Having a cloud-agnostic strategy means your company does not rely on a single cloud vendor but instead uses multiple vendors to ensure business continuity. This approach has both benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a look at both.
What Does Cloud Agnostic Mean?
Cloud agnostic implies that tools, platforms, or applications are interoperable with any cloud infrastructure and can be used with different cloud environments without causing operational issues.
“A business is cloud-agnostic when the company IT systems are not locked into a single cloud vendor or do not rely on one cloud vendor’s proprietary services. Typically, services are spread between multiple cloud vendors to preserve and ensure the uptime of critical applications.”
Benefits of a Cloud-Agnostic Approach
There are many benefits to the cloud-agnostic approach:
The cloud-agnostic approach enables operational flexibility. Decentralized cloud infrastructure enables companies to use cloud services from multiple cloud vendors, reducing the risk of lock-ins and dependency.
You are not dependent on a single cloud service provider, allowing you to make vendor decisions based on market conditions and business opportunities, not on the limitations imposed by your current cloud vendor.
As a result, you are no longer bound by past choices and commitments and can implement a forward-looking strategy for your cloud deployments. Because you can move from one cloud to another with minimal effort if price, performance, or offerings change, you can quickly and easily shift your workloads accordingly. This newly acquired flexibility prevents you from missing out on important features, improved pricing structures, or technical support options. Simply run the workloads with the vendor that is best qualified for it while transferring your other workloads to cloud vendors with expertise in those areas.
Better Risk Management & Resiliency
Not putting all your eggs in one basket is the oldest risk management strategy around. Cloud agnostic organizations have risk management in place, making them generally more robust when facing changes in the business IT landscape.
Spreading applications and workloads across several cloud platforms help to avoid the danger of downtime if one platform suffers an outage. By not depending on a single vendor, you may quickly and efficiently shift your workloads if one of your cloud vendors or locations experiences an outage. This resilience can be further improved by distributing workloads across different cloud infrastructures using a multicloud approach.
Granted, cloud-agnostic cloud deployments might not eliminate cloud dependencies entirely, but they do cut them down drastically and reduce the number of points of failure in your cloud architecture. This way, downtime risks are minimized, and your systems will be more resilient to cloud outages or price fluctuations.
Avoid Vendor Lock-in
Lock-in is a very real risk since it entails lengthy contracts with cloud vendors that are difficult to adjust or terminate once you’ve signed up. Moreover, moving your entire business to another vendor is a hurdle that very few will ever attempt, settling for suboptimal solutions even when better options are available elsewhere.
The cloud-agnostic approach reduces cloud lock-in by avoiding cloud vendor dependency in cloud deployments. This approach makes it much easier to move between cloud vendors, allowing you to make value-based decisions. You select cloud vendors based on their unique offerings rather than being forced into a relationship with one cloud vendor on terms that are often not optimal for your business.
Drawbacks of a Cloud-Agnostic Strategy
While the benefits of cloud-agnostic cloud deployments are clear, cloud-agnostic cloud deployments are not without their challenges.
Prohibitive Complexity and Cost
The first obvious drawback is the cost. Going cloud-agnostic may be costly, complex, and time-consuming. Cloud agnostic strategies can also be demanding in terms of the time and money required to manage multiple cloud environments.
Cloud-agnostic cloud architecture introduces a level of complexity that is difficult to handle by smaller organizations. Cloud-agnostic solutions require an investment in complicated networking topologies, making cloud deployments more complex from an infrastructure point of view. As a result, cloud-agnostic cloud deployments tend to be less manageable and more costly due to the immense architectural diversity across cloud environments.
With a cloud-agnostic approach, companies are restricted to using services that can be transferred across many cloud vendors. Suppose, your company decides to migrate to another cloud vendor. In that case, you must adopt the “lowest common denominator” mentality, which means the engineering team will not be able to take advantage of each vendor’s best-of-breed services.
If one of the cloud vendors releases a useful new feature, you may find yourself hesitant to utilize it because it can’t be replicated on other platforms.
Not being able to use the proprietary cutting-edge services of cloud vendors might slow down your team and give your competitors an edge. If your competitors are not limited by the constraints of a cloud-agnostic approach, they can profit from the functionality and provide superior value to end customers.
At the end of the day, each business should discover the appropriate “mix” of cloud-agnostic and vendor-specific services, but it’s critical not to tie essential operations to a single vendor.
Data Transfer Costs & Significant Efforts Upfront
When you go cloud-agnostic, you’ll save money, time, and stress in the long run. However, it does require a significant front-loaded effort. Building a cloud-agnostic strategy from the bottom up, either for certain workloads or across an enterprise, might raise initial development costs and complexity.
Another potential problem with the cloud-agnostic approach is dealing with data transfer expenses, which are notoriously difficult to anticipate and comprehend. Many businesses may find it prohibitively costly to include numerous cloud vendors into their infrastructure.
How to Become Cloud Agnostic without the Drawbacks
Is it possible to reap the benefits of being cloud-agnostic without having to worry about costly data transfers, complicated setup, or vendor lock-out?
The Statehub managed Kubernetes Data Fabric turns your data into an always-available resource across any infrastructure, allowing you to enjoy operational flexibility & resiliency, and avoid vendor lock-in. Using Statehub, you can quickly and easily replicate data across any AZ, region, or cloud vendor quickly and easily. As for costs, read how a leading e-sign company and an IoT solutions startup were able to significantly reduce cross-region and multicloud DR and setup costs by using Statehub.