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For years, factors such as cloud security and compliance have posed a challenge to IT teams. But with increased adoption of hybrid and multi-cloud environments, a new wave of complexity is set to hit the enterprise in 2019.
Let's look at three prominent cloud computing challenges that admins should prepare for in the new year.
Data integration efforts often get pushed aside. But, in reality, many enterprises still don't understand how to efficiently move data from massive, on-premises databases, such as Oracle, into the cloud -- or how on-premises databases will share information with cloud-native databases, such as Amazon Redshift.
To address these cloud computing challenges, enterprises will increasingly adopt data integration software from vendors such as MuleSoft and Boomi. IT teams will need to carefully map out which data sets they need to sync across the cloud and on-premises environments and how often that process should occur. Do not underestimate the required efforts and cost of data integration initiatives.
Cost governance and management
Cost reduction is a common reason enterprises migrate to cloud. However, after they actually move workloads from on premises to the cloud, they might notice a cloud bill that's significantly higher than their original estimations. Most often, this is because cloud users overlook factors such as networking, data transfer and storage costs.
For those who use serverless platforms, application overruns can also quickly increase a cloud bill. Additionally, multi-cloud deployments, where enterprises use a mix of public cloud platforms, can make it more complex for teams to track and optimize costs.
In light of these cloud computing challenges, many enterprises will turn to cost management and governance tools, such as Cloud Cruiser or VMware's CloudHealth, to monitor usage, track spending and allocate costs. Some tools also provide recommendations on how to reduce costs, such as resizing instances or tapping into a provider discount through options such as AWS Reserved Instances and Google Committed Use Discounts.
AWS, Azure and Google also offer their own native cost management tools, as well as pricing calculators to better estimate future spending.
As enterprises continue to adopt cloud -- and, specifically, hybrid and multi-cloud models -- that doesn't mean traditional, on-premises systems will go away anytime soon. Because of this, the management of data, applications and IT processes will become much more complex. In some cases, this might even hamper IT staffs' ability to effectively do their jobs.
Complexity has always been a part of IT, but the industry is approaching a tipping point. Heterogeneous architectures that span multiple cloud and on-premises platforms pose management challenges that, in some cases, result in errors that lead to outages, breaches and a loss of control over service delivery to end users and the business.
Enterprises need to develop processes and invest in technology that can bring some stability back to IT and place that complexity and volatility into a configurable domain. Tools and resources that can help include the following:
- Cloud management platforms. These types of tools can centralize cloud resource management and monitoring, particularly for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments.
- Cloud service brokers. A cloud broker serves as an intermediary between a customer and cloud service provider to help ensure the customer's goals are met.