services that will sting you with the surprise balloon payment at the end of the term.) And, importantly, not many DC infrastructure vendors offer the “unified” cloudlike user experience, either.

working environments

So if skillsets and complexity are the main hurdles to liberating businesses from single ecosystems, then the answer really needs to be a unified and centralized, secure and intuitive user experience. One that understands the core reasons why we leverage cloud services regardless of the provider. All of the hyperscalers I learned about during my learning and certification journey have some consistencies, but none of them work with the others.

Each cloud has:

  • A cloud adoption framework
  • Best practices and a well-architected approach
  • Migration tools and processes
  • Tools to understand billing and budgeting

None of these features work outside their own cloud ecosystem. In fact, the only consistent native capability I have found across all of these hyperscalers is NetApp ONTAP®.

Each cloud has a flavor of this capability inherently built into the service; that is, not a third-party download from the marketplace, but built in as a first-party service:

All of these native cloud offerings are the same technology that is available throughout data centers, colocations, service providers, and yes, even the broom closets, if you want to balance your workloads across the hybrid multicloud And they can all be managed through NetApp Cloud Manager, as well as through the native hyperscaler interfaces. (This is important for developers who need to code for the cloud environment they’re developing in.)

Key learnings

So what did I learn from this experience? And has it changed my perspective? The short answer is that I have a much deeper appreciation of what we at NetApp are uniquely positioned to do when it comes to data and information services across hybrid multicloud environments. In fact, I am now a more confident cloud polyglot than ever before, and I’m excited to share this perspective with my partners, customers, and prospects.

I still feel empowered by the fact that NetApp offers the technology and user experience to command a highly distributed environment and provides multiple service outcomes across diverse ecosystems while lowering risk and costs and improving performance. We’re getting closer to the Cloud Polyglot Nirvana that I’ve been dreaming of. Sound too good to be true? Well, I hope that my updated "(re)Introducing NetApp Cloud Manager in 60 seconds or less” video will give you an idea of what I’m still talking about 1 year on — and it will only continue to get better.

Cloud Manager is the foundation of a broader capability of continuous innovation at NetApp. Since my first cloud polyglot blog post, I have written a series of posts to demonstrate that Cloud Manager is just the beginning of your mastery of the hybrid multicloud.

Chris “Gonzo” Gondek

My mission is to enable data champions everywhere. I have always been very passionate about technology with a career spanning over two decades, specializing in Data and Information Management, Storage, High Availability and Disaster Recovery Solutions including Virtualization and Cloud Computing.

I have a long history with Data solutions, having gained global experience in the United Kingdom and Australia where I was involved in creating Technology and Business solutions for some of Europe and APAC’s largest and most complex IT environments.

An industry thought leader and passionate technology evangelist, frequently blogging all things Data and active in the technology community speaking at high profile events such as Gartner Symposium, IDC events, AWS summits and Microsoft Ignite to name a few. Translating business value from technology and demystifying complex concepts into easy to consume and procure solutions. A proven, highly skilled and internationally experienced sales engineer and enterprise architect having worked for leading technology vendors, I have collected experiences and developed skills over almost all Enterprise platforms, operating systems, databases and applications.

View all Posts by Chris “Gonzo” Gondek

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