How to keep costs from multiplying when you’re adding multiple clouds

For some enterprises, it's difficult enough to manage and optimize the costs of a single cloud platform. And in a multi-cloud environment, those challenges only increase.

Jeff Rowe | Feb 19, 2018 10:48 am

Cost is a concern with any new technology, but as healthcare organizations increasingly adopt multi-cloud strategies the risk of rapidly mushrooming expenses makes it critical for IT managers to stay on top of money matters as they determine the best way forward.

In a recent piece at TechTarget, editor Kathleen Casey lays out four things for health IT managers  to bear in mind as they continue toward multi-cloud deployments.

First, she says, identify and reduce app integration costs. “Cloud applications have many moving pieces, and in a multi-cloud model, it's possible that some app components will reside on different providers' platforms, as well as on premises.”

To get a handle on this from the start, she recommends creating policies to determine the best platform on which to host an application component, as well as implementing automation tools to help cut down on costly deployment mistakes.

Second, it’s important with multi-cloud scenarios to ensure uptime across platforms. “Depending on the size of your organization,” she notes, “the hard and soft costs associated with downtime can cost millions of dollars.”

Next, avoid steep networking fees. Given that most cloud providers charge when traffic moves in and out of their platform, it’s important to review exactly how they charge for traffic, then evaluate internal workflows. “Map them out to determine how you can incur the least amount of traffic charges. To take it one step further, assign providers their own address ranges in your VPN.  . . . This lets you identify and control where workflows and data might cross between multiple provider boundaries and where you might incur multiple traffic fees.”

Finally, be prepared to change your vendor and cost management strategies “First, make sure you know your requirements for all the services you want in a multi-cloud architecture and how much those services cost before you start any negotiations.  . . . Once you've made your choices, create policies that ensure your users access the right cloud service for the right purpose.”