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Report: It's a Multi-cloud, Cost-containment World

Michelle Kincaid


Today we released a new report: “AWS Cloud Adoption, Visibility & Management.” The report compiles an analysis based on a survey of 310 executive and technical-level attendees at the recent AWS user conference. Simply put, we found: It’s a multi-cloud, cost-containment world.

AWS Cloud Adoption, Visibility & Management

Today we released a new report: “AWS Cloud Adoption, Visibility & Management.” The report compiles an analysis based on the survey responses of 310 executive and technical-level attendees at the recent AWS user conference, re:Invent.

We conducted this survey because we continue to hear from customers and industry friends that cloud providers have taken away the huge overhead of building, maintaining and upgrading physical infrastructure. However, at the same time, the rapid expansion of public cloud use, as well as multi-cloud, hybrid cloud and cloud-native environments, has created new challenges for visibility and cost control. It’s our hope by releasing the report and analysis, we’ll help draw attention to these challenges and highlight what we believe to be the drivers and the solutions.

Here are some of the key findings in our report:

  • Multi-cloud is real, and more common than hybrid-cloud. The clear majority of respondents (58%) indicated they were actively using more than one of the big-three cloud service providers, i.e. AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. While most of the group (40%) actively use two cloud service providers, nearly a fifth of respondents (18%) use all three. Surprisingly, only 33% of respondents reported using hybrid-cloud, with at least one cloud service provider as well as some type of traditional infrastructure (i.e. company-owned or co-location / third-party data centers).

  • A common multi-cloud combo: AWS + Microsoft Azure. It’s no surprise that when surveyed at an AWS user conference, 97% of our survey respondents reported that their organization actively uses AWS. However, more than one-third (35%) of respondents said their organization also actively uses Azure, and 24% reported using both AWS and Google Cloud Platform.

  • The biggest cloud challenge: Cost management (depending on who you ask). Overall, nearly 30% of the survey-takers said their biggest cloud management challenge is cost management, with security taking second place with 22% of responses. However, when looking at the responses by title, challenge rankings shifted. (We provide a deeper analysis by title within the full report.)

  • There is an influx of monitoring tools; no clear leader. While the largest percentage of respondents (54%) reported having a cloud monitoring tool for visibility into their cloud applications, other tools are being used to attempt to achieve total visibility, including: log management tools (48%), application performance management (APM) tools (40%), open source tools (34%), network performance management (NPM) tools (25%), and more.

  • At least two tools are used to try to gain cloud visibility. Respondents also noted using monitoring tools together in various combinations for cloud application monitoring. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of respondents reported using at least two tools for visibility into their cloud applications. Thirty-five percent (35%) of respondents use three or more tools for this.

  • Spreadsheets are still being used to understand AWS spend. Fifty-six percent (56%) of respondents say they use built-in tools within AWS (e.g. CloudWatch) to track and manage cloud services costs. Another 30% use third-party commercial tools. However, 10% of respondents reported that their organization still uses “manual tracking via spreadsheets” to understand what drives of their AWS data transfer costs.

  • A big gap exists in use of AWS VPC Flow Logs for cloud visibility. While VPC Flow Logs have been available as a way for organizations to gain more granular, real-time cloud visibility, adoption ranges widely. While nearly a third (32%) indicated they are actively using VPC Flow Logs, even more (37%) indicated that they nothing about them at all.

Download full report with analysis of the key findings. You can also find out more about Kentik’s modern approach to cloud visibility by downloading our Cloud Solution Brief.

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