Interested in Multicloud Management? Read This

Multicloud Management

You may be familiar with Multicloud management since many are saying Multicloud is the future of IT. But what you should know is that we’re already living in a Multicloud world. This IBM study clearly shows that 85% of organizations are already using this approach and benefiting from multicloud advantages. However, despite its popularity, as much as 60% of businesses don’t have the tools and procedures for multicloud management.

This can be a major issue for an organization, particularly in how it can unintentionally introduce risk and slow progress of moving high priority workloads. Here, we’re going to explore some of these major Multicloud problems and challenges of the approach. We’ll also look at Multicloud advantages and Multicloud solutions. These can help businesses navigate multiple cloud environments whilst meeting their ever-increasing demands.

What’s a Multicloud Management Platform?

Multicloud Management Platform

Cloud computing has evolved since Google CEO Eric Schmidt introduced the term in an industry conference. Today, most organizations use cloud computing to support some aspect of their business. Multicloud storage has become so popular that many now use two, three, or more cloud providers to meet their objectives. This led to the birth of Multicloud Management and Multicloud advantages.

Multicloud is a cloud computing approach made up of two or more cloud environments. As we touched on above, it developed because there are organizations currently using cloud services from more than one provider. There are many reasons why businesses choose to use a Multicloud management platform – and cloud services from several providers.

Comparing Multicloud vs Single Cloud

Firstly, the main difference between multicloud vs single cloud is that it lets you access the best SaaS applications. And across multiple cloud environments too – Such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. Secondly, multicloud minimizes their dependency on any single cloud provider, resulting in decreased risk and increased performance.

Even more, now it’s most businesses who are using a multicloud management platform approach. So, it’s becoming increasingly important for those who wish to remain competitive and agile in such a fast-evolving landscape.

The Multicloud Technology

The growth of multicloud so far has relied very much on containers and Kubernetes technology. One of the main multicloud problems has always been running different cloud solutions in different software environments. That’s why businesses need to be able to build applications that can move across environments without causing issues with integration. This is where Multicloud technology comes in.

As they isolate the software from the underlying environment, containers are an ideal solution to these Multicloud problems. They essentially allow developers to build applications that can be deployed when and wherever they please.

To manage and deploy these containerized applications, “container-orchestration systems” such as Kubernetes have emerged. Kubernetes, described as a platform for automating the deployment, scaling, and operations of application containers across clusters of hosts, is one of the most widely-used, open-source container platforms out there.

An organization can be following a multicloud approach without having any solutions in place to support effective multicloud management. Multicloud management is therefore the ability to manage multiple clouds from a single, central environment. Such management solutions may be called multicloud technology or multicloud management platforms. They are increasingly common today and stand out when comparing multicloud vs single cloud.

Multicloud vs Hybrid Cloud: What’s the Difference?

They sound similar but there are some discrepancies between Multicloud vs hybrid cloud. Multicloud is about using multiple cloud services from more than one provider. Meanwhile, with hybrid cloud, an organization uses a combination of private and public clouds and on-premises services from the same provider. Therefore, the providers are key when distinguishing Multicloud vs hybrid cloud.

Moreover, many businesses have moved away from public cloud models toward a hybrid model. Doing so means they can manage their workload across multiple cloud environments. Especially because of the development of hybrid cloud architecture. However, since many businesses are now following a hybrid cloud approach, they’re using a combination of different public cloud providers. Therefore, they’re also in need of a dedicated, multicloud management solution.

A hybrid cloud and multicloud management platform approach can and often do co-exist. But as they are different approaches, they each have their individual risks and challenges and so must have their own dedicated management solutions.

The Streaming Giant with Multicloud Storage

Netflix - The Streaming Giant with Multicloud Storage

As a quick case study of the multicloud storage approach in action, we can turn to streaming giant Netflix. A business based on delivering video via the cloud, Netflix has been open about its model. It’s also been open about how its main cloud provider has long been Amazon Web Services (AWS). More recently, however, the company has begun working with another provider: Google Cloud.

The move was reportedly executed to take advantage of the competing provider’s unique functions, from disaster recovery to artificial intelligence. Although switching providers may threaten its long-term relationship with AWS, the multicloud benefits far outweigh the risks. And in this case, it’s Multicloud storage that comes on top. The open-source tool it developed for Multicloud storage is called Spinnaker, and it’s even supported by AWS, Google, and Microsoft.

