All businesses, regardless of size, can benefit from some form of cloud service. Cloud environments allow businesses to run software and applications on an advanced digital infrastructure, which enables them to access their data remotely and operate more efficiently.
Multi-cloud services deploy the same systems across multiple cloud providers, public and/or private, to establish the ideal level of workload elasticity. This elasticity allows for quick changes to the kind and quantity of resources allocated to an application to match its demand on individual cloud platforms.
But how do multiple cloud services vary from a hybrid cloud? If multiple cloud providers are necessary, what is the best cloud management solution? This article intends to answer these questions and provide a base level of information to understand multi-cloud providers and how they may optimize your company’s processes.
What’s the Difference Between Hybrid Cloud and Multi-Cloud?
At first glance, there are some similarities between hybrid and multi-cloud environments, but they are two distinct cloud solutions.
Hybrid cloud utilizes a combination of public and private cloud infrastructures as a singular entity. Although hybrid infrastructures vary, a hybrid cloud environment might rely predominantly on a private cloud for day-to-day operations, and employ public cloud resources for periodic spikes in traffic or usage. A hybrid cloud system is considered a form of multi-cloud, but not all multi-clouds are specifically hybrids.
Multi-cloud, meanwhile, is more strategic in the sense that it utilizes the benefits of multiple clouds simultaneously to meet an enterprise’s needs. Cloud-native software and applications can have their own individual cloud, meaning that each cloud is its own digital ecosystem within the overarching cloud environment. These operations utilize services from different cloud providers and unique cloud services as needed for each individual cloud.
By distributing your workload among different providers, you can maximize uptime and gain resilience in disaster recovery. You can also store data in various locations based on the compliance requirements of your industry and geographic dispersion. Of course, it’s essential to thoroughly vet each provider you intend to work with and ensure they have the proper security protocols in place to protect your digital assets.
What are the Benefits of Multi-Cloud Services?
Multi-cloud environments have a variety of benefits that are essential to create and maintain a competitive advantage. In addition to being one of the most customizable cloud services, multi-cloud platforms provide:
- Performance. By choosing a cloud service provider with secure data centers, businesses can minimize latency and maximize overall performance and speed. Enterprises also have the option to employ multiple cloud providers to support a geographically-diverse range of workloads.
- Flexibility. In a multi-cloud environment, businesses can work with multiple cloud hosting providers for various tasks and operations, allowing for optimal performance for each task.
- Scalability. Multi-cloud hosting allows for scalability similar to that found in hybrid clouds, such as using public cloud resources to account for fluctuating storage needs. Multi-cloud goes a step further to account for varying security, protection, and traffic requirements.
- Cost. Because you can utilize multiple cloud services from various service providers for each individual cloud, service providers offer more competitive costs for their services and mitigates vendor lock-in.
This emerging cloud architecture allows businesses to achieve broader goals, utilize a more diverse range of cloud services, and manage the overall cost of the services provided.
What Are the Drawbacks of Multi-Clouds?
While a multi-cloud system has many benefits, it may not be the right choice for every business. Prior to implementing a multi-cloud platform, consider the following:
- Security. Because a multi-cloud infrastructure can be supported by multiple cloud service providers on different cloud platforms, there may not be a unified system of security. Be sure to find reliable providers with advanced threat security to mitigate risks.
- Management Complexity. If the multi-cloud environment is created ad hoc rather than being planned from the beginning, it can be increasingly difficult to manage later cloud deployments. Finding a service provider who offers cloud migration, IT management, cloud data management, and other cloud services can save you a headache later on.
- Unfamiliar Workflow. It’s essential to rely on experienced cloud service providers to strategize and create your multi-cloud environment. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating a complex infrastructure that may hinder your business’s workflow and management.
Luckily, by strategizing your multi-cloud system from the beginning with experienced IT professionals, you can avoid these pitfalls while reaping the benefits. While it may be more difficult to implement a multi-cloud system later in the process, it is still doable with proper cloud management.
Request an Assessment to Determine if Multi-Cloud is Right for Your Business
Ultimately, the benefits your enterprise can gain from a multi-cloud service will depend on your unique needs, industry, workflow, and operations. If you’re unsure whether a multi-cloud environment is right for your business, contact us for an evaluation of your specific needs and expert recommendations to optimize your operation.