Multi-cloud is using two or more cloud computing service providers (vendors) for cloud hosting storage purposes. Organizations that do not like to depend on a single cloud vendor may start using various cloud resources from several providers to get the best outcome from each unique service. For example, one cloud vendor might be used for collaboration and messaging, while they might use another cloud vendor for data analytics.
Companies mainly use multi-cloud environments to distribute computing resources and minimize the risk of downtime and data loss. They can also increase the computing power and storage available to their business.
The multi-cloud concept can be called a combination of software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) models. A multi-cloud environment could be all-private, all-public, or a combination of both. In recent years, innovations in the cloud have resulted in a move from single-user private clouds to multi-tenant public clouds and hybrid clouds. This heterogeneous environment leverages different infrastructure environments like the private and public cloud.
Why do organizations use a Multi-Cloud Strategy?
The multi-cloud strategy mainly allows organizations to select different cloud services from various providers. Since some are highly optimized for certain tasks than others. For example, some cloud platforms specialize in large data transfers or have integrated machine learning capabilities, while some other platforms are specialized in collaboration and messaging.
Organizations choose multi-cloud strategies for several reasons. Some companies want to avoid dependence on a single cloud provider so that they can reduce the financial risk. Getting stuck with a single vendor could make it difficult for an organization to adopt a responsive strategy.
Other organizations decide upon a multi-cloud strategy to mitigate the risk of a localized hardware failure. Such a failure in an on-site data center could push the entire enterprise offline. Multi-cloud dramatically reduces the risk of catastrophic failure. A multi-cloud environment allows groups to comply with IT policy while benefiting from specific cloud technology.
How Secure is Multi-Cloud?
Multi-cloud security has the specific challenge of protecting data and information in a consistent way across a variety of cloud sources. When an organization uses a multi-cloud approach, mostly experts from third-party partners handle different aspects of security. That is why it is important in cloud deployment to define and distribute security responsibilities among the parties clearly.
What are the Benefits of Multi-Cloud?
Now the best section, What do we get when we migrate to a multi-cloud platform?
A multi-cloud platform brings all the best services that each platform offers to one place. This gives organizations the eligibility to customize an infrastructure that is targeted to their business goals. The risk of a multi-cloud architecture is also comparatively less. That means, If one web service host fails, a business can continue to operate with other platforms in a multi-cloud environment instead of crashing by storing all data in one place.
The following Specific reasons tend Organizations to implement a multi-cloud environment:
- Higher Performance: Since The most famous public cloud providers (Google Cloud, AWS, & Azure ) operate multiple data centers in different geographical regions while creating a huge network of connected zones that deliver high-speed service to customers and users around the globe. By adopting a multi-cloud strategy and leveraging cloud services from more than one source, organizations can access new geographical regions and provide much better application and data performance for their users, wherever they are located.
- Availability of many Choices: Since the Technology and cloud are changing so rapidly, many new improvements reach the market. The additional ability to choose from multiple cloud environments gives you flexibility and the ability to avoid vendor lock-in. This flexibility allows one to pick the right tool for the right job, a mechanism to leverage technology innovation from different providers. Some Organizations want to avoid dependence on a single cloud provider, thereby reducing financial risk. Getting stuck with a single vendor could make it difficult for an organization to adopt a responsive strategy.
- Experts Manage the Cloud Services: Companies that provide a managed cloud service can increase productivity and enhance the functionality provided to clients without hiring additional staff or spending time managing the cloud environment. Managed services providers do the heavier part in managing/supporting the services on their own. Also, the most important thing is the cloud platform’s expert service in securing and ensuring the environment operates at optimal performance.
- Flexibility and Scalability.- When Businesses grow, their demands change. Since Technology is changing rapidly, we have to adopt them in no time. None of the business looks the same today as it did a year ago. So, the Scale of the cloud environments must go along with it. By engaging more than one cloud-hosting company, enterprises can match needs to the solutions that fit the best and alter them to fit business and technology requirements. When a multi-cloud approach is used, hiring some more sources will be more profitable than creating independently.
- Disaster Avoidance: Outages happen; sometimes it is due to a disaster; other times it is expected to be human error. Having multiple cloud environments ensures that you continuously have computed resources and data storage available so you can avoid downtime.
- Compliance: Many multi-cloud environments can help enterprises achieve their goals for governance, risk management, and compliance regulations.
- Avoid local Hardware risks: organizations decide upon a multi-cloud strategy to minimize a localized hardware failure risk. Such a failure in an on-site data center could push the entire enterprise offline. Multi-cloud dramatically reduces the risk of catastrophic failure since we can instantly switch to another node and carry stuff.
Who are the famous Multi-Cloud Vendors?
There are many public cloud providers, including:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Launch year: 2006
Geographical Regions: 25
Availability Zones: 78
Compliance Certificates: 46
Annual Revenue: $33 billion
Compute, storage, database, analytics, networking, machine learning, and AI, mobile, developer tools, IoT, security, enterprise applications, blockchain
- Microsoft Azure
Launch year: 2010
Geographical Regions: 54
Availability Zones: 140 Countries
Compliance Certificates: 90
Annual Revenue: $35 billion
Compute, storage, mobile, data management, messaging, media services, CDN, machine learning and AI, developer tools, security, blockchain, functions, IoT
- Google Cloud Platform
Launch year: 2008
Geographical Regions: 21
Availability Zones: 61
Compliance Certificates: 90
Annual Revenue: $8 billion
Compute, storage, databases, networking, big data, cloud AI, management tools, Identity and security, IoT, API platform
- Alibaba Cloud
Launch year: 2009
Geographical Regions: 19
Availability Zones: 56
Compliance Certificates: 90
Annual Revenue: $4.5 billion
Elastic Computing, Storage and CDN, Networking, Database Services, Security, Monitoring and Management, Domains and Websites, Analytics and Data Technology, Application Services, Media Services, Middleware, Cloud Communication, Apsara Stack, and Internet of Things.
- IBM Cloud
- Rackspace Cloud
Financial Challenges: Optimizing the storage cost is really a challenge since the vendors decide the prices. Sometimes as the services are improved highly, the cost may be beyond our affordability.
Integration Challenges: Lack of experience or a well-designed process for integrating multiple clouds inside the organizations may be a common challenge. Sometimes lack of physical and human resources causes such challenges.
Technical Challenges: Multi-Cloud is somewhat tricky and complex in managing, and often organizations don’t have the expertise on this. This lack of technically feasible resources will also be a considerable challenge, especially while handling Complex big data-related stuff.
Even Though there are a number of challenges while adopting a multi-cloud strategy, the advantages are more than the disadvantages. As most of the organizations are in business to make money, we can safely recommend the multi-cloud strategy as the top solution that will contribute to the cash flow by saving money.
Usually, issues and solutions become more complex when people try to make them sound more complex. A good multi-cloud strategy must be well thought out, planned, and mapped according to your organization’s goals and needs. The planning phase of a strategy should take longer than the implementation.
The best planning phase is when two parties, security and data experts should be considered apart from your proposed plans numerous times, identifying various weaknesses, risks, and unneeded complexity. You should move onto the implementation phase only after your plan is bulletproof.
Having the best plan and the best people will ensure that your strategy lives for a very long time.
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Interested in a full explanation on cloud migration? then read more on What, Why and How to guide on Cloud Migration .