Sep 07, 2022

Implementing a Multi-Cloud Strategy - Doing it the Right Way


As enterprises move more computing resources to the cloud, cloud cost management and governance have become critical to successful cloud IT operations. Industry experts say that a properly managed cloud spend can reduce expenses on cloud providers like Amazon Web services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Cloud governance provides guidelines to mitigate the risks and efficiently monitor cloud services in verticals like compliance, cost, security, and operations. Implementing governance policies across a multi-cloud environment will increase agility in managing security and operations in the organization.

According to Gartner, by 2025, 85% of organizations will embrace a cloud-first strategy, and 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms. Organizations that lack cost optimization processes will average 30% to 40% overspend in the public cloud.

Many CFOs are caught between the proverbial a rock and a hard place. The operational expense of the cloud is starting to exceed the capital expense of on-premises infrastructure. In many cases, the original cost-saving justification for moving to the cloud is no longer valid, as cloud costs far outweigh traditional on-premises costs. A “Flexera State of The Cloud Report” by Data Center Knowledge finds that 43% of organizations do not have automated or manual policies to use the lowest-cost cloud service. Another 38% have not developed guidelines to use their cloud providers’ lowest-cost regions. About 29% do not have automated or manual policies to shut down workloads after ours, 27% do not eliminate inactive storage, and 20% do not have policies to right-size their instances.

Organizations can use a multi-cloud environment to eliminate a single point of failure for business applications. In addition, it will reduce downtime if core business workloads are distributed across multi-cloud vendors. Single cloud vendor lock-in is one of the biggest problems for organizations, it is hard for organizations to switch to another cloud vendor, and migration becomes very time-consuming and expensive.

This whitepaper addresses overspending by guiding financial governance controls, such as usage quotas, budget alerts, and organizational policies, which can help keep cloud costs and usage in check. In addition, this whitepaper shares experience of “How Microland is effectively utilizing all the major Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) – AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud”, and putting the suitable cost control mechanism and cloud governance policies.  

Organizations Embracing Multi - Cloud

Multi-cloud is a popular approach for deploying enterprise applications and computing resources but managing cloud costs has become an enormous challenge. While the public cloud continues to grow, many factors can contribute to increasing a cloud bill and need to be considered. An intelligent cloud cost management strategy certainly helps to avoid any billing surprises. Additionally, enterprises progressing through cloud adoption need a cost optimization strategy to control their spending.

As per a Flexera report, 93% of organizations have a multi-cloud strategy, and 78% of organizations are using Private and Public clouds.

The benefits of multi-cloud infrastructure—scalability, control, security, etc.—are easily observed, but there are challenges too, which includes:

  • Analyzing and comparing the economics (price and performance characteristics) of various CSPs (Cloud Service Providers)
  • Automating the provisioning of network, security, compute, storage, and application stacks
  • Intelligently deploying workloads and services determined by economic analysis as well as any compliance policies required of on-premises infrastructure, managed services, and private and public clouds
  • Intelligently redeploying workloads to different public cloud environments
  • Integrating, building, and deploying container and microservices coding platforms to coordinate cloud services for automated iterations of application and workload deployments
  • Managing security, identity authentication, and access control for administrators, tenants, users, and group accounts
  • Providing financial forecast, reporting, and chargeback / view back by cloud, tenant, user, application, compute, and other consumption-based services
  • Orchestrating events, managing runtime execution and performance of all applications, and enacting policies to automate scaling, bursting, high availability, and disaster recovery
  • Maintaining a service module library that includes operating system images, databases, middleware, message buses, load balancers, and servers
  • Controlling and dynamically allocating network resources in response to specific data and workloads' transmission, latency, and security requirements

Why Cloud Cost Management and Governance are Critical

Today’s IT infrastructure requires limited capital investments, and IT staff should focus on innovative work instead of managing infrastructure. Operation and specialist teams may not always necessarily get infrastructure to a functioning state, and business units can more easily deploy their own technology needs. However, without the proper infrastructure and processes in place, costs and governance are not always easy to manage.

There is also a significant difference in how cloud services and data center infrastructure are paid. If you create a virtual machine on a physical server in a data center, there is no inherent way to measure the cost of that action. If you create a virtual machine in the cloud, costs immediately begin to accrue. Cloud costs are tightly associated with usage, often down to the second.

As per Gartner, 60% of workloads migration from On-Prem / Private / Co-Lo Data center to Public cloud is a “lift and shift” approach which leads to overprovisioned and under-optimized deployments.

Cloud Governance disciplines are essential and guide decisions about the proper level of automation and enforcement of corporate policy across cloud platforms.