Before Spinnaker, Netflix was famous for putting all its eggs in the AWS basket. By multi-sourcing its data storage, the company has reduced its dependency on one provider. Thus, minimizing the risks of outages that occur without multicloud storage, and improving its flexibility for sustained growth.

What Are the Multicloud Advantages?

Multicloud management clearly has many benefits. For many organizations, hitting that 99.9% availability and significantly decreasing latency are enough to convince them. But it can also give you a range of integrations that only work on specific clouds.

For instance, if you have sensitive data you don’t want in the public cloud but need to build integrations for it. You can build workloads on the private side that can take advantage of the private sensitive data. This all-around makes for a more efficient workflow and greater user experience.

Potential Multicloud Problems

Multicloud management isn’t all good news. Alongside the many benefits of working in a complex multicloud environment, come several challenges. IBM outline these three challenges as Rapid Application Innovation, Data Overload, and DevOps and Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) best practices.

  • Rapid Application Innovation: As businesses work more with hybrid and multicloud architecture, the volume and complexity of objects and metrics increases. The result is monitoring and securing all your operations becomes an increasingly difficult task.
  • Data Overload:New technology in big data and artificial intelligence afford businesses many advantages. But with only traditional management methods at their disposal, they often lack the management capabilities to safely handle the data and implement an effective data strategy.
  • DevOps and SRE Best Practices: Employing DevOpsand Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) best practices is becoming increasingly expected in organizations. Moving to a DevOps model, however, is difficult because it is not just about technology, but also making cultural and operational shifts with teams — particularly in learning new ways of working and the introduction of new roles.

When trying to address these challenges, businesses are typically stuck between choosing a management solution that provides speed or control. But not both. An effective multicloud management solution, therefore, allows businesses to strike a balance and achieve both.

“A Unified Approach Across Multiple Clouds”

A lot of the challenges of the multicloud approach are mitigated by choosing the right multicloud solutions. According to the IBM developer Sai Vennam, there are three areas in particular that an effective multicloud management solution needs to address. Together, these three areas or “pillars” form the basis of what can be a “unified approach across multiple clouds”.

  1. Automation:

It’s necessary to have a consistent and yet flexible way to deploy and manage applications. Multicloud solutions enable this by simplifying and automating application management. Plus, improving flexibility with features like multicloud backup, disaster recovery, and the ability to move workloads. Not to mention reducing costs thanks to intelligent data analysis.

  1. Visibility:

With so many clusters running in so many environments, it can be difficult to know what’s running where. A multicloud management solution enables businesses to know instantly what business application components are running where, as well as to be able to monitor the health of resources across multiple clouds, both public and private.

  1. Governance:

Increased use of cloud-native components should not also mean increased management costs and risk to your business. Yet DevOps teams have the difficult task of employing governance and security policies across multiple clouds. With a single unified dashboard, compliance policies can be pushed across multiple clusters with a single command, reducing both time, cost, and risk.

Getting the Multicloud Advantages

Multicloud management can be overwhelming. Each cloud-based service inevitably comes with its own tools and multicloud advantages. And so, when you use services across multiple providers, managing them is going to be nothing less than a complex and costly task.

As well as covering the three pillars of automation, visibility, and governance, multicloud solutions must be simple and efficient overall. New multicloud platforms, with central control panels and rapid access and delivery to multiple clouds, prove ideal. The multicloud solutions that companies have been waiting for.

The Big Data Hosting Dilemma: Is Your Provider Solving it?

Big Data Hosting

You’ve probably heard of how data is like the oil of the digital economy. Last century, everyone wanted to invest in petroleum. Today it’s data that is one of the most valuable resource a business can invest in. Once you start drilling, you may find data in limitless volumes. Hence – “Big data”: the field that helps businesses identify and analyze the deluge of data at their fingertips. So that they can put it to effective use. So, what’s this about a big data hosting dilemma?

Big Data Needs Big Web Hosting

Unlike raw crude oil, data itself has no universal value. Therefore, if you have lots of data but no means of processing it and extracting value, it’s pretty much worthless. Big data is gaining wide popularity across many industries. Mainly because of its capabilities of capturing, storing, and processing data which lets businesses gain that competitive market edge.

