Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Borderless Cloud at QCon London: Q&A with Adora Nwodo

Borderless Cloud at QCon London: Q&A with Adora Nwodo

At QCon London, Adora Nwodo, senior software engineer at NexaScale, discussed the complexities of seamlessly integrating multiple clouds into application architecture, deployment processes, and CI/CD pipelines. Her session was part of the Cloud-Native Engineering track on the first day of the conference.

In her talk, Nwodo discussed integrating multiple clouds into an application's architecture and how deployment processes present challenges and complexities. This goes beyond merely leveraging the cloud for storage or computing power; it involves orchestrating a harmonious workflow across different cloud environments, each with its own set of tools, services, and operational models.

By exploring these complexities, the focus shifts towards creating a seamless and efficient CI/CD pipeline that not only accommodates but thrives on the diversity of multi-cloud ecosystems. This exploration aims to unravel the intricacies of multi-cloud environments, presenting a clear path forward through the tangled web of services and platforms that enterprises face today.

These challenges can be addressed through a strategic approach encapsulated in the "4 Ps" for successful multi-cloud integration: plan, prototype, pilot, and production. Each stage represents a critical step in the journey towards effective multi-cloud adoption, offering a structured framework for organizations to follow. The process starts with comprehensive planning to identify specific needs and potential hurdles, moves through prototyping to test ideas in a controlled environment, advances to a pilot to evaluate the practicality on a broader scale, and finally, transitions to full-scale production. She stated:

Following these 4 Ps and adopting a methodical approach can increase your chances of successfully integrating and managing a multi-cloud environment that meets your business needs.


Remember, a well-planned and well-executed multi-cloud strategy can unlock significant benefits such as increased agility, scalability, and cost efficiency for your organization.

After the session, InfoQ interviewed Adora Nwodo about her session "Borderless Clouds".

InfoQ: Given cloud providers' rapid evolution and introduction of new services, how do you recommend staying current with these changes while ensuring that your multi-cloud architecture remains optimized for both performance and cost?

Adora Nwodo: I always suggest reading technical blogs. They help me stay current and learn about what people are building and how they're building it. Additionally, attending conferences, webinars, and workshops specific to cloud technologies can provide insights into the latest developments and best practices across different cloud providers.

To ensure that your multi-cloud architecture remains optimized for performance and cost, engage with the developer community and regularly review cloud provider documentation for updates and best practices. I also believe it's very important to have architecture reviews where you evaluate performance and other metrics.

InfoQ: Do you suggest any specific tools or practices for continuously evaluating and integrating new cloud services into an existing multi-cloud setup without disrupting ongoing operations?

Nwodo: Teams have different ways to integrate new cloud services into an existing multi-cloud deployment without disrupting operations. The use of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools like Terraform or Pulumi can help teams implement declarative changes to infrastructure that can then be provisioned or updated automatically across multiple cloud providers.

CI/CD pipelines can also help with the automated testing and deployment of infrastructure changes. By adding blue-green deployments, feature flags, and canary deployments into CI/CD workflows, teams can gradually introduce new cloud services, monitor their impact, and roll back changes if issues arise, all while minimizing downtime and mitigating risks.

Companies can also improve integration by focusing on automated testing and monitoring. Automated testing frameworks allow teams to verify new cloud services’ functionality, performance, and interoperability with existing systems and applications before, during, and after the migration. Monitoring and observability in the multi-cloud environment also increase visibility into how the system functions in real-time; this enables teams to quickly identify potential problems before compromising the availability or performance of the integrated cloud services.

InfoQ: Security is paramount when integrating multiple cloud environments. Could you elaborate on the key security challenges of multi-cloud architectures and share insights on effectively addressing them? 

Adora Nwodo: Yes, there are a few security challenges. Integrating multiple cloud environments poses significant security challenges in data protection, identity management, and network security. With data distributed across various cloud providers, ensuring consistent data protection measures, such as encryption, access controls, and data residency compliance, becomes more important. Managing user identities and permissions across different cloud platforms can be complex, and this can lead to issues if not done correctly. Multi-cloud architectures also involve interconnected networks, increasing the attack surface and exposing your product/services to network-based threats from bad actors.

InfoQ: Have you found any universal security practices or tools particularly effective in maintaining robust security postures across different cloud platforms?

Nwodo: Yes, different tools can help do other things to aid security. For identity management, companies may use powerful IAM solutions such as Okta, which offers centralized identity management, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and access control across various cloud environments. Additionally, tools like HashiCorp Vault provide secure storage and management of sensitive credentials and secrets, ensuring secure access to resources.

Network security measures, such as firewalls, network access control lists (NACLs), and security groups, also help control traffic and establish secure network boundaries, irrespective of the cloud provider. Engineering and security teams should also collaborate on encryption mechanisms for data, both at rest and in transit, because this helps data protection across cloud environments and enhances security by safeguarding sensitive information from unauthorized access.

Access recorded QCon London talks with a Video-Only Pass.

About the Author

Rate this Article