How GitOps Eases Multicloud Migration

By Twain Taylor
September 27, 2022

Multicloud migration is the migration of an organization's databases, processes and applications from one cloud to another. GitOps can simplify multicloud migration.

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Multicloud migration is the migration of an organization's databases, processes and applications from one cloud to another. GitOps can simplify multicloud migration.

What is Multicloud Migration?

A multicloud migration is the migration of an organization's databases, processes and applications over from one cloud to another cloud. Cloud computing has become common in the workplace for most organizations. Now more than ever, with the transition of companies' workforce into remote-based work, the need for a multicloud migration strategy is indispensable.

Multicloud is one of the most talked-about ideas in today’s tech landscape. Organizations of various sizes are either dabbling with the idea of multicloud or already running their production workloads on multicloud infrastructure. The popularity of multicloud is largely due to an apprehension towards vendor lock-in, and the need for resilience. Relying on a single public cloud vendor is now a liability for any organization. The public cloud market is booming as the three major players persistently try to one-up each other, often using locked-in services.

How GitOps Eases Multicloud Migration

With the landscape constantly changing, it has become harder for organizations to pick a single public cloud vendor and ensure they wouldn’t want to switch down the line. GitOps has emerged as a solution to this dilemma as it allows organizations to choose any cloud provider that meets their business needs without compromising on workload performance. 

GitOps also brings consistency to multicloud migration and operations by grounding every process in Git. Despite the differences among cloud platforms, GitOps is meant to provide flexibility across the multicloud and can bring much-needed predictability to multicloud development environments.

The Multicloud Dilemma

A public-cloud offering comes with a plethora of services that can be used for various use cases. However, what if teams invest heavily in one cloud vendor, and the ones they didn’t choose release similar services but at a better cost and less overhead? Organizations might also want to mix and match services from various vendors. With the advent of multicloud, organizations can get the best cloud services from multiple vendors without committing to just one. However, building a seamless multicloud fabric can be very complicated.

The easiest way to run a multicloud environment is to use Kubernetes. It provides a common abstraction layer across all cloud vendors. Kubernetes abstracts the underlying infrastructure from developers and platform operators. With Kubernetes, organizations can run several clusters across various cloud platforms and have the ability to control their massive workloads using a single pane of glass.

However, with Kubernetes comes the challenge of complexity. This complexity traps teams in a web of thousands of configurations, access controls, and service mesh networking. Factor in all the different environments your workloads are hosted in, and you have a big problem on your hands.

Migrating Multicloud Workloads

Multicloud migration of  workloads is never as easy as it seems on paper. Relocating an application or workload across cloud platforms is a complex task requiring teams to ensure compatibility with the new cloud platform manually. Lift-and-shift may not be possible for apps that leverage specialized services offered by one cloud vendor such as big data, machine learning, or serverless.

Cloud vendors may have different names for different services, or implementing integrations with the new service might be completely different from what was done before. Sometimes, alternatives for existing services may not be present in the new public cloud, or the support for the other options could be restricted, making them less than ideal. Ultimately, it requires a lot of analysis before the teams start migrating their complex workloads across the multicloud.

4 Ways GitOps Simplifies Multicloud Migration

GitOps is an elegant solution to resolve the consistency issue across various platforms, including on-prem and the private cloud. By letting teams implement infrastructure-as-code across various public cloud vendors, GitOps can alleviate the stress of manually implementing infrastructure. By constantly aligning the current state of the workload with the desired state declared in a Git repository, GitOps can ensure consistency and security.

1. GitOps to Manage Multicloud Kubernetes Clusters

With Kubernetes, infrastructure can be divided into clusters that can run on any cloud platform. These clusters can be defined in Git repositories as YAML files. Each YAML file consists of configuration data regarding that cluster, including the cluster size and version of Kubernetes. Changes to any cluster should then be made by changing the config in the YAML files so that the GitOps pipeline can automatically apply these changes to the clusters.

Now, the important part about using GitOps to manage ​​Kubernetes clusters is that these clusters can be running on any cloud platform, and the GitOps agent can be configured to deploy the changes to those clusters. Thus, GitOps brings uniformity and simplicity to how Kubernetes clusters are managed across cloud platforms, and this is especially important in a migration.

2. GitOps Defines Networking as Code

A cluster comprises several services that communicate with each other to perform specific actions. While migrating multicloud workloads, the network often becomes a challenge. There might be some components that teams would want to run on the public cloud, while others must be hosted on on-prem Kubernetes clusters. This can lead to complications that can’t be resolved efficiently through manual networking. In such cases, teams should use a service mesh so that networking between the components is easier to implement and there are no bottlenecks.

While a service mesh implements networking configuration, in the GitOps approach, the networking config itself is defined in YAML files. Thus, networking is defined as code, and is a lot easier to manage at scale. This way, when you migrate a workload, all you need to do to route traffic to the new location is edit the YAML file that defines traffic routing.

3. GitOps Leverages Git’s Powerful Access Controls

Teams often use different IAM services for various public clouds to secure their cloud-native workloads. However, while using a multicloud environment, having different identities can slow things down and complicate things in the long run. Teams operating in the multicloud should ensure centralized IAM is used for their various public clouds so that the issues related to identity and authentication don’t lead to defects in their workloads.

With modern practices like GitOps, most changes are made through Git workflows. This significantly reduces the number of people who need direct access to the Kubernetes clusters, therefore it also reduces the complexity of IAM admin. GitOps solutions like Weave GitOps have mature access controls to ensure any user has access to just the resources they need, and not more. This access can be controlled across cloud platforms and is easy to change. Thus, when migrating workloads, you can choose to give the same users access to the resources in the new cloud location, or disable their access and give access to a different group of users. Weave GitOps makes this easier and simplifies multicloud migration.

4. GitOps Brings Flexibility to Multicloud

The multicloud approach requires a lot of planning. Without a  proper process in place, teams need to deal with tightly coupled workloads that can’t be migrated without loads of rework. First comes planning for Git repositories. Teams must pick a Git hosting service that can integrate with various cloud platforms. 

Teams should also constantly ensure the repository, application architecture, and infrastructure design aren’t too tightly coupled with a particular cloud vendor. This will allow teams to build flexible and portable workloads from the very beginning ensuring teams don’t spend their time resolving coupling issues at the end.

With the right GitOps solution, you can make your multicloud migration journey a breeze. Solutions like Weave GitOps allow teams to manage multicloud deployments via a user-friendly interface no matter where workloads are run. Teams can update services, replace said services with new ones, and enjoy the benefits of utilizing multiple clouds without having to manually take on the activity of migration. The ease with which GitOps lets you migrate your cloud-native workloads is incredible.

Download the white paper or watch the recent webinar titled 'Hybrid and Multi Cloud Strategies for Kubernetes with GitOps.’ to learn more about Weave GitOps in the context of hybrid and multicloud deployment.

Get in touch with one of our experts and find out how we can help you achieve seamless multicloud migration. Request a Demo today to learn more.

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Whitepaper: Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Strategies for Kubernetes with GitOps

Download this Whitepaper to learn how GitOps is the effective model to successfully deploy and maintain a Kubernetes platform.

Download Whitepaper