However, as the name suggests, big data is all about complex functioning, massive data sets, and intricate multilevel processes. And so, businesses can only get as much out of big data as their hardware allows. To complement big data, you also need strong and dynamic servers that can support sophisticated computing, processing, and storage requirements.

That’s why web hosting companies are key in determining the success of a business’s move into big data. Here we’re exploring some of the best options for big data hosting providers. As well as explore how each can help you boost your big data operations.

AWS (Amazon Web Services)

Amazon Web Services AWS - Big Data Hosting Provider

AWS enjoys the prime position (pun intended) in the big data hosting market. Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) for starters is one of Amazon’s most successful products. Clients love EC2 particularly for its exclusive capabilities and flexibility to scale.

The model lets you enjoy the maximum availability of resources to support fluctuating requirements. All without having to fork out package expenses. Because thanks to a PAYG (Pay as you go) approach, EC2 enables seamless scalability. Plus, it covers the two main bases you need for big data: performance and cost-efficiency.

Here’s a rundown of the main features of Amazon EC2 for supporting big data processing.

Amazon Elastic MapReduce:

Purpose-built and architected for massive data processing operations. EC2 and Amazon Simple Storage Services fuel its hosted Hadoop framework.

Amazon Dynamo DB:

A NoSQL (not only SQL) database service that’s fully managed and promises high tolerance against faults. With seamless scalability and independent provisioning capabilities, DynamoDB significantly reduces any need for active human intervention. Uncomplicated administration makes the experience convenient and smooth.

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3):

Though thin on features, the Amazon Simple Storage Service is especially for high scale performance and massive storage capacities. It supports seamless scalability by allowing you to insert data in buckets. You can also select specific regions for physically storing your data to address speed or availability issues.

Amazon High-Performance Computing (HPC):

This service supports sophisticated tasks with specific needs. High-end professionals like scientists and academics use HPC for its high performance and rapid delivery, along with other industries too. Mainly because of the rise of big data hosting providers. Undoubtedly, easy reconfiguration provisos and high workload capabilities are the main benefits of Amazon HPC.

Amazon Redshift:

The focus of Redshift is to provide extreme storage capabilities to deliver massive data warehousing. Of course, supported by the strong foundation of MPP architecture. With its high-security ecosystem and reliable performance, Redshift is a powerful substitute for in-house data warehousing. Its architecture aligns well with high-end business intelligence tools. Thus, saving businesses significant infrastructure costs and maintenance hassles – and allowing further boosts in performance.

Google Big Data Services

Google Big Data Services - Big Data Hosting - Plesk

Internet giant Google is another major cloud services player that seems to be especially designed for big data hosting. Firstly, as the leading search engine, Google boasts an in-depth and first-hand experience in big data processing. Secondly, it also possesses the most sophisticated infrastructure out there to support big data operations.

Here are a few of the major features you need to know about Google Big Data services:

Google Compute Engine:

Promising a powerful combo of security and scalability, Google Compute Engine is an advanced computing solution. With its energy-efficient model, it helps enterprises to quickly complete complex computing processes with greater accuracy. It also prevents load imbalance with its reliable workload management solutions.

Google Big Query:

As the name suggests, Google Big Query is a reliable solution for data querying requirements. It supports quick and error-free processing of SQL-like queries against massive data sets. Its specific functionalities make it ideal for presenting an impromptu report or seeking deeper analysis. One limitation to note is that you can’t alter your data once it gets into Big Query.

Google Prediction API:

A powerful machine-learning tool whose advanced features discover and memorize patterns from huge volumes of data. It’s a self-evolving tool, therefore, it gains new, deeper insights about a data pattern each time you use it. Google Prediction API also allows you to use the patterns for purpose-specific analysis. Hence, stuff like customer sentiments and the detection of cyber threats.

Microsoft Azure for Big Data Hosting

Microsoft Azure Big Data Hosting - Plesk

One more major contender in the big data hosting market is Microsoft. Microsoft’s advanced capabilities allowed it to develop sophisticated and sharp big data tech. It’s an especially good option for those who are familiar with its proprietary products like Windows, Net, and SQLServer.

Window AzureHDInsight:

While fully-compatible with Apache, adopting it can connect you with various business intelligence tools as well as Microsoft Excel. You can also deploy In Windows Server.

