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Proposing a balanced approach to cloud IaaS and PaaS orchestration

Hybrid Pathways surveys IT/security leaders and chief architects at enterprise companies across industries in New England. The goal is to provide peer experience and feedback that could help with decision making and planning. The results detailed below are from the 22 respondents to the November 2019 survey.

Which of the following best describes your approach to cloud IaaS & PaaS orchestration?


Seventy-three percent (73%) of survey respondents are managing a multi-cloud environment. Of the companies managing a multi-cloud environment, half of them are using a combination of native and 3rd party tools for orchestration. Only six percent (6%) rely solely on each vendor’s native automation tools for orchestration and almost twenty percent (20%) do no orchestration at all.

The twenty-seven percent (27%) of companies that have a single-cloud environment are primarily using a combination of native and 3rd party tools for orchestration.

Enterprise companies, whether managing multi-cloud or single-cloud environments, primarily approach orchestration by using a combination of 3rd party and native tools.

Respondents cited the following key advantages to this approach:

  • “Our current approach offers us the flexibility to leverage automation and orchestration tools that already exist on-premises in addition to capitalizing on cloud native capabilities”

  • “Being somewhat agnostic, ability to leverage existing skills, and develop new ones”

  • “Standard methodologies increase productivity and security”

Respondents noted disadvantages to using multiple tools for cloud orchestration in two main categories: increased complexity and skills gaps.

  • “Multiple tools and integration points adds a layer of complexity to builds and troubleshooting”

  • “Being in a hybrid environment cloud orchestration is great for “cloud” but now requires a second “pane of glass” for operations teams to use. The tools are evolving and as such software security concerns for the new tools also add a challenge”

  • “Inconsistencies lead to training gaps and cross application leverage”

If you use 3rd party tool(s) for cloud orchestration, which tool(s) do you use?


When choosing 3rd party tools for orchestration, the most common are Ansible, Puppet, Terraform, and Chef.

Hybrid Pathways Insight: Hybrid Pathways advocates using native orchestration functions where they are best for the task and then using a 3rd party solution to cover the gaps. Both the native and 3rd party providers continue to improve their capabilities. Focus on the native orchestration tools that currently offer a more seamless and reliable experience, especially with newer services. Continue using 3rd party tools that are already leveraged for on-premises workloads and extend those to cover cloud orchestration.

This balanced approach to cloud orchestration can provide the following advantages:

  • Easier to meet security/governance requirements if common tool sets are used

  • Reduces training required for DevOps resources to become proficient to support orchestration. This approach minimizes the amount of new skills that need to be developed at one time.

Companies using both native and 3rd party cloud orchestration will still face challenges of complexity and lack of standardization, multiple panes of glass, and the need to build new skills, but a measured and balanced approach will provide the best solution at this time.

The 2019 survey focused on the areas of cloud orchestration, packet capture across cloud deployments, key management services, encryption to meet New York Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) cybersecurity regulations, data loss prevention (DLP), and cloud access security broker (CASB). The survey questions are initiated by enterprise IT/security leaders.

If you have questions that you'd like to pose to a group of your peers, let us know.

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