Multi-cloud is the use of more than one cloud platform that each delivers a specific application or service. A multi-cloud architecture can be made up of two or more public or private clouds to achieve a business’s IT goals.
What is the difference between hybrid cloud and multi-cloud?
There are several distinct differences between Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud architectures.
Traditionally ‘Hybrid cloud’ has meant the combination of private (either on-premises or hosted in a datacentre) and public cloud infrastructure, with application tools used to orchestrate and deploy workloads and manage the balance between the two.
Multi-cloud by contrast has more of a strategic emphasis. Enterprises use multiple cloud providers to meet different business requirements. At its most granular, multi-cloud is made up of various IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services with the cloud-native applications being the most mature, which are built up from containers and microservices, and provided by different cloud providers.
The main difference between the two is ‘Hybrid cloud’ refers to multiple cloud platforms, multi-cloud refers to multiple cloud services or vendors.
Benefits of a multi-cloud approach?
Many businesses nowadays have adopted a multi-cloud strategy by deploying applications and services across several cloud environments. There are many reasons for this, including:
Remove Vendor Lock-In – one of the most common reasons organisations adopt a multi-cloud strategy is the desire not to lock into any particular cloud provider. Enterprises recognise that no one provider can be everything to everyone. A multi-cloud approach gives organisations the flexibility to identify and partner with the vendors that have best-of-breed solutions that best align to their business needs.
Improved Performance – organisations with a wide range of cloud-based workloads can minimise latency and other performance barriers, such as packet loss, by investing in multiple cloud providers closest to where the applications and users are.
Compliance Management– Data governance often requires customer data to be held in different locations. Using a multi-cloud strategy improves adherence to such policies.
High Availability and Resilience – All cloud providers, even hyperscale ones with multiple geographically dispersed, redundant datacentres – suffer outages from time to time. If organisations put their dependency only on one cloud provider, they run the risk of their mission-critical applications becoming unavailable. A multi-cloud strategy allows for better security, failover, and disaster recovery – and resilience.
Although a multi-cloud strategy has its advantages such as greater flexibility and scalability, it can also cause complexity in deployment and management, including:
- Security and governance are more complicated. There are more “moving parts” which may create resiliency issues.
- Organisations could suffer a paradox of choice when having to select the right cloud products and services.
- Management complexity could become a problem especially if multi-cloud is adopted in an ad hoc manner rather than been planned from the ground up.
- Organisations could experience perimeter dissolution.In a single cloud environment, it is easy to build a perimeter to protect sensitive data and workloads which are residing in the same cloud. With a multi-cloud approach, data is spread across multiple cloud locations, making it easier to access, traverse across different cloud locations and blur the lines. Therefore, strategies zero-trust become imperative to implement.
- A multi-cloud approach does not provide the same level of visibility as a single cloud environment. As underline infrastructure becomes more abstract, as more clouds are adopted, operation levels could reduce as does the level of visibility and control.
- Organisations need to dedicate significant time monitoring all their assets (e.g., cloud functions) and resources across their entire multi-cloud environment, especially as modern software architecture continues to evolve, and their life span becomes shorter.
- As every cloud operates differently, organisations need to have robust policy and access control protocols to protect their data and workloads. Organisations need to be able to uniformly apply these policies and access control across their entire cloud environment.
Is a multi-cloud strategy right for you?
Cloud computing adoption is well established in enterprises, SMEs, and start-ups. But how much cloud should a business adopt? How should workloads be deployed across public, private, and hybrid clouds? And if multiple cloud providers (public and/or private) are used, which ones should you choose, and how can they be managed to a business’s best advantage? These are all questions organisations need to consider when determining what cloud strategy they will deploy.
Why appoint Oreta
At Oreta, we believe that understanding shared responsibilities is the key to adopting a multi-cloud environment. When keeping up with the rapid changes in business requirements, the right strategy should be chosen from the start.
If you are looking at a cloud deployment, then reach out to us. Our focus is on meeting your requirements as an organisation. We are here to partner with you and make your business an ongoing success.