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Discover the best multi-cloud management tools today to help you simplify complexity, improve cross-operability, and optimize costs.
Over the last few years, more organizations have switched from relying solely on one cloud service provider (CSP) to several. Among the primary reasons for the change are minimizing dependence on a single CSP, preventing vendor lock-in, and providing greater flexibility.
Recent trends include using a mix of cloud providers to take advantage of the cost savings several CSPs offer, and using best-of-breed services for different applications, teams, or departments.
Yet managing multi-cloud deployments has been the biggest challenge. The following guide shares ten of the best multi-cloud management tools you can use right now.
Table of Contents
Not so fast, though. Let's start at the beginning.
Multi-cloud computing refers to using two or more public cloud services from at least two public clouds for different purposes within an organization.
As an example, you might use one public cloud for authentication, another for Exchange servers, and another as a database.
Most multi-cloud infrastructure users are enterprises because they have multiple use cases that can leverage multiple public cloud providers.
One more thing. A multi-cloud approach differs from a hybrid cloud strategy –- although the two terms often appear interchangeably.
A multi-cloud strategy involves using multiple public clouds. In contrast, a hybrid cloud strategy involves using multiple public clouds along with your company's own data center (on-premises or private).
The on-premises infrastructure may be an in-house data center or any other type of IT infrastructure that operates within its corporate network.
A hybrid cloud infrastructure ensures some applications, workloads, or processes remain on-premises or in a private cloud with controlled access. A multi-cloud strategy is best for organizations looking to maximize the benefits of public clouds (more about that in a moment).
Here are some interesting insights about multi-cloud adoption:
IBM's survey suggests that more organizations are migrating workloads from private clouds to public clouds. Another group is moving from on-prem to SaaS solutions:
State of the Cloud Report - Flexera
That makes sense. When compared to building your own cloud infrastructure, SaaS allows you to deploy, run, and move data faster (and hopefully, cost-effectively). That’s not all.
Multi-cloud infrastructure can be beneficial for several reasons, including to:
Now picture this:
This image from the IBM survey, shows how opinion has shifted about the primary driver of multi-cloud deployments. For example, more respondents believe multi-cloud infrastructure is ideal for ensuring high availability, but not so much for leveraging different application services.
That’s because implementing a multi-cloud strategy can be challenging.
Multi-cloud deployments are generally more complex than other strategies. The following challenges make implementing a multi-cloud strategy challenging:
So, how does multi-cloud management work and what can you expect from it?
Multi-cloud management is the process of monitoring, securing, and optimizing workloads and applications across multiple public clouds. A multi-cloud management tool provides a unified platform for monitoring, securing, and optimizing cross-cloud deployments.
Many cloud management tools are great for managing a single cloud, but there are several cross-cloud management platforms you can use today.
You can use these platforms to improve cross-cloud visibility and reduce the number of tools you need to monitor and optimize your multi-cloud deployment.
Here they are with a quick overview of what they do, ranging from multi-cloud cost monitoring to infrastructure and application performance management.
CloudZero AnyCost ingests, normalizes, and presents cost intelligence from cloud providers like AWS, Azure, GCP, and Kubernetes, plus software platforms like Snowflake, New Relic, MongoDB, and Databricks.
No cost allocation tags are required. CloudZero will correlate costs together and help you get a complete picture of the cost to build and run your products — from tagged, untagged, untaggable, and multi-tenant resources.
What makes CloudZero extra special is that you can view your multi-cloud costs down to an individual customer, product, software feature, team, environment, and more.
By speaking the same cost language, your finance, engineering, and FinOps teams can pinpoint precisely where to cut costs or invest more to maximize returns.
For example, by analyzing the costs of supporting a particular customer, you can decide how to price your services at renewal to protect your margins.
Or, you can discover cost centers you could do without. Drift used CloudZero to do just that and reduced their annual AWS spend by $2.4 million. You can, too.
LaceWork manages threats and secures your accounts across Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud (GCP) — all in one exceptional platform.
You can also use it to secure your Kubernetes and hybrid cloud (private, on-prem, and public cloud combo) environments. Whether you choose an agentless or agent-based deployment, Lacework continuously collects, monitors, and enables you to act on application, user, process, and network behavior, vulnerabilities, and configurations.
