Secure multi-cloud environments: Enterprise journey to the cloud

As organizations go through a digital transformation of their processes and how they engage with their customers, they are often ready for a multi-cloud environment.

A multi-cloud environment is exactly what the term implies: Using multiple cloud services from more than one cloud provider to have access to greater capabilities such as analytics and artificial intelligence. How the organization uses the services, and the configuration of the vendors, both depend on needs, pricing, performance, security, compliance requirements, and geographical location.

Multi-cloud environments typically involve a mixture of public and private cloud providers running enterprise applications on platform-as-a-service (PaaS), subscription as a service (SaaS), or infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). Oftentimes this solution applies to organizations that have a wide variety of applications that need services that may not be completely available via a single vendor. What multi-cloud provides as an alternative is greater flexibility. 

What are the advantages of multi-cloud?

There are quite a few. Organizations find that when they go to multi-cloud they suddenly have: 

  • Unlimited cloud services. This is a direct result from the flexibility of working with different cloud providers. Now your organization can custom-build and deploy apps and services it considers essential without compromising. This gives you great efficiency and saves costs.

  • Reduced vulnerability to disruptions. Should one platform have unplanned downtime or an outage, no problem. A problem on one cloud won’t necessarily impact the services you’re enjoying on another cloud.

  • Reduced vendor lock-in: Rather than being locked into a single vendor, you can consume services you need as you need them, as opposed to paying for services you don’t need.

  • Better cost management. You can now spend your money more efficiently. For example, you can reduce overall infrastructure costs by choosing a low-cost origin server to consolidate your compute and storage resources and reserve more of your budget for advanced services that are more essential to your business. 

What are the challenges of a multi-cloud environment?

Because you are managing multiple products, managing their security from bad actors and other threats is often very complex, due to the many security settings of different applications and the numerous users. The challenges of managing the multi-cloud involve:

  • Making sure security and compliance policies are consistent across multiple platforms;

  • Consistency in deploying applications across various hosting platforms;

  • Using monitoring tools to obtain a singular view of the environment, which will give greater insights into threats targeting multiple environments, as well as make it easier to configure according to needs and disruptions; and

  • Ensuring the multiple environments are configured correctly. This will help ensure interoperability among all the providers and ease data migration among them.

  • You don’t get superior developer velocity as you would with a single cloud provider.

While many cloud adopters prefer a single cloud provider as they can take advantage of their value-added tools, many other organizations prefer not to put all their eggs in one basket or they have systems that aren’t ready for the cloud. 

How can Fastly help?

Think about looking at the ocean from a high cliff, as opposed to standing on the beach. The first view gives you greater insight into the state of the water, while the latter is more limiting. 

Like that cliff-top view, Fastly solutions make sure you have visibility across your entire multi-cloud landscape. This holistic overview makes it easier to maintain consistent alerting and control over every component of the environment. Fastly’s management services give your multi-cloud greater resilience, which ultimately gives you the peace of mind you need to reap all its benefits. 

Ready to learn how Fastly can help you achieve that singular view of your multi-cloud environment? 

Learn how to safeguard apps and secure cloud infrastructure in our white paper, Cloud Native AppSec Playbook: https://learn.fastly.com/cloud-native-application-security-playbook-new.html.

And read on for more on Fastly’s Next-Gen WAF, powered by Signal Sciences: https://www.fastly.com/products/web-application-api-protection

Jay Coley
Manager, Global Security Strategy
Published

3 min read

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Jay Coley
Manager, Global Security Strategy

After spending time in the U.S. military, Prolexic Technologies – the first full cloud DDoS mitigation platform – Akamai Technologies, and more recently Trend Micro, Jay Coley brings over 25 years of security experience to Fastly. Jay's role is to increase industry focus and visibility on the Fastly Edge platform as a fully-fledged security vendor in EMEA.