Multi-cloud architecture has experienced consistent growth in popularity in recent years and is currently the most significant cloud computing trend. A July 2018 study performed by Forrester did well to depict this expanding prominence, determining that 86% of 727 respondents classified their organization’s cloud strategy as multi-cloud. Respondents defined multi-cloud in a variety of ways: “leveraging multiple cloud technologies at once (32%); using public cloud in parallel with traditional non-cloud systems (23%), and using multiple public clouds simultaneously for different workloads (14%).” In implementing a multi-cloud strategy, businesses adopt a number of both public and private clouds, which allows them to maintain autonomy and take advantage of the best offerings of multiple solutions. Thus, businesses with burgeoning technological needs, particularly enterprises, can benefit from a robust multi-cloud strategy.
Multi-Cloud vs. Single Cloud
As distinct approaches to cloud computing, single cloud and multi-cloud strategies meet entirely different needs for organizations. In the early days of cloud computing, it seemed as though a single cloud approach was the answer to every network and data system problem that could arise for a given organization. After moving applications to public cloud infrastructure, a single cloud strategy proved sufficient for less mission-critical applications. As a result, organizations began moving increasing amounts of applications, data, etc. to their chosen cloud. However, the need for a multi-cloud strategy quickly arose. Different departments within a single company typically obtain cloud services independently of one another, creating a demand for multi-cloud infrastructure. And to ensure more robust disaster recovery efforts and maintain autonomy, IT departments started to mimic public cloud deployments on additional platforms. Mergers and acquisitions can also result in the use of multiple cloud solutions, necessitating a multi-cloud strategy. Furthermore, to achieve more significant cost optimization, many companies actively seek out a multi-cloud strategy.
Multi-Cloud vs. Hybrid Cloud
It is also essential to differentiate between a multi-cloud strategy and a hybrid cloud strategy. A hybrid cloud is an integration of private and public cloud infrastructure. Private cloud infrastructure refers to either on-premises or hosted in a data center. By using orchestration tools, a hybrid cloud distributes workloads and maintains a balance between the private and public cloud infrastructure. In contrast, multi-cloud is a strategic approach in which businesses and organizations use the tools and services provided by multiple cloud providers to satisfy a variety of technical and market demands. In its most simple terms, multi-cloud refers to cloud-native applications built from both containers and microservices which utilize features and offerings of several cloud providers.
It is incredibly common for organizations to adopt a multi-cloud strategy to avoid vendor lock-in. Typically “vendors [will] streamline the process of migrating workloads to their cloud and then tie customer data and applications to their infrastructure such that it’s complex and expensive for customers to leave.” In other words, although cloud-native applications might have the potential for seamless portability between clouds, cloud providers frequently attempt to make their platforms as “sticky” as possible, offering unique features and services currently unrivaled by competitors. So, a multi-cloud strategy gives organizations leverage instead of the cloud provider. On top of this, these vendors tend to monopolize pricing, forcing businesses to prioritize portability over full functionality or vice versa. And companies — specifically larger organizations — often seek out a multi-cloud strategy. By employing multi-cloud infrastructure, organizations have the freedom to incorporate the features and services of a variety of public and private cloud platforms, preventing them from getting locked-in to a single cloud vendor. As a result, a multi-cloud strategy provides users with the autonomy to meet the needs of their business — whether regarding performance, security, or finances — as they change or arise.
An additional advantage that comes along with adopting a multi-cloud strategy is low latency. When data and applications are stored in distant locations, spread throughout a cloud network, minor delays often occur. These delays — commonly referred to as latency — occur as a result of data having to traverse numerous nodes before ultimately reaching end-users. However, multi-cloud infrastructure allows for the data centers in closest proximity to end-users to serve the requested data without a ton of hops between servers. Thus, businesses with a broad range of cloud-based networks will likely see the best results if they take advantage of a variety of cloud providers. Global companies, in particular, can benefit from a multi-cloud strategy as this would empower them to support a unified end-user experience while serving data between geographically diverse locations.
In order to meet specific data governance requirements like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), organizations will often need to take up a multi-cloud strategy. Such regulations and guidelines typically necessitate that customer data reside in precise locations. By implementing a multi-cloud strategy, businesses and organizations can avoid the need to create and operate their own on-premises data centers.
Every cloud provider, regardless of size and scale, can experience an occasional power outage. And today’s cloud providers offer users several, redundant data centers incorporated in a solitary cloud network. For this reason, relying on a single cloud provider can be quite risky. Thus, organizations are advised not to put all of their eggs in one basket — so to speak. Although this approach may be more complex, multi-cloud infrastructure can offer companies greater visibility of network resources. And with a multi-cloud strategy, users can make the most of the security and disaster recovery measures provided by a network of networks.
Multi-Cloud Made Easy with SpeelYaal
SpeelYaal’s first modern enterprise computing platform, Thaalam, offers users a true multi-cloud strategy. With a focus on a number of cloud platforms in geographically diverse locations, Thaalam is positioned to successfully meet a broad range of demands — global and regional. Thaalam expertly assists organizations in amalgamating their cloud experiences across several cloud providers, while simultaneously helping to manage IT infrastructure. Moreover, Thalaam offers businesses significant control over cloud providers and infrastructure, supporting considerable organization of multi-cloud resources. With easily managed and seamlessly integrated multi-cloud functionalities, Thaalam enables organizations to both control cost and maintain independence.