Terraform helps you leverage the same workflow to coordinate multiple providers and manage cross-cloud dependencies efficiently. You can use a single workflow for governing, provisioning, securing, and auditing any infrastructure.
This doesn’t just simplify orchestration and compliance management for your multi-cloud infrastructures at scale. It also reduces risks, minimizes management effort and costs, and improves productivity.
By composing features from more than 200 different providers, Terraform enables you to use best-of-breed features using logical topology.
If you are looking to build a custom multi-cloud management tool, Ansible can help. You can use Ansible to ensure your cross-cloud infrastructure components work together in tandem to satisfy your use case requirements, whether you use only servers, or servers, virtual private networks, specific OS configurations, load balancers, and subnets in your application environment. Ansible aims to eliminate the guesswork involved in multi-cloud and hybrid cloud deployments. You can also automate your environments with policies rather than training entire teams on how to work with each cloud vendor in your setup.
Cloudify acts as middleware for users to deploy applications or services in cloud computing environments. With its open-source cloud orchestration tool, you can run applications across multiple clouds and data centers — with a single click — for premium multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, and infrastructure management.
Cloudify helps you design and streamline your app’s entire lifecycle. This includes deploying to different cloud environments or data centers, managing the deployed application, detecting failures, and performing continuous application maintenance.
Cloudify is ideal for users wanting to launch pre-built applications in multiple clouds without dabbling in much technical detail.
Morpheus helps you take advantage of cloud-native services in AWS, Microsoft Azure, and GCP. Morpheus also simplifies the provisioning of VMs, bare metal, and containers (IaaS/CaaS), and also full application stacks (PaaS) using virtually any public cloud.
That includes Kubernetes, VMware, HPE OneView, OpenStack, and Cisco UCS. That, without needing your IT teams to learn each public cloud in your toolset.
The platform enables you to expose cloud-native PaaS, IaaS, Kubernetes, and infrastructure-as-code (IaC) blueprints using a unified API and console. You can then use a single public cloud account that everyone can access. Morpheus then manages governance and reporting.
IBM’s MCMP supports both multi-cloud and hybrid cloud deployments. The IBM Multicloud Manager supports app-centric management (health, policy, deployments, and operations). Besides providing visibility across clouds and clusters, it also delivers policy-based compliance management.
MCMP also includes management for your Kubernetes clusters (containers and microservices).
The Dynatrace solution enables you to pull, correlate, and monitor data from different public, private, or hybrid clouds. It covers most public clouds, including AWS, Azure, and GCP, as well as popular platforms, such as RedHat (OpenStack and OpenShift), VMware Tanzu, SAP Business Technology Platform, and the IBM Cloud Foundry.
The service automatically detects, collects, and analyzes metadata, revealing the interrelationships among all your system components and the dependencies between apps and services.
Nutanix’s Cloud Platform combines hybrid cloud infrastructure with multi-cloud management, as well as unified storage, desktop, database, and desktop services. The goal is to be able to support any application and workload wherever you deploy it — private, public, hybrid cloud, or multi-cloud deployments.
Expect a unified and self-service cloud control plane that delivers AI-powered app automation and cost and security governance.
CloudBolt works as a multi-cloud management abstraction layer. it enables you to use different solutions together within one catalog. To deliver this, CloudBolt comes with a pluggable architecture, enabling you to support new technologies as you require them. You can integrate more than 20 resource handlers, including Hyper-V, vCenter, AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, and SCVMM in the catalog, which eases provisioning and orchestration.
CloudZero’s cloud cost intelligence platform empowers you to transform telemetry into granular and actionable cost insights. You can then answer any cost question, drill down, zoom out, and get the most granular, context-rich intelligence out there — all without endless tagging.
You can get a full picture of your cost of goods sold (COGS), unit economics, and even the cost of supporting a specific customer — all within a single platform. CloudZero AnyCost has you covered across Azure, AWS, and GCP public clouds — and even platforms like K8s, Snowflake, and Databricks. to see CloudZero in action.
Cody Slingerland, a FinOps certified practitioner, is an avid content creator with over 10 years of experience creating content for SaaS and technology companies. Cody collaborates with internal team members and subject matter experts to create expert-written content on the CloudZero blog.
CloudZero is the only solution that enables you to allocate 100% of your spend in hours — so you can align everyone around cost dimensions that matter to your business.