It seems almost silly to suggest that the public cloud must be multicloud-ready. But this statement introduces that there is still a distinction between cloud and multicloud requirements. As companies prepare their migration to cloud, they will need to simultaneously understand how their cloud architectures must explicitly consider a multicloud future.
But is there really a difference between cloud and multicloud?
Multicloud will blur the lines between typical places-in-network (PINs) in a way that no other technology has done before. Indeed, for the promise of portable workloads, end-to-end security and automation to be true, the boundaries that typically create walled gardens between PINs need to come down, or at the very least, become permeable to tools and process.
When the discussion of cloud or multicloud comes up in our industry, the conversation almost invariably defaults to data centers. Whether it’s the move to data center fabrics or the role of disaggregation or the market-wide interest in automation and DevOps, all roads seem to point to the place-in-network (PIN) at the center of both public and private cloud.
In the enterprise, there isn’t a hotter battlefield for new technology than the data center. It sits at the center of cloud, so it is a natural point of emphasis in virtually every enterprise networking strategy. It garners a big portion of total enterprise networking spend, so it is an area of importance to virtually every networking vendor. And it is ultimately the place-in-network (PIN) on top of which most applications run, so it is a target for many technological innovations.
So how can it be that so many people get the data center discussion wrong?
The IT pendulum swings back and forth fairly reliably between centralized and distributed. Just when you think that everything will be distributed, we find economic reasons to centralize. And before we have moved everything to the middle, we find that there are optimizations to be made by distributing.
It’s fairly well established at this point that enterprise networking is going to go through a transformation of sorts in most companies. Whether that transformation is best described as an architectural step-function change, or a couple of nuanced tweaks is an interesting question. And the answer is probably not going to be wholly dependent on the intentions of the networking team.