The "multicloud", definition of a cloud strategy essential for companies

Yuri Colombi, Head of Solutions & Innovation
By EBRC 21/09/2022
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More and more cloud platforms and solutions are available in the market; and EBRC now positions itself as a reliable partner in the management of multiple IT resources. Together with its clients, the European leader in the management of sensitive data aims to optimise performance and costs while ensuring data security business continuity and, above all, leveraging value-added cloud services bringing agility and innovation. 

An increasing number of organisations are managing a variety of cloud solutions and moving their IT environment towards the multicloud. "Companies often turn to cloud solutions in order to benefit from value-added services, scale resources and economies of scale," explains Yuri Colombi, Head of Solutions & Innovation at EBRC. However, using the cloud bears new challenges.

Avoiding lock-in risks, securing data... The benefits of the multicloud

The outsourcing of digital assets, which are often strategic, to a third-party operator brings new risks that must be managed. "At the origin of the multicloud concept, there is the desire to reduce the risks of lock-in, downtime and data loss that can occur when relying on a single cloud provider. In many cases, using multiple cloud service providers is a way to comply with business continuity compliance requirements," says Yuri Colombi

But often the desire to access the best services, through a selection of different providers, leads to the adoption of multiple clouds. 

However, this approach is not widely adopted yet, as Yuri Colombi explains: "If you look at the situation in the Greater Region, few companies are embracing a multicloud approach to mitigate risk by relying on two public cloud platforms rather than one - the so-called 'dual vendor' approach." More often than not, stakeholders in Luxembourg tend to favour the use of hybrid clouds. The use of local resources is supported by the use of one of the traditional hyperclouds such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform, plus SaaS solutions such as SalesForce, ServiceNow, Microsoft365, etc.

Define your objectives to build an adapted cloud strategy

Managing this entire environment can quickly become complex. “Before launching a cloud or multicloud project, the IT strategy should be clarified by defining the expectations in terms of cloud services and the management of multi-environments," explains Yuri Colombi. “Opportunities must be considered, risks anticipated. A projection of the development of this extended environment is key.” 

EBRC positions itself as a reference partner, helping define this strategy and supporting its implementation through a range of solutions and approaches.

A multicloud approach makes it possible to manage, secure and guarantee the connectivity of all these cloud solutions. "To facilitate this management, as of the end of 2017, EBRC offered the Luxembourg market a connectivity solution based on InterCloud services," explains Yuri Colombi. “It not only guarantees flows to cloud services, but also manages exchanges between different clouds, which is one of the important components of the multicloud approach."

Simplifying multicloud management with the right tools

In addition, the use of a single platform for the management of the various cloud environments eliminates the disadvantages of using several environments and eases access management. It also ensures the continuity and availability of applications regardless of whether they are located on-premise, in Azure or AWS. “Our hybrid cloud strategy has led us to consider AWS and Azure as data centres to which we have extended our activities," explains Yuri Colombi. “The multicloud approach and the inclusion of SaaS services have obviously pushed us to innovate in order to offer a 'single pane of glass' approach and maintain the differentiators that our clients are looking for.” 

EBRC is therefore positioned at the heart of this multicloud environment as the main interface from which all resources can be managed, while at the same time offering security guarantees, with for example the possibility of preserving or replicating on-premise data or implementing approaches that allow environments to be efficiently redeployed on other public platforms if one of them fails.

Leveraging cloud investments: Optimising costs, automating deployment

“One of the advantages that our clients value is undoubtedly the possibility of optimising costs through our FinOps approach," explains Yuri Colombi. “Following a methodology similar to DevOps, facilitating the deployment of environments and accelerating the deployment of functionalities, we aim at using automation to optimise the use of resources according to actual needs and thus to manage costs.”  

The continuous search for efficiency also requires improving the vertical and horizontal scalability of the environments extended into the cloud. “In this respect, our know-how guarantees that everything is under control and a higher level of performance," continues the Head of Solutions & Innovation. “In addition, clients can rely on our experience in resilience and service continuity, which is now reflected in 'by design' resilient hybrid and multicloud architectures meeting high availability requirements and integrating disaster recovery processes from the start." 

Integrating security policies into the heart of your multicloud project

In an uncertain environment, the news of recent months has shown us that nothing is improbable or impossible. “The possibility that a major operator fails, either because of a hostile attack or because of the client being subject to sanctions, is a possibility that must be taken seriously," says Yuri Colombi. “This justifies taking continuity solutions into account, as well as paying special attention to the security of environments.”

In view of these measures, it is therefore necessary to implement appropriate security policies. However, the extension of IT activities to several clouds tends to widen the surface of exposure to possible attacks and to extend the perimeter of risks. Fragmentation of access is also a concern. “Experience shows that we can take advantage of the "software-defined" aspects of AWS and Azure to set up governance and rules that systematise good practices," explains Yuri Colombi. “It is also necessary to take advantage of the services to detect suspicious behaviour by extending them to hyperclouds”.EBRC's Security Operation Center, for example, offers equal high coverage for all environments.

Knowing how to develop with the cloud

As a partner in your multicloud strategy, EBRC also intends to support future developments. For example, the leader in sensitive data management in Europe was a founding member of the Gaia-X initiative. “This commitment allows us to evolve our existing architectures towards more open services, integrated into the Gaia-X ecosystem where services and data will be made available and shared in a secure environment," explains Yuri Colombi. “Standards are being developed and we participate in workgroups that mainly concern cloud services providers such as EBRC."

Adopting the multicloud, a winning strategy

Adopting a multicloud strategy therefore brings 3 major advantages: 

  • Reducing lock-in risks and de facto eliminating over-dependence on a single provider
  • Reducing the risk of service disruption with DR capacity on different clouds
  • Accessing the best services by taking advantage of the best of each cloud 

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