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Multi-Cloud - The Complete Guide

Multi-cloud computing is revolutionizing the way businesses operate, allowing organizations full agility, cost efficiency, security, and flexibility to leverage the best components for each use case. Hybrid and multi-cloud seeing the fastest adoption than any other technology in this domain. Learn what multi-cloud computing is complete with definitions and examples, how it works, pros and cons, and how to start streamlining multi-cloud deployments.

What is Multi-Cloud Computing?

Multicloud is a strategy used by organizations to leverage two or more cloud computing platforms and use them as a single unified architecture. A multi-cloud can be formed using a public, private, and hybrid clouds or a combination of these in order to meet specific workload requirements

Difference between Single Cloud, Multi-Cloud, and Hybrid Cloud Hybrid cloud refers to the use of one or more public cloud platforms, working in conjunction. For a cloud architecture to be hybrid, these different cloud environments need to be tightly interconnected, working as one combined infrastructure, unlike a multi-cloud strategy where admins have to manage each cloud environment separately.

Why a Multi-Cloud Strategy is So Important

No single cloud model can match the varied requirements and workloads across an entire organization. By adopting a multi-cloud strategy, organizations can take advantage of the strengths of the best parts of each provider's services and mix and match to suit the needs of your business.

Benefits of Multi-Cloud Computing

Multi-cloud platforms provide several advantages over traditional single-vendor strategies. Here are the main advantages of multi-cloud mode:

Flexibility No business stays the same year after year. As they evolve, they need their cloud solution to grow with them. By employing more than one cloud-hosting company, you have the freedom to match your needs to the solutions that fit the best and adapt them to your requirements.

Analysis from IT trade association CompTIA shows that 83 percent of companies have already moved either infrastructure or applications to a second cloud provider. Further, according to RightScale’s 2019 “State of the Cloud” survey, organizations now use an average of 4.9 different clouds.

Scalability Salability is a significant benefit of cloud technology. Having an on-premises solution can require important system updates that can take time and cost much money to implement. By being on the multi-cloud, organizations can rapidly deliver critical resources across the business, consequently scaling faster as needed for peak demand or just provisioning faster solutions in case of business problems.

Risk Mitigation All vendors have multiple data centers within each geographic region where they host your infrastructure. However, this does not mean that outages do not occur, and, when they do, they can cause significant disruptions. The golden piece of advice for investors is to diversify your portfolio. The same applies to our case. As a result, your company will be less susceptible to faults and malfunctions. A disruption at one provider will no longer affect all your applications.

Lower Latency Delays in the availability of resources could lead to tragic consequences for the provider. To prevent losses, businesses need to ensure that they serve their target audience in the quickest way possible. By adopting a multi-cloud strategy, you can choose a cloud provider with its servers in regions and zones that are close to your customers, hence minimizing latency and improving user experience

Bolstered Resilience Most cloud providers have detailed service level agreements (SLAs) that specify the level of uptime that customers should expect. However, even if they guarantee a 99.99 percent uptime, there will be a 0.01 percent downtime, which translates in nearly 1 hour over a year. According to an ITIC study, for 98% of organizations, an hour of downtime costs more than $100,000. For one-third of enterprises, one hour of downtime costs between $1 million and $5 million.

A multi-cloud strategy is more resilient and protects you from the downtime and outages of any single cloud provider.

Avoiding Vendor Lock-in According to a recent Stratoscale survey, over 80 percent of enterprises have declared to be concerned about being locked into a single public cloud platform. The main risk is for an enterprise to become dependent on the technology offered by a particular provider. Also, there may be fear that one cloud provider might not meet your current or future needs.

With a multi-cloud strategy in place, your organization can overcome the risk of limited flexibility, data loss, or service downtime because of local circumstances.

Drive Innovation Each cloud solution comes with its unique and compelling services. Maintaining a multi-cloud strategy opens up the possibility to leverage the best services within each cloud and incorporate them into your app.

Find the Best-in-Class Multi-Cloud Providers When incorporating multiple clouds into a company’s IT strategy, administrators can align their business requirements with the best cloud-hosting providers for each task. Why is this important? Because every provider has its strengths and weaknesses, and this way, your organization can take advantage of the best option.

Price/Performance Optimization Another advantage of multi-cloud is its ability to cut storage costs. Organizations using a multi-cloud strategy may significantly reduce their cloud costs by using cheaper services from different cloud vendors. In addition, careful multi-cloud management can help organizations control costs without having to sacrifice performance by deploying the right workloads in the right environments. This enables companies to drive the best performance and comprehensive capabilities at the most attractive costs.

Disadvantages of Multi-Cloud:

Just like in the case of many other things, there is also a flipside to a multi-cloud architecture. The higher the complexity of multiple cloud providers, the more challenging it is to manage, from both a task standpoint and from a security perspective.

Security Risks Security is a significant concern for businesses across all industries. In a multi-cloud environment, sensitive information can stay on-premises, but public-facing information can still be hosted off-premises.

Storing your data on multiple clouds introduces complexity. If multiple cloud platforms are being used, you will need to spend more time and effort on security in order to protect your data and prevent leakage.

Multi-Cloud Management Multiple cloud management can be challenging when you’re approaching each service from a different angle. The reason is that they need to possess expertise in multiple cloud providers. Configuring, managing, and monitoring multiple platforms can cause roadblocks, leading to a lack of visibility.

Talent Management Considering the current labor market, finding cloud engineers and architects who can handle a single cloud system is complicated. Finding out the specialists that have the knowledge needed to handle multiple cloud systems is almost impossible.

Achieving a Seamless Multi-Cloud Strategy with Confluent

The biggest roadblock to a multi-cloud strategy is a shortage of dependable management tools. In fact, according to a Gartner study, businesses that manage their multi-cloud architecture inadequately will face a net raise of operational costs.

Confluent’s enterprise data platform is the key to speeding up your organization’s digital transformation. With Confluent Cloud, your organization can augment multi-cloud data management at scale, with full security and efficiency, automating workloads across cloud, on-prem, and multi-cloud environments. It automates building and monitoring data pipelines and streaming applications, while offloading the operational burden of your developers.

As a fully managed service, Confluent Cloud includes enterprise-grade Apache Kafka for real-time data streaming across any cloud, and over 100+ fully managed data connectors for easy, real-time cloud ETL, integration, and data pipelines.

Adopting a Multi-Cloud System?

Confluent’s fully managed data platform seamlessly syncs on-prem, cloud, hybrid cloud, and serverless deployments. Learn how to build multi-cloud data pipelines and sync both on-prem and cloud deployments while accelerating migration times and reducing costs.