More and more firms are adopting multi-cloud strategies and solutions to enable them to deploy applications wherever required without adding complexity.
A multi-cloud deployment can involve utilising multiple infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) vendors or employing different vendors for IaaS, platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS) services.
Multi-cloud implementations can serve purposes such as redundancy and system backup or incorporate different cloud vendors for different services.
What is Multi-Cloud?
Multi-cloud refers to employing cloud computing services from multiple cloud providers to run an organisation's applications.
Instead of depending on just one cloud platform, multi-cloud environments usually consist of a mix of two or more public clouds, private clouds, or a combination of both.
Companies have the flexibility to design a system that leverages multiple vendors with a multi-cloud architecture. It allows them to select the capabilities that best align with their business needs and minimise dependence on a single vendor.
Types of Multi-Cloud Services
Multi-cloud services have emerged as a response to the challenges posed by multi-cloud environments. These services work towards making things more uniform across different clouds.
They create a common way for different clouds to do similar things, like accessing and organising data, identifying users, and performing other essential tasks. This makes it easier to work with multiple clouds because you don't have to learn and use different methods for each one.
Multi-cloud services exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:
- Interactions with Multiple Clouds: These services run on a single cloud but enable interactions with at least two different clouds. Alternatively, they can run on multiple clouds and support interactions with multiple other clouds.
- Cloud and Edge Flexibility: Services in this category run on a cloud or at the edge, allowing users to choose their preferred deployment location. They may operate even in disconnected mode, with basic operations being fully automated.
A multi-cloud service simplifies things by combining different cloud services into one platform. This reduces complexity compared to using separate services from multiple clouds.
It treats public clouds, data centres, and edge locations as "verticals," while multi-cloud services act as "horizontal" layers that provide functionality across these locations. They extend and complement the native services of each cloud while ensuring consistency across clouds.
Common functionalities offered by multi-cloud services include:
- Application Services: This category encompasses databases, messaging systems, AI/ML capabilities, serverless computing, continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD), development tooling, and more.
- Infrastructure Services: These services provide core computing, storage, and network capabilities presented through virtual machines or containers.
Users can access them via self-service. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platforms typically include infrastructure automation and Kubernetes solutions.
- Security Services: Multi-cloud services offer security solutions such as network detection and response (NDR), endpoint detection and response (EDR), next-generation anti-virus (NGAV), secure access service edge (SASE), and more.
- End-User Services: This category covers virtual desktop solutions, mobile device management, end-user application delivery, and similar services.
- Data Plane Services: These services handle workloads and data, enabling the creation of applications, conducting business analytics, and delivering business offerings.
What is the Reason Behind Organisations Adopting a Multi-Cloud Strategy?
Numerous firms implement a multi-cloud architecture to their infrastructure because it addresses and resolves various common challenges.
Multiple cloud platforms allow organisations to capitalise on each provider's distinct features and capabilities. Cloud service providers differ in their offerings, and certain clouds may be more suitable for specific workloads than others.
For instance, one platform might be optimised for application hosting, while another provides cost-effective and scalable storage for public archives.
Additionally, firms can overcome vendor lock-in constraints and gain access to diverse capabilities. Relying solely on a single cloud provider restricts organisations regarding features, capabilities, pricing, available services, and tools.
Another factor that drives enterprises to choose a multi-cloud strategy is compliance with data regulations in particular geographic locations. Companies can seamlessly switch between the cloud environments to meet the compliance rules of different regions.
Furthermore, a multi-cloud architecture can serve as an effective failover model, enabling organisations to preserve data and maintain operations in the event of a cloud or connection failure.
Organisations can achieve faster recovery times and improved business continuity if their primary cloud platform experiences downtime. This is achieved by having multiple copies and backups of critical data across different cloud platforms.
What are Some Examples of Multi-Cloud?
Addressing Shadow IT
Multi-cloud deployments help mitigate the risks of employees using unauthorised applications or services.
By offering approved cloud technologies that align with security standards and policies, organisations can provide employees with suitable options within the multi-cloud environment, reducing the prevalence of shadow IT practices.
Improved Global Latency
For global organisations, multi-cloud can enhance customer service by providing access to servers in diverse locations. This enables better connections with low latency, ensuring smoother and more responsive user experiences.
Compliance with Regional Requirements
Different regions and countries have unique laws. Due to this, client data from one nation must be kept in a local cloud, while data from other nations must be kept separate.
As previously mentioned, multi-cloud allows organisations to adhere to region-specific compliance regulations. Firms can also combine on-premises, private, and public landscapes from different vendors.
Multi-cloud enables the backup of critical applications, offering a safeguard in the face of disasters or outages from a single cloud provider. Companies can rely on alternative providers within their multi-cloud setup in such situations.
Top 5 Advantages of Employing a Multi-cloud Architecture
Reliability and Redundancy
With a multi-cloud deployment, a business can mitigate the risk of complete service unavailability by distributing its infrastructure across multiple clouds.
If one cloud provider experiences an outage, some functionality can still be accessible from the other deployed clouds. Also, one public cloud can serve as a backup to another, enhancing reliability.
Reduced Vendor Lock-in
By adopting a multi-cloud approach, organisations are independent of a single cloud vendor. The infrastructure and storage are spread across multiple vendors, making transitioning away from one vendor easier while retaining most of the infrastructure during migration.
Potential Cost Savings
A multi-cloud strategy allows businesses to select the most cost-effective services from different vendors, avoiding the commitment to a single vendor for all their infrastructure needs.
Multi-cloud enables selecting the best features and capabilities from various cloud vendors. This lets firms customise their operations in the cloud according to factors such as performance, speed, geographical location, reliability, etc.
Like a hybrid cloud, multi-cloud lets organisations maintain rigorous security data compliance while optimising their computing resources.
The chances of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack affecting critical applications are minimised with a multi-cloud approach.
What are the Disadvantages of a Multi-Cloud Architecture?
- Management Complexity: Managing a multi-cloud deployment involves dealing with multiple vendors, each with its processes and technologies.
Maintaining complete visibility and control over the technology stack can be challenging when data and processes are distributed across multiple clouds.
- Increased Latency: If services in different clouds need to communicate with each other to fulfil user requests, it can introduce latency, depending on the level of integration, geographical distance between data centres, and frequency of interactions between multiple clouds.
- Larger Attack Surface: Integrating multiple software and hardware components increases the potential vulnerabilities and attack vectors that need to be managed and secured.
- Performance and Reliability: Balancing workloads across different clouds, especially if the data centres are geographically distant, can pose challenges in achieving optimal performance and ensuring consistent reliability.
As mentioned, multi-cloud computing refers to using multiple public cloud providers. It represents a flexible approach to managing and procuring cloud services based on an organisation's specific requirements.
In a multi-cloud strategy, there is no single infrastructure vendor; it typically involves a combination of major public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Microsoft, and IBM.
Multi-cloud computing also offers several widely acknowledged benefits, including avoiding vendor lock-in, the flexibility to select the most suitable cloud service for specific business or technical needs, enhanced redundancy, and other advantageous use cases.
InstaSafe Secure Cloud Access Solution adds an extra degree of security and control to the protection of your cloud apps. It ensures secure access to cloud resources, mitigates potential risks and helps maintain a robust security posture for your cloud infrastructure.
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