Cloud governance ensures that everything from configuration item deployment to systems interactions and data security is appropriately considered, examined, and managed.

Governance best practices like operational, security, compliance, and cost policies help organizations achieve business outcomes like rightsizing the cloud environment, saving time, increasing utilization, and reducing cost.

Governance Practices

  1. Operational: Save valuable time and investment by automating everyday IT operations. Running an automated and efficient cloud infrastructure releases expensive resources on high ROI projects like scaling, growth, and delivering value faster.
  2. Compliance: Enterprises with a strong compliance strategy and the ability to quickly automate provide minimal business interruption.
  3. Security: With security policies, enterprises gain visibility and control across all public and/or private cloud environments. Improve security across your applications, data, and associated infrastructure by finding security vulnerabilities.
  4. Cost: Increasing cost visibility and management in your multi-cloud environment will allow taking appropriate actions to run an efficient infrastructure.

How Microland is Managing Multi - Cloud Environments

Microland’s Cloud Operations team integrates Cloud-native tools and industry-leading Cloud Management Platform (CMP) – Flexera. As per Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CMP – 2022, Flexera CMP is in the Leaders Quadrant. The Cloud Operations team also integrates automation scripts and best practices of DevOps, which provides the following benefits:

  • Getting visibility into costs across the multi-cloud environment
  • Analyzing costs by factors like a cloud provider, account, regions, data centers, applications, users, tags, and time periods
  • Getting scheduled reports on cloud spending delivered to your email inbox
  • Specifying discounts on cloud prices (e.g., Superseded instances)
  • Creating and exporting reports for chargeback and showing them back for utilization
  • Forecasting and budgeting for cloud costs by application, business unit, user, cloud, or other factors
  • Setting alerts when the budget exceeds or is projected to be exceeding the set limit
  • Purchasing and renewing reserved instances across the multi-cloud environment
  • Automating governance controls: Creating custom policies to enable and automate governance policies
  • Eliminating waste with cost policies that alert on cost anomalies and take automated actions on idle and underused resources
  • Avoiding security flaws with policies that identify and alert on misconfigured networking options, unsecured data storage, and non-compliant resources
  • Enforcing compliance with policies that unveil missing tags and ensuring that appropriate regulations are being met
  • Ensuring operational resilience with policies that check for required configurations, such as backups or failover systems

Microland leverages all the major Cloud Service Providers (CSPs’) like AWS, Azure, and GCP, for its in-house and customer-facing applications. Microland hosts its homegrown ITSM platform-Intelligeni center and IT analytics platform – Intelligeni insights on Microsoft Azure and utilizes Google Kubernetes Engine to host the AI-Ops platform – Intelligeni. We also leverage various PaaS services from the CSPs, such as AWS RDS, Azure Web-Apps, etc., and enable access to these applications and platforms by our customers and employees.

By leveraging multiple CSPs, Microland reduced the time to market the product launch and provide services to its customers.



Controlling public cloud costs and governance is not a puzzle. There are many tools and documented best practices available that enable an enterprise to control and manage expenses tightly. With some research, patience, and planning, an enterprise can implement a cost-effective cloud strategy, enabling the CFOs to quickly leave the rock and the hard place behind when they look at their monthly cloud spend.

Robust monitoring and alerting will allow cloud administrators to monitor cloud usage more effectively and react quickly, ensuring specific infrastructure does not hit cost thresholds and resulting in the following benefits.

  • Automated discovery of all cloud resources, including resources provisioned through the native cloud consoles
  • Cloud resources (public and private) in a single view with actionable information enable you to reduce costs, improve infrastructure governance and efficiency, and close security gaps
  • Integrate with ITSM solutions to enable powerful cloud orchestration to existing service request catalogs
  • Define and create standardized architectures that meet corporate versions, patches, and configuration guidelines.                                                                                                                          
  • Plan for cloud spending with three-year forecasts and alerts with notifications.
  • Gain insight into cloud spending with easy drill-down capability on any metric.
  • Collaborate to save money with native built-in recommendations.

About the Author

Raghavendra Seshumurthy Yerur, Sr. Manager- Cloud & Data Center, Raghavendra is a Security and Cloud expert with over 14 years of experience. Raghavendra was critical in implementing security and cost governance for Microland’s Multi-Cloud environment.

Himanshu Soni, Director – Cloud & Data Center, Himanshu is an IT Infrastructure and Cloud specialist with over 18 years of experience in IT Managed Services domain. He leads the Cloud Architect and Operations team supporting global customers.