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How to avoid cloud vendor lock-in with multi-cloud strategy

How to avoid cloud vendor lock-in with multi-cloud strategy

Fear of cloud vendor lock-in with a cloud operating environment or cloud service providers has still influenced CIO decisions. 


General areas of concern for cloud vendor lock-in are,

  1. Data
  2. Application
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Cost
These concerns are legitimate considering the possibility of shift in technology demanding a change. This challenge will be always there but we can minimise these challenges by designing enterprise-wide cloud strategy. To solve or minimise cloud vendor lock-in problem, it is an important to clearly define enterprise-wide cloud strategy.

Enterprises need to define cloud strategy that clearly states,

  1. Exit strategy right from day one
  2. Centre strategy around data,
  3. Decide which vendor specific services to use and not to use (Hybrid and Multi-cloud approach)
  4. Select cloud vendor for different workloads (Hybrid and Multi-cloud approach) 
  5. Business goal to acheive
"Hybrid cloud are not multi-cloud."

All major cloud service providers such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), Azure (Microsoft), GCP ( Google Cloud Platform) offer a range of different services. Some business services or workloads do not perform well on one cloud platform and still incur higher cost. The Same workload can still perform well on another cloud platform and that too at a cheaper cost. It is also important how easily we can migrate data among different cloud platforms and availability of such mechanisms to do so. Also, it important to factor-in the cost of migrating data. What we just mentioned is referred as Multi-cloud strategy and should be a part of overall cloud strategy of the enterprise. The multi-cloud strategy also forces the enterprise to design a solutions independent of cloud infrastructure or cloud vendor. This approach helps reduce vendor lock-in considerably.

Sometimes it is also important to embrace cloud platform-specific services such as content delivery networks. The point is not all providers have CDN in a specific geography where targeted consumers are. Adopting to vendor-specific CDN that minimizes latency in accessing data is definitely a value-add.

Vendor lock-in can further be minimised by designing solutions that use containers rather than VMs. Containers such as Docker containers have the inherent property of being portable across operating systems.In addition, initiatives such as cloud standardization try to resolve interoperability issues and may further help in avoiding cloud vendor lock-in.


Have you implemented any other strategy to eliminate cloud vendor lock-in? Tell us in comments below.

By Mandar

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