Cloud computing is a solution that provides enterprises with scalability, cost savings and flexibility; however, with so many cloud options, it can be challenging to find the right fit. In this article, we examine multi-cloud and hybrid cloud models, looking at their benefits and drawbacks, to help organisations make informed decisions about which options are best for them.
What is a hybrid cloud?
A hybrid cloud is an IT infrastructure that combines both public and private cloud services, together with traditional in-house infrastructure, in a unified system. The different types of infrastructure are connected through a public or private network and data is synchronised across them. In most cases, a hybrid cloud is managed by a single provider.
Benefits of adopting a hybrid cloud
A hybrid cloud provides users with the flexibility to migrate workloads to and from traditional infrastructure and public clouds as needed. This allows enterprises to adjust their infrastructure to suit their specific requirements while processing different sources of data in the various environments. Personal or sensitive data, for example, can be stored more securely in the single tenancy, private cloud. In addition, a hybrid cloud offers cost-efficiency by enabling organisations to deploy financial resources only when needed, while also offering scalability to meet increased demand.
Organisations can benefit in several ways from a hybrid cloud. It is a cost-effective option for testing applications compared to using an on-site dedicated server; it offers the option to use scalable public cloud services to run data analytics on privately stored data and is ideal for companies that run critical applications or have changeable workloads.
What is multi-cloud?
Multi-cloud is an approach that involves using more than one cloud service, such as IaaS, SaaS or PaaS, often from a range of providers, to meet an enterprise’s different requirements. Using a multi-cloud, organisations can choose the most appropriate provider for each type of workload, whether that’s based on cost, infrastructure, geolocation, performance, reliability, security and compliance, support or vendor expertise.
Benefits of using a multi-cloud
There are several reasons why enterprises might choose to use a multi-cloud solution. One of the most important is that it enables organisations to reduce overall IT expenditure and provides them with the flexibility to choose from a range of cloud vendors. Companies can also scale up or down depending on their needs.
Another benefit is that by using multiple cloud providers, enterprises can avoid being locked into a single vendor. This can help reduce costs, improve interoperability and avoid data problems that can arise from relying too heavily on a single cloud.
There are also advantages when it comes to security and regulatory compliance. A multi-cloud approach allows organisations to deploy and scale workloads while implementing security policies and compliance technologies consistently across them. This can be achieved regardless of the service, vendor or environment.
Finally, a multi-cloud approach can improve reliability and redundancy. It reduces the risk of downtime by ensuring that an outage in one cloud service does not impact services in other clouds. What’s more, should an outage occur, requests can be rerouted to another available cloud service.
Which is the best choice?
When choosing between multi-cloud and hybrid cloud, enterprises should consider the following:
When it comes to cost, multi-cloud can be more expensive than hybrid cloud, as enterprises will need to pay for services from multiple providers. However, multi-cloud can also be more cost-effective, as enterprises can choose the best provider for each workload.
With performance, multi-cloud enables workloads to be distributed across multiple providers, which can lead to better performance overall.
Both solutions offer strong security. While multi-cloud allows enterprises to choose providers with strong security practices, a hybrid cloud enables them to implement security measures across both the public and private clouds. With compliance, however, this can be more difficult across a multi-cloud as organisations will need to ensure compliance is in place across a range of different environments and providers.
Finally, multi-cloud can be more complex to manage than hybrid cloud. Working with a range of different providers, infrastructures and, in some cases, different terminologies, a multi-cloud can pose challenges for IT teams. In all cases, it is recommended to choose a managed service with 24/7 expert support.
Many enterprises are realising that not all their resources need to be in a single cloud environment. As a result, multi-cloud and hybrid cloud models are gaining popularity. While these models may seem alike at first glance, they have important differences that organisations should be aware of before making an investment. Developing a cloud strategy beforehand is highly recommended to ensure a smooth transition of applications, databases and other resources when deploying any type of cloud infrastructure.
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