You’ve probably heard IT professionals talk about implementing a multicloud approach to digital transformation. They may use the term interchangeably with hybrid cloud, but there is a difference. In this article, you’ll learn the difference between hybrid and multicloud and what leads enterprises to choose multicloud strategies.
Multicloud Versus Hybrid: Hybrid cloud environments generally utilize both private and public cloud solutions in an effort to balance cost (through public cloud) versus customization and security (through private cloud). In many cases, the hybrid model utilizes public cloud for bursting or storage requirements. By contrast, multicloud tends to prioritize a strategic approach to using multiple cloud providers to meet specific business goals and requirements.
Multicloud generally means using cloud-native applications built using containers and microservices utilizing specific services from a variety of providers. Multicloud is the most common cloud strategy currently being used by enterprises.
There are a variety of reasons for choosing multicloud:
Avoiding Vendor Lock-In:A key reason for adopting multicloud is the avoidance of being tied to a single provider’s pricing model, infrastructure, and add-on services. While enterprises generally create cloud-native applications based in containers and microservices that can be easily shifted between providers, providers have methods for making these solutions “sticky.” They offer specific features and benefits designed to differentiate themselves from competitors.
The issue for enterprises is that they may be operating a cloud-native application at a “lowest common denominator” level, not reaching the full potential of what their cloud provider could do for their business processes. Enterprises have to weigh portability versus functionality and the risk of lock-in for each workload.
Shadow IT: In many situations, enterprises begin their multicloud era unintentionally. Cloud solutions are so easy to implement that organizations often struggle with employees downloading an application without going through an approval process. The Cloud Adoption and Risk Report 2019 by McAfee determined that while a survey of 1,400 IT professionals estimated they had an average of 31 cloud solutions being utilized in their organization, the true average was 1,935.
Performance: Enterprises often choose multicloud in an effort to maximize performance through the reduction of latency and dropped packets. By choosing providers that are geographically nearby, it reduces the number of hops each transmission has to make to be received by the enterprise, which cuts connectivity problems.
Compliance: Compliance regulations often require data to be stored in particular locations or with specific security protocols in place. This may demand the use of a variety of cloud providers.
Resilience: In order to protect against the threat of a natural disaster or a cyber security breach, enterprises may prioritize the use of cloud storage and processing that is geographically diverse and involves a variety of providers to add redundancy.
Multicloud environments can introduce added layers of complexity, particularly if they develop in an ad hoc fashion, rather than a planned transformation. If you’re considering how best to strategically plan your cloud environment, contact us at eXemplify. We can help you identify the criteria you need to choose the best providers and ensure there are no gaps in your workload strategy.