OpenStack for Big Data Hosting

OpenStack Big Data Hosting - Plesk

As a popular open-source platform for cloud computing, OpenStack is big in Big Data application and processes. It offers clients a choice between public and private clouds. But you do have to follow standard implementation as per the organization’s rules. OpenStack may also limit specific customization efficiency of more sophisticated requirements.

Although not as established as others in our big data hosting provider list, OpenStack has many advantages to offer:

  • A Democratic Approach: OpenStack has a more democratic approach to big data hosting. Once developed, this model could offer huge cost savings to clients.
  • Hardware-agnostic: OpenStack is a hardware-agnostic cloud platform capable of accommodating multiple tenants.
  • In Talks With Leaders: OpenStack is talking to leading computing businesses like IBM, Dell, and Cisco. It’s safe to say that it will spark a revolution in the big data industry.
  • Ubuntu Base: Using Ubuntu as its base, OpenStack is an open-source project that aims to enhance the benefits of big data by making it easier and more affordable to work with.
  • Backed by Rackspace: The project has backing from Rackspace and has Nasa as a partner. Rackspace has plans to launch an OpenStack Hadoop services based on the public cloud.
  • Validated by Hortonworks: The data software company Hortonworks validates OpenStack.

Choosing Your Big Data Hosting Provider

The value of data is growing. And as you would expect, the role of big data is growing along with it.

This innovative field has already helped large global companies achieve a competitive edge in the market. However, due to its heavy and complicated functionalities, a small business’ server is not able to support big data operations. Hence, to get the most out of big data, you need big data web hosting services.

Choosing the right web hosting provider is key in determining the efficiency of your big data operations. Use this guide to get an idea which ecosystem/server is right for your business. Then let us solve the big data dilemma once and for all.

Acronis and ZNetLive join forces to offer new security solution

Acronis and ZNetLive join forces to offer new security solution - Plesk

Our partners Acronis and ZNetLive have just teamed up to create a stronger, more accessible cybersecurity solution for users. ZNetLive is India’s largest cloud distributor, having 17 years experience under their belt and customers in 70+ countries. They have now partnered with Acronis, leading security provider with innovative backup and recovery solutions, file sync for enterprises – plus share solutions for both small and larger businesses. Check out the Acronis backup extension, available to Plesk users.

Reasons behind the Acronis ZNetLive Partnership

The main goal for this relationship is to optimize ZNetLive’s partner network and bring Acronis services to small businesses. There is a clear need for each customer to have complete security, powered by AI, with effective ransom blocking. ZNetLive has a leading service in India and with Acronis, they will make huge steps in providing useful tools to a bigger community.

Together, they will give their partners the key skills and solutions to enhance their customers’ protection. Munseh Jadoun, CEO at ZNet Technologies, has talked about feeling motivated to work with Acronis and their security solutions. Whereas, Neil Morarji, Acronis GM, believes this partnership will increase demand in the Indian market.

ZNetLive, Acronis and Plesk

Plesk Onyx is an add-on service which works with ZNetLive’s Cloud VPS and Dedicated Servers, Cloud hosting as well as WordPress hosting, Microsoft Azure and AWS cloud. Also, ZNetLive works with a dedicated Plesk Bundle to help enterprises streamline their IT administration. This combination allows you to stay on top of the most innovative web technologies.

Meanwhile, the Acronis backup extension is available in Plesk too and enables reliable cloud backup for Plesk web hosting servers. Hosters using Plesk can protect entire servers, including all the customer websites they contain. Thus reducing demands on the server and network.

Furthermore, all Plesk administrators can backup on-demand, choose how often to backup, where to store backup data and check recover activity. You can also change your service plans within Plesk, enable or disable self-service recovery, and create a premium backup and disaster recovery service for your customers.

Both ZNetLive and Acronis are top enterprises in the cloud server and security environment. And we at Plesk feel proud of this agreement and the key benefits it will bring customers.

Is this partnership beneficial to you? Tell us in the comments.

Become a Plesk Partner Too

Plesk Partners like ZNetLive get to enjoy a host of benefits from our Partner program. Including exclusive discounts and resources, exposure, support and consultations from our dedicated Partner Success Team, and much more. On the other hand, Acronis teamed up with us to bridge the gap of additional backup solutions for Plesk users. And so developed a Plesk extension to incorporate it into our platform. If you too feel like you can contribute and develop for Plesk, click below and talk to one of our experts.

