We recently wrote a blog post on multi-cloud deployments where Isaac, our CTO did a demo showing Spinnaker deploying to both AWS and GCP. The demo sparked a conversation in our office on the topic, so Andrew, our Senior Engineer, got us together to talk more about it:

In the video we talk about reasons an enterprise would want to focus on multi-cloud deployments beyond the vendor lock-in concerns, including:

  • Optimizing application workloads on specific clouds (and how Armory is building out intelligence to enable that)

  • What becoming multi-cloud can mean for the enterprise

  • More detail on how to use Spinnaker to go multi-cloud

Here's a Transcript:

DROdio: All right, and we are rolling.

Andrew: Hey, I’m Andrew. This is Daniel, Ben, Isaac for Armory. Today we want to talk a little bit about Spinnaker and multi-cloud. So multi-cloud is a pretty cool topic. Everyone wants to do it. And no one wants to be locked into one cloud provider. So lately, we have been getting some very direct questions about Spinnaker pipelines and how they work in multi-cloud. Isaac did a demo earlier today. Do you want to talk a little bit about that?

Isaac: Yeah. I created a pretty simple pipeline. And because the way that Spinnaker was built by Netflix, let’s talk a little bit about that and the motivation of what they were doing. So they built Spinnaker not at first to be multi-cloud but really with this idea that anybody can contribute and they build interfaces so that this idea of deploying micro-services and try to genericize all of the kind of underlying implementation before actually building the implementation for AWS. So they actually thought ahead and they said, “Let’s build interfaces. Build it in a generic way so that we can have the Google teams, teams from Cloud Foundry, Azure, the Microsoft teams, and any other kind of cloud service out there so that they can start plugging in.” So it was actually pretty easy for me to build a simple pipeline where you can deploy to stage, have a manual check, manual QA step, and then deploying to production, all inside of Spinnaker. So it starts off with a very simple kind of a web application that forks and gets deployed to both. … didn’t have to build glue code. I just literally drag-and-drop kind of steps, and I was off and running pretty quickly there.

Andrew: That’s great. Anything to add, Ben?

Ben: Yeah. This is the holy grail, has always been to the multi-cloud and to do this cloud arbitrage. But what’s really interesting is in the last week, I’ve talked to three different customers or three different companies that are actually multi-cloud today. Two of the companies are two different public clouds. And one of the companies is a hybrid where they have private cloud technology as well as public cloud. So today they’re not using Spinnaker yet, but they’re highly interested. And we believe that through Spinnaker, they can enable very smooth deployments to their environments.

DROdio: And one thing that I would add to that is we’re thinking about multi-cloud as a risk-mitigation strategy for these customers. But some of the roadmap that we’ve talked about and the things that interest us are multi-cloud from an optimization perspective. So which cloud has lowest latency? Or which cloud has the best services like machine running on there? And being able to help customers deploy applications to the right clouds, based on their needs and not just to mitigate risks… There’s a lot of interesting potential around multi-cloud longer-term as well, especially with the value that Armory is building on top of deployments. I don’t think if there’s anything more that you’d add to that.

Isaac: Yeah. I think the other use cases that we’re seeing there become really interesting is the multi-cloud concepts … is I don’t want to have vendor lock in. Now people are thinking about optimization. The new use case is being able to actually grow sales and grow your company. There are a lot of companies out there that sell software services in the cloud to other companies, so a lot of B2B software sales. And being able to provide your services, not just on Amazon but Microsoft Azure as well as GCP because your customers are there and their data is there. It’d be nice to be able to deploy your software to those clouds. Opens up a whole another sales channel for you to be able to deploy into those different markets. And for us, that’s a really interesting place because it’s not just about kind of mitigating the risk of being … growing your sales as well.

Ben: There’s another use case I just thought about for the largest companies that make lots of acquisitions, the acquisitions that as you bring a new company under your umbrella, the new company maybe on Amazon or Google or Microsoft. And for a company that makes lots of acquisitions, you’re going to have lots of different deployment targets. And so Spinnaker, because it sits one level up from the cloud environment is a way to standardize.

Isaac: Yeah. From an operations point of view – which I’ve been dealing with operations for a very long time here – it’s nice to have just a singular kind of way to deploy to multiple targets. So if there’s ever a problem in production, whether it’s Amazon or Google or Azure, you know because Spinnaker kind of restricts you in the way that you deploy. You know the way that got deployed into production. And so it doesn’t matter whether you acquired a company. That consistency, you gain a lot of benefit from that, a lot of engineering benefits. And you can centralize things like monitoring and logging, … deployment.

Andrew: Thanks, you guys. Again, we’re Armory, and we’ll see you next time.

DROdio: And thanks for moderating this time, man. I’m glad to take a break from doing it. All right, see you guys.

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