Our economy is getting digital, which means not only more pressure is on infrastructure but also higher user demands when we talk about things like uptime and response latency.
For their part, enterprise organizations are looking for an environment that can handle their workload while providing cost benefits and can offer the capabilities of distinct platforms. Every cloud has its own strengths and weaknesses, and smart cloud teams are learning how to use them in a combination. The architecture based on micro-services making it even more prevalent. If the multi-cloud architecture is well controlled, each transaction (or part of a transaction) can be shifted when needed. Check out why we suggest a multi-cloud approach is ideal for most of the companies below.
Review: What is a Multi-Cloud Strategy?
Multi-cloud refers to the use of services offered by multiple cloud providers in a single heterogeneous infrastructure at the same time. These can be public clouds (such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google GCP), or a mixture of private and public clouds.
However, using different clouds in different departments falls well short of an actual strategy to use multiple clouds. So is deploying workloads across various cloud environments. While having different public clouds in different departments might be the way organization are starting their “multi-cloud journey.” However, many are now pivoting to an approach that bakes multi-cloud into their infrastructure and software plans from starting as multi-cloud management tools.
The core of a true multi-cloud strategy is intentional and proactive about using multiple clouds and finding the right tools for managing them.
Single Cloud vs. Multi-Cloud Strategy
When cloud computing came on the scene for the first time, it really seemed that one cloud solution could meet all the needs of an organization. They began by simply transferring applications to a public cloud infrastructure, maybe requiring some refactoring. Once the concept proved to be solid for less mission-critical applications, organizations began moving more and more to the cloud they had chosen — or simply building in.
Multi-cloud environments are emerging for many different reasons:
- Different departments or divisions within the same organization procured cloud services autonomously of each other.
- IT departments began to replicate their public cloud deployments on another platform, wanting to ensure effective disaster recovery (DR) and prevent vendor lock-in.
- A merger or acquisition often leads to the use of multiple clouds in a single company.
- Some companies are actively pursuing a multi-cloud strategy, typically to achieve better cost optimization.
(Reasons vary widely, but the effect has been the same. As per Gartner, 75% of organizations will have deployed a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud model by 2020. Most of these models will also include multiple infrastructure providers.) In other words, the transition to multi-cloud always occurs from merely incidental to fully deliberate on a spectrum. A good multi-cloud strategy begins with where the organization is, whether with a single cloud provider or multiple cloud providers.
Multi-Cloud is Rising but is Not the Same for Everyone
In July 2018, Forrester surveyed more than 600 decision-makers and found out that 86 percent of respondents had a cloud strategy that they considered “multi-cloud.” However, we saw above that different organizations have different reasons for adopting multi-cloud. That means the term “multi-cloud strategy” means different things for different firms.
More than 32 percent of those surveyed agreed that their multi-cloud strategy would best be described as “Using multiple public and private clouds for different workloads of applications,” while only 10 percent referring to managing access from a single portal. A meager of 4 percent only defined it as developing applications where components are deployed across different cloud platforms.
When will Multi-cloud be a good option for the Enterprise?
Let’s get down to brass tacks. If you want to be more purposeful about using your Multi-Cloud, when is the best time to make the transition? When is a modern multi-cloud approach relevant?
A multi-cloud strategy is particularly suited when companies facing these kinds of challenges:
- Users are situated in such a way that they often are not closer to any office or data center.
- Users are scattered over a large area geographically, maybe even internationally.
- DevOps team sees a requirement of a separate development and/or testing environment.
- The organization is likely to the target of DDoS attacks that could stress infrastructure.
- Security policy or concern provides reasoning for having some data and infrastructure in private clouds or even in on-premise.
- Service requests are distributed globally, making the distribution of workloads across multiple data centers a way to optimize performance.
- There are already multiple cloud contracts, and so it is necessary to centralize access and management.
- There are already multiple cloud contracts, and the costs start spinning out of control.
Sticking to a single cloud provider might be an approach for smaller companies with minimal cloud computing requirements. However, for most enterprises, especially those with heavy technology needs, a solid multi-cloud strategy can beat single cloud adaptation.