“Reinvent new combinations of what you already own. Improvise. Become more creative. Not because you have to, but because you want to. Evolution is the secret for the next step.”
― Karl Lagerfeld
We have come a long way from what we have been. There was never a revolution, and there never will be, our life is part of a long evolution process. We evolve, we think, we build, we fail, and we succeed. Most importantly, in between, we learn.
Cloud computing has gone mainstream, swiftly earning a place among the key pillars of enterprise technology. We did not stop there; we started exploring further opportunities and looked for better business enterprise strategies, which led to ‘Multi-Cloud Strategy’.
What is Multi-Cloud?
When enterprises use more than one cloud platform which comprises of public, private, and hybrid clouds and each platform delivers a specific application service to achieve the end goals, the platform uses services in a single heterogeneous architecture known as ‘Multi-Cloud’, which is also known as a ‘Polynimbus’. Often, it is confused with the hybrid cloud. Hybrid cloud is an infrastructure while multi-cloud is a strategy.
The multi-cloud strategy may use several different architectures, such as IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service) to achieve business goals. It aims to eliminate the reliance on any single cloud provider by using different providers to meet specific workload requirements.
Why are enterprises adopting Multi-Cloud Strategy?
Businesses distribute their resources between different cloud service providers to avoid latency and testing in an isolated environment.
If one cloud is offline, then the enterprise may still work with other clouds and achieve their goals. It’s also customizable and flexible in the sense that an enterprise may “select the ‘best’ of each cloud type to suit their niche business needs, economics, locations, and timing.” Another significant draw for a multi-cloud adoption is that enterprises can escape vendor lock-in as their data is stored on various service providers’ clouds.
The Multi-Cloud Strategy offers security precautions that a single cloud deployment does not. The well-known Shadow IT activities take place within an organization without their explicit approval. Multi-cloud will hinder these Shadow IT activities. Multi-Cloud Strategy also dodges the gravity of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack as the attack won’t affect all the clouds within a multi-cloud, leaving the enterprise still functional despite the attack.
Advantages of Multi-Cloud Strategy:
1. Cherry-picked services
There is not a single cloud service provider who has the best tools for everything. You can choose the best services and tools from multiple cloud service providers, as per your requirement.
2. Improved disaster recovery
There is not a single cloud service provider who has avoided a significant outage. By using two or more cloud service providers, you can make your infrastructure is more resilient, and you could keep replicas of your applications in multiple separate clouds so that, if one cloud goes down, you don’t.
3. Potential negotiating power
Competition among major cloud service providers and being a high-volume customer may put you in position to negotiate lower prices. You may be able to leverage your position by distributing your business amongst different providers.
4. Less single-vendor dependency
It can be risky to depend on a single provider for multiple products and/or services. Power outages, decline in the quality of service and unexpected cost overrun are common variables that companies go through from time to time; and cloud providers are no exception to this. It is advisable to not put all your eggs in one basket and thus, minimize the risk on your business operations.
Disadvantages of Multi-Cloud Strategy:
1. Managing costs and loss of discounts
If you have difficulty managing the cost for a single cloud service provider, you can imagine how much trouble you may have working with multiple providers. By distributing your resources and adding multiple providers, you may be losing discounts that you are entitled to.
2. Performance challenges
Working with multiple cloud service providers may create challenges to assign the company’s resources to the right cloud service provider. For example, when a company is deploying their resources with a cloud service provider who may have many essential tools but not the ones that the company requires, it may result in poor performance for the company
3. Increased security risk
Public cloud gives you less control over your data; moving to two public clouds gives you even less control. Besides, it creates a larger attack surface for your application. There are tools to secure multi-clouds that you may have to generally exercise a greater level of diligence in operating.
4. Multi-cloud management
In a multi-cloud environment, managing cost is not the only thing you have to worry about. Managing all your data and resources on different platforms can be very complicated. Fortunately, there are some cloud management platforms with multi-cloud support.
TechTarget conducted a survey among 260 enterprises, and the results showed that the majority of the enterprises use multi-cloud strategy. That means the advantages of it are far more valuable and disadvantages can be ignored or positively overthrown by a guided strategy.
Multi-Cloud Strategy helps organizations to be less dependent on one service provider. You can replicate your resources and avoid unexpected breakdowns in the system. Your organization can also benefit from negotiating prices with service providers. Managing multi-cloud may seem like a challenge, however, if you leverage cloud management platforms efficiently, there is no need for panic.