A Multi-Cloud Strategy, Design Frameworks, and Day 2 Operational Thoughts

Recently, I transitioned to a new role. I am now very happy to be working as a Principal Architect with a focus on Multi-Cloud Architecture.

From an architect’s perspective, my interest is always the customer/partner business value, how to identify and develop their requirements into a technical logical design, and then understand the decisions that need to be considered for successful deployment and consumption at scale.

How should an enterprise architect approach the Multi-Cloud World

  • Develop a strategy
  • Develop a service design
  • Understand the Business Logic  (Plan*)
  • Deploy & Configure (Build*)
  • Operationalise & improve (Modernise* & Operate*)

* Major Pillars of the VMware Cloud Ready Framework

The amount of information available within technology is potentially overwhelming for any technologist. 

How should an enterprise architect even get started? 

There are standard design methodologies, alongside vendor-based recommendations for strategies. Technical documentation, videos, books, webinars, and free tiers/credits everywhere?  Which one is best?

Absorb what is useful. Reject what is useless. Add what is essentially your own.

Bruce Lee

From a technologist’s point of view, understanding the technology and the features/capabilities is extremely interesting and valuable.  It could, however, be very easy to go down a rabbit hole and be lost forever in reading about interesting cloud features that are not relevant to your business.

Understanding the business use case and requirements is key to success.  By developing the criteria and ensuring it is able to be practically measured, the initial desired logical state model can be created.

Once the initial logical design has been established,  the business to technical decisions are easier to understand and discuss.

With a business requirement-based logical design, the vendor documentation and content review for whatever technology or cloud provider/service becomes easier.   

The requirement, to feature, to design decision mapping can be more tightly focused and a service design can be developed with areas such as cost optimization, sizing, capacity, connectivity, security, and sustainability considered at the vendor technology level.

What are the risks and the gaps with the business and service design for operation, and successful consumption?

This is an important area, in which I am particularly interested for my advisory activities as an architect. 

Creating the transition states and ensuring a business impact analysis is constructed while navigating a journey to something like a multi-cloud solution can be extremely valuable.

This activity can provide real business insight with areas of operational understanding, and practical ability to migrate or transform applications/workloads.

Design frameworks are extremely useful, but how to apply them while understanding the business impact is an important skill that I am always looking to improve.

Useful Links

VMware Cloud Ready Framework  – https://vmc.techzone.vmware.com/vmware-cloud-ready-framework

AWS Well-Architected Frameworkhttps://aws.amazon.com/architecture/well-architected

Google Cloud Architecture Frameworkhttps://cloud.google.com/architecture/framework

Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework –  https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/architecture/framework/