In this post, we talk about some of the key technical decisions we've made to avoid locking ourselves into a single cloud provider and Ways to avoid lock-in when setting up your infrastructure in the cloud.
Every cloud provider has marquee services that attract companies and developers to build on its platform. These flagship services work nicely with other services on the platform but often limit interoperability with other public clouds, creating cloud vendor lock-in. There is a case to be made for embracing lock-in: it allows a company to boost productivity and provide value to their users faster.
At Render, we are building a new cloud platform bootstrapped over multiple public clouds, with plans to add on-premises workloads, and it’s essential for us to avoid locking ourselves into a single provider. In this post, we talk about some of the key technical decisions we’ve made to avoid locking ourselves into a single cloud provider and to set us up for a hybrid cloud future.
Figure 1: A visual representation of two sample tech stacks. One without cloud lock-in on the left and one which embraces cloud lock-in on the right.
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a requirement at most software companies today. It’s the cornerstone of all technology stacks, and cumbersome to change once a choice has been made. Popular options include AWS CloudFormation, Terraform, Pulumi, Chef, and Ansible.
AWS CloudFormation only works for companies all-in on Amazon Web Services. Terraform is popular with a lot of organizations, but does require learning a new Domain Specific Language. If you’d like to use a language you already know, then Pulumi (Node.js, Go, Python, .NET core), Chef (Ruby) or Ansible (Python) might be a better fit. Ultimately, we ended up using both Terraform and Ansible for their mature ecosystems and broad cloud provider support. Ansible is our tool of choice for configuring machine images; Terraform works well for provisioning infrastructure components and configuring networking on multiple public clouds.
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Storing and managing corporate data by applying the cloud is becoming more and more popular. Companies grow, and it gets too expensive, and resources consuming to store their data on traditional servers. To prove it, look at the research conducted by Google in 2019 that includes insights for the cloud computing market for the next 10 years.