Hidden Blockchain Opportunities (3): Decentralized Cloud Storage

Hidden Blockchain Opportunities - Decentralized Cloud Storage - Plesk

Decentralized Cloud Storage is one use case that’s growing very fast and aims to solve one of the biggest online challenges today. Cloud storage is controlled by a few super large providers (Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, Amazon, and so on). Raising questions about data protection, privacy, licensing, control and ownership of data. It’s yet another hidden blockchain opportunity for hosting and cloud providers.

Decentralized Cloud Storage in the Blockchain age

A few Blockchain companies have started working on proper alternatives, providing opportunities for cloud and hosting providers too! They all operate in a similar way:

(Read part 1 of the Blockchain series if this is not clear yet)

  • Instead of running storage through a company that controls it centrally, a decentralized Blockchain network stores the data.
  • The technology is open source and there’s no company controlling the data within this Blockchain network.
  • Compared to a centralized network, decentralized cloud storage ( decentralized networks ) represents not 100s or 1000s of computers/servers, but often millions. The price to store data is lower and the availability of such network is significantly higher than traditionally centralized networks.
  • The data is encrypted and each user controls their own encryption keys. Making the Blockchain concept a rock solid, unhackable and unbreakable solution.

Examples of such Blockchains are:

  • STORJ: (Funding: 35M USD) – Version S3 compatible V3 will be released soon
  • Sia: (Funding: 1.5M USD) – in production
  • Filecoin: (Funding: 257M USD) – no product yet, just a file system so far
  • IPFS: (Funding unknown) – in production and already used by developers worldwide.

Where’s the opportunity for cloud and hosting providers?

Because of the way these Blockchain networks operate, there are two use cases that hosting & cloud service providers can pursue.

  1. Consume storage:
    For example, use the storage of these networks to have an additional way of storing special or sensitive data, at a super cheap price.
  2. Contribute your spare/idle infrastructure:
    Add it into the Blockchain network to help keep it up and running. Get paid in tokens.

We’re still in the early stage of decentralized storage, but the expectations are high. This considering the investment sizes and advantages this approach provides, compared to centrally-controlled cloud storage. So I recommend you have a look now and make sure you’re ready for it as early as possible.

Decentralized Computing powered by Fog Computing (aka Blockchain)

Imagine running a decentralized approach for computing power across millions of computers on a Blockchain. It’s probably one of the most complex Blockchain areas being built.

Traditional cloud computing, especially the hyperscale cloud providers, consists of a few large companies – Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Alibaba. They have central control over thousands of machines, used by millions of users. Plus a couple of thousands of hosting providers, but they’re 100x smaller than the global hyperscale giants.

There are now organizations, funded with millions of USD, that are trying to change this. So that cloud computing can become “Fog Computing” – a globally scalable network of computing power based on a Blockchain. Millions of computers connected decentrally – without central control. Making computing power usage on a global scale not only more secure, but also much more inexpensive.

Where’s the opportunity for cloud & hosting providers?

Computing power:

  1. Even if those new approaches are decentralized, the computing power behind is still required. But it will be layered and connected across the world through a secure and scalable Blockchain layer. Such computing power (spare, idle infrastructure) can be easily contributed into those networks and get paid in tokens.
  2. In case you need in-expensive computing power in a secure and scalable way, those offerings will be much more cost effective than traditional offering.

Here are a few well-funded companies working hard to launch or have already launched their network. Some even go as far as to develop apps on these infrastructures using the new standard, Webassembly.

Next Blockchain steps for Hosting & Cloud Providers?

Despite its early stage in a super fast growing and developing space, there already are multiple initial Blockchain use cases. So it’s definitely the right time for the cloud and hosting provider industry to be part of it. We recommend checking all the use cases mentioned above and in part 2 of our Blockchain series and seeing if they work for you. Be active, grow your business.

Recommendations for further reading:

Cloud Hosting Platforms – Choose the right one for your business

Cloud Hosting Platforms - Choose the right one for your business

Cost is often the biggest factor in the minds of business leaders when it comes to picking a cloud hosting platform provider. But is it right to focus so heavily on price when value for your business needs is clearly the primary focus? For anyone looking to choose from the ‘big three’ cloud hosting platforms, it comes as no surprise that Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are the dominant horses in this race.

 

More about these Cloud Hyperscalers

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