5 foundations of an open multicloud architecture

How to enable digital transformation for enterprise workloads

By and Gautam Bhat | 2 minute read | August 26, 2020

As the pandemic continues to accelerate the adoption of digitized services, cloud providers are developing and publishing more digital cloud services. According to IDC, “Digital transformation drives disruption in how businesses create and deliver value to customers, driven largely by changes in buyer and user behavior.”1 At the core of the latest wave of digital transformation are the operating principles of open-source software and governance — and the cultural changes that come along with them. One of these changes is the responsibility to use IT to help achieve competitive advantages for your organization. To emerge stronger after COVID-19, an increasing number of enterprises are implementing an open multicloud architecture.

The concept of “open” is often used to convey that a solution helps prevent vendor lock-in or to orient a discussion in terms of open-source strategies. Both definitions have significant benefits, but this approach can also create security vulnerabilities and other risks.

Fortunately, the right strategy helps mitigate these challenges. In this article, we’ll explore five foundations of seamless multicloud architecture development and deployment.

1. Enterprise-grade open-source software

Enterprise-grade solutions deliver performance tuning, vulnerability scans and optimization across your workloads and applications. When you apply this approach to your open-source software, you combine the advantages of open source with the stability, performance and support offered by enterprise software across your organization.

2. Community model

A community model such as a data lake, allows you to provide others access to your multi-tenant platform and its use cases in the spirit of collaboration and sharing. Without having to worry about setup, this approach allows other community members to implement the same platform for additional uses on private clouds, public clouds or a combination of both.

3. Open governance

If you define the quality and security aspects of the community software alone, it’s not an enterprise open-source solution. With an open-source approach, your organization can develop a governance model that works seamlessly across enterprise security policies and the wider community — all with a valuable 360-degree feedback loop.

4. Lifecycle management

Open-source software and solutions offer increased agility and extensive feature enhancements, but they often lack a robust lifecycle management process. This process is essential for back-porting security fixes, which eliminates the need to refactor applications or perform major upgrades on mission-critical environments. With open enterprise applications, you can experience a predictable lifecycle that includes information related to the support matrix, backward compatibility and more.

5. Service-level agreements and support

Clearly defined service-level agreements (SLAs) provide the support and guidance needed to identify and resolve issues and outages. A well crafted agreement outlines the responsibilities and roles of different parties to ensure successfully deployed open-source solutions. In addition to providing documentation, a knowledge base and forums, some SLAs even include an account manager who helps troubleshoot and proactively identify problems.

The open-source advantage

A multicloud open architecture is key to developing a successful enterprise-wide IT landscape. As you adopt a hybrid multicloud model, it’s imperative to consider how open-source solutions can help host, deploy and manage your workloads across vendors and cloud providers.

Want to learn more about tools that support open, faster and security-rich multicloud architectures? Read these articles about IBM Cloud Pak® solutions, Red Hat® OpenShift® and Kubernetes.

1IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Cloud 2020 Predictions, IDC, DOC #US44640719, October 2019.