Multi-cloud observability best practices

A multi-cloud strategy involves using more than one public cloud provider to host an organization’s applications. The various benefits of adopting a multi-cloud strategy have been widely recognized, and thus more and more organizations are shifting toward it.

As per a 2023 survey from Flexera, 87% cloud decision makers out of 750 sampled are already using multi-cloud deployments, and 90% of respondents will have a multi-cloud strategy in place in the next few years. This is additional proof that the multi-cloud strategy is here to stay.

Multi-cloud deployments provide significant benefits. They help:

  • Avoid vendor lock-in and improve flexibility
  • Increase resiliency and scalability by spreading data across multiple providers and regions
  • Leverage the strengths of each cloud provider
  • Solve compliance issues while complying with laws regarding data storage location

But operating a multi-cloud environment comes with its own set of challenges. Organizations need to consider such challenges and take specific steps to counter them. In this article, we will discuss best practices you can implement for multi-cloud ops through observability.

What is observability?

Observability allows us to infer a system’s state based on the data generated. It is a widely used term in software engineering, particularly in the context of distributed systems. At its core, observability refers to the ability of a system to reveal its internal state and processes in a transparent and accessible manner, allowing developers and operators to understand its behavior and diagnose issues quickly and efficiently.

Despite sharing similarities with monitoring, observability differs in several ways. Monitoring involves collecting metrics and setting up alerts if it exceeds a predefined threshold, which will help in debugging an abnormal system. Meanwhile, to trace the flow of data and events through the system, observability uses a combination of monitoring, logging, and tracing tools to provide a holistic view of the system's internal state and behavior.

Popular open-source tools for observability include Jaeger and OpenTelemetry. Additionally, public cloud providers offer observability platforms for their respective clouds. Examples of such services include AWS Cloudwatch, GCP Cloud Monitoring, and Azure Monitor.

However, cloud specific monitoring tools still lock you in the single cloud provider, which means engineers will have to make a real effort when integrating data into a single dashboard. Site24x7 solves this problem elegantly by providing a multi-cloud all-in-one observability platform that can be easily used to measure observability in a multi-cloud scenario. These tools can help engineers make informed decisions, allowing them to analyze the data generated by tools.

Keeping track of hidden costs

Observability can give developers a fair idea of how much total compute power is being used by the hosted applications. Teams do not strategize much about costs in the initial stages of development, which can lead to scenarios where no one tracks how much compute power is actually needed for running apps.

For example, suppose that you are experimenting with a new feature for your application and your team has been given dedicated resources for this purpose. However, after testing and deploying the feature for a few weeks, the infrastructure allocated for testing becomes unnecessary and may be left unused in the environment. Using observability, teams can analyze and pinpoint the trends or anomalies driving up costs and take action to optimize resource usage. To prevent unexpected expenses, set up alerts in advance.

Observability can also be used to identify cost-saving opportunities across a multi-cloud setup. For example, it can enable teams to move workloads to a cloud provider offering lower costs or better pricing options. Including this strategy in multi-cloud ops can go a long way toward managing the soaring costs of using a multi-cloud environment. CloudSpend optimizes cloud expenditure by providing visibility to your cloud bill and tracking how much you spend on your public cloud services.

Mapping the multi-cloud environment

The visibility of the cloud environment is an essential part of cloud ops. Its importance is even greater with multi-cloud environments since the number of services and instances across cloud providers can grow at a fast rate. Hence, mapping the multi-cloud environment becomes crucial to managing such a complex structure.

Observability provides a unified view of your entire multi-cloud environment, making it easier to see what resources are in use, where they are located, and how they are interconnected. This unified view can then help teams identify potentially overlapping managed services. Using artificial intelligence (AI), it enhances troubleshooting complex issues.

Overall, mapping the multi-cloud environment using observability can help you better understand your infrastructure, troubleshoot issues more efficiently, and optimize resource allocation.

Investing and enhancing security

In a single cloud environment, implementing security controls is a relatively easy task due to it being consistent across the spectrum of workloads and a limited attack surface. Securing a multi-cloud environment is tricky because data is exchanged between different providers, which in turn increases security risks along with the attack surface. Moreover, hiring the right people is a significant challenge due to a dearth of developers skilled in securing multiple cloud providers.

Observability tools can help teams monitor for security threats across the entire multi-cloud environment and identify unusual activities or suspicious traffic patterns. You can leverage the power of AI to reduce alert fatigue and address only genuine threats. Observability can also help calculate a rating to determine how secure systems are.

Finally, observability can help simplify complex compliance issues through identifying compliance gaps, such as areas where relevant policies are not being enforced. In addition, it can make it easier to monitor for compliance violations, such as unauthorized access attempts, data breaches, or data retention violations.

By using observability to monitor and enforce security policies, you can identify potential security issues on time and take corrective action to address them. Site24x7’s guidance reports for AWS and Azure provide a set of best practices regarding cost and security for your cloud environments.


In this article, we have discussed an array of multi-cloud ops best practices through observability. When used diligently, multi-cloud deployments, though complex in nature, can prove to be extremely effective in an organization’s software lifecycle. By adopting a comprehensive observability strategy, teams can confidently manage their multi-cloud environments, improve operational efficiency, and drive business success.

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