Most IT professionals would agree that cloud computing is more about a paradigm than a physical displacement of computing resources. The “utility” paradigm is transformational by virtue of on-demand, elastic resources. But unlike being stuck with just a single local cable provider, the range of choice in cloud computing options also provides selectivity and customization best suited for the delivery of individual applications.

Research from Edwin Yuen at suggests enterprises have adopted multiple public clouds for production workloads at a remarkably high rate. His research says 81 percent of current cloud infrastructure users are running two or more public cloud infrastructure providers. Of those users, 61 percent are using three or more. The greatest driver for multicloud utilization is application or workload specificity.

As companies adopt multiple cloud providers to support individual applications, management increasingly becomes a difficult task of specialization based on cloud/app pairing. The resulting silos may be monitored for performance and reliability by the native tools in a cloud stack, or from an application-oriented view via APM.

Hybrid cloud in a devops world

But if the devops movement in IT has taught us anything, it’s that silos are antithetical to agile practice and create brittleness. In the case of operations management, the brittleness manifests in the shallowness of native tools. While most of the dominant public cloud infrastructure providers offer logging and metrics services, none is especially strong when it comes to the depth of data, its context relative to the rest of the stack, nor presentation in terms of dashboards or alerts. For example, Amazon Cloudwatch provides 16 metrics for EC2 Container Services (ECS), whereas third-party tools offer greater insights through dozens of additional metrics pulled from secondary AWS APIs and tertiary application APIs.