A survey of 415 IT executives published today shows IT teams are struggling to keep up as the number of platforms that need to be managed continues to expand rapidly.
Conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of Volterra, a provider of a distributed computing platform, the survey finds 97% are planning to distribute workloads across two or more clouds. The top three reasons cited for adopting multiple clouds were the need to maximize availability and reliability (63%), meeting regulatory and compliance requirements (47%), and leveraging best-of-breed services from each provider (42%).
At the same time, the survey finds 70% of survey respondents said it’s “very important” to have a consistent operational experience between the edge and public and private clouds.
The survey, however, also makes it clear IT leaders understand that achieving the goal will be a significant challenge. The top issues identified when employing multiple clouds are establishing secure and reliable connectivity between providers (60%), employing different support and consulting processes (54%) and navigating different platform services (53%).
The rise of edge computing is going to further exacerbate those challenges. The survey finds the difficulty in managing apps across multiple edge locations (44%) and an inability to accommodate the IT infrastructure needed to host and operate at the edge (38%) as the two major edge computing issues identified by survey respondents. In terms of specific technical challenges identified, integrating cloud-native workflows such as automation, continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) and performance management (69%) and trouble installing a full set of application infrastructure spanning compute, storage and network and security (67%) top the list of issues.
As far as lifecycle management at the edge is concerned, the two biggest long-term issues identified are the lack of resources or time to keep applications and infrastructure up to date (37%) and managing silos of distributed clusters (26%).
Mark Weiner, chief marketing officer for Volterra, said the survey makes it clear there soon will come a day when IT organizations will need to centralize the management of an increasingly extended enterprise. IT organizations may have adopted public clouds aggressively, yet 70% to 80% of all workloads still run in an on-premises IT environment. At the same time, the number of workloads that will be distributed to edge computing platforms is set to explode. The survey identifies the primary reasons more workloads will be deployed on the edge as the need to control and analyze data locally (54%) and the amount of latency experienced when sending edge data to public cloud-based apps (47%).
Ultimately, the goal is to have a hybrid cloud computing environment through which the management of IT is as centralized as possible. While the cost of deploying workloads in a public cloud is comparatively inexpensive, it turns out the total cost of IT continues to increase as IT teams find themselves managing more distributed platforms than ever. It may be a while before IT teams have the tools and processes in place to rein in those costs. However, at this point, it’s more a question of how and when that goal will be accomplished, not if.