The multi cloud environment implies the use of a number of public clouds, private clouds or a combination of both. This kind of solution can offer many advantages, especially in the case of companies that must meet stringent targets in terms of calculation capacity, data management and performance levels.
The decision to use a multi cloud architecture is becoming more and more popular: a recent study showed how 68% of companies use several cloud providers contemporarily to obtain different types of service (3 providers per company on average).
The most common services using multi cloud
Most companies considering implementing a multi cloud infrastructure do so because they need to use the following services:
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS);
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS);
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
IaaS and PaaS are those which can benefit most from multi cloud. The former, in fact, allows companies to transfer applications and data among different public clouds, in order to facilitate development, storage or use. The main advantages are: fewer connection failures and improved fulfilment of data localisation (data sovereignty).
With PaaS however, there are many services and technological products on offer (available to different types of users such as developers, system administrators, DevOps teams etc.) which attract the attention of large companies, leading them to choose certain public clouds over others.
Multi cloud offers several advantages for businesses
Multi cloud can offer many types of business numerous advantages, which vary according to the company itself. The first and most obvious, is the absence of dependence on a specific provider (lock-in). Being able to use different cloud providers means that the user is not tied to time restrictions or problems connected with a specific service provider.
That brings us to the second advantage of multi cloud: business continuity. In an architecture of this type in fact, data and applications are copied and stored on several different clouds. More specifically, there is: active-active mode (when both are active and share workloads) or active-passive mode (when one of the two acts as a backup). The failure of one cloud does not affect the functioning of company programs, as these are also present on the other clouds in the infrastructure.
The last but equally important advantage, is the opportunity to choose which services to purchase from specific providers. This allows the user to look for the best cost-quality ratio and build an ad hoc architecture to fit their own company needs.
Is multi cloud right for everyone?
Despite the advantages mentioned above, it is important to emphasise that multi cloud is not easy to manage. Dealing with different providers can present some issues, which may even outweigh the potential benefits.
IT experts agree that if all the services a company requires are available from a single provider and if the user trusts the quality of that provider’s infrastructures, turning to other public clouds for services becomes counterproductive. In fact, it is quite common that in addition to the apparently reasonable initial costs, the user will also have to pay significant extra costs for provisioning and integration.
Many suppliers have tried to differentiate their APIs as much as possible, so as to offer different services. There are some multi cloud subscription deals created by the providers in collaboration with their ‘competitors’. The idea is to offer the client a more complete package of functionalities which do not require any management by the user.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith