What Is a Multi-cloud Strategy and How Is It Different from Other Cloud Strategies?
Long gone are the days of storing data on expensive data centers. Organizations are now rightfully leveraging the features offered by cloud computing
. However, for organizations that use cloud services across numerous geographies, associating with just one cloud service provider to meet their needs is a struggle. This is where organizations opt to utilize a multi-cloud strategy
Most enterprise adopters of public cloud services use multiple providers. This is known as multi-cloud computing, a subset of the broader term hybrid cloud computing
. In a recent Gartner survey of public cloud users, 81% of respondents said they were working with two or more providers. According to Michael Warrilow, VP Analyst, Gartner, the dominance of mega vendors in the public cloud services market is the main reason enterprise buyers choose multiple cloud providers.
Multi-Cloud vs. Single Cloud
According to Forbes, a typical organization would ideally use six cloud computing services. There is a general notion that a single cloud is a better and more effortless strategy to orchestrate. It is only when organizations add multiple clouds to their existing infrastructure in a haphazard manner that it can lead to chaos and trouble in maintenance.
Multi-Cloud vs. Hybrid Cloud
A hybrid cloud infrastructure blends two or more different cloud models, whereas a multi-cloud blends other clouds of the same kind. Since all cloud providers don’t have the same offerings, organizations must adopt a multi-cloud strategy
to deliver best-in-class IT services.
Multi-cloud infrastructure enables businesses to maintain a hybrid cloud environment that provides security and cost benefits at the same time. The most secure workloads are kept in the private cloud, while typical corporate data and apps are run on less expensive public cloud networks.
What Is the Need for a Multi-cloud Strategy?
With several major cloud platforms like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform
, organizations can utilize the advantages of each platform for their own functioning using a multi-cloud architecture
. This helps organizations be independent of just one cloud service provider.
According to Rightscale’s 2016 State of the Cloud Report, companies use an average of 3.6 different public clouds. It’s not always on purpose. In some organizations, multi-cloud happens by accident. The marketing team decides to use AWS while the HR department, operating in its silo, deploys Azure. And there you have it: a multi-cloud environment.
There are several other benefits that an organization can utilize. Some of the most common pros of multi-cloud platforms
Reduced risk of vendor lock-in and single-vendor dependency
Availability of the latest services that suit your business needs
Business continuity and disaster recovery
Reduction in time-to-market
Agility in addressing the latest business needs
Challenges of Multi-cloud Approach
Even though a multi-cloud approach
is significantly advantageous, there are still certain downsides that organizations face while implementing their multi-cloud strategy
Exploring the top four challenges of the multi-cloud approach
With multiple cloud environments
, management tasks become more complex. The core issue is the diversity of cloud vendors. Every public cloud vendor has its own portal, APIs, and unique processes for managing their environment.
One of the significant challenges organizations face while deploying their multi-cloud strategy
is the lack of resources with the mastery of managing specific cloud platforms. With supply being scarce, this would mean battling the tight labor market along with rapidly changing technologies. Because of this, organizations will have to rely on service providers who know how to work with multiple cloud systems to fill in the gaps.
Among other benefits, multi-cloud provides data administrators the ability to quickly deploy applications in the cloud environment of their choice. Unfortunately, the billing process can sometimes become troublesome when organizations implement a multi-cloud strategy
Governance, Compliance and Security Concerns
Even though cloud service providers offer robust security architecture and protocols, it is eventually the organization’s responsibility to secure their data in all their cloud and on-premise environments
What Is the Future of Multi-cloud Infrastructure?
All cloud services are prone to some failure at any given point and even though this statement is technically correct, there has been tremendous development in cloud computing that caters to such issues. Therefore, for organizations that wish to grow exponentially with the least possible hurdles, the best available option is implementing a multi-cloud strategy
When an organization uses a multi-cloud strategy
, it empowers them to distribute their workloads across multiple cloud environments while mitigating any risk associated with individual cloud environments. This alone justifies the widespread growth and adoption of multi-cloud architecture
solutions in the future.
Some points that define the multi-cloud platform as the future of an organization are:
Less Prone to Disaster
The use of a multi-cloud strategy
alone now provides organizations with a significant competitive advantage. There are new tools that also help you monitor usage, performance, and costs across a multi-cloud environment. This also helps bring intelligence and automation to your multi-cloud approach
. This enables your organization to efficiently and cost-effectively leverage multiple cloud infrastructures without having to change applications or operating systems.
Q1: What Is the Difference Between Multi-cloud and Hybrid Cloud?
Both multi-cloud and hybrid clouds are deployment models wherein you use more than one cloud. The core difference is that a hybrid cloud blends two or more different types of clouds, while a multi-cloud blends other clouds of the same kind.
Q2: What Is the Purpose of Multi-cloud?
A multi-cloud strategy
allows stakeholders to pick and choose specific cloud solutions that would work best for their organization. When diverse business needs arise, organizations can allocate resources to different cloud providers, maximize those resources, and only pay for what they use.
Q3: What Is the Most Important Aspect of Deploying a Multi-cloud Strategy?
By effectively deploying a multi-cloud strategy
, there are multi-cloud access layers that are deployed. This is a crucial layer of the multi-cloud network because it ensures that the cloud is securely accessible by all business components.