When it comes to figuring out the best cloud strategy for your business, your requirements may not fit neatly into the scope of one cloud provider. Or perhaps you are managing legacy infrastructure that needs to be modernized. Either way, there are pathways for you to get your business critical systems into the scalable, reliable, and (usually) cost-effective cloud. One such method is to use a multi-cloud strategy to your cloud infrastructure.
Here are some things to think about if you’re considering adopting a multi-cloud strategy. By leveraging the advantages offered by different cloud service providers, you can diversify your IT infrastructure and avoid single points of failure. A multi-cloud approach can also help you maximize potential cost savings and security benefits, as well as provide more control over performance, scalability, reliability, and compliance with regulations. Additionally, it will give you access to innovative solutions such as AI, ML, and IoT that may not be available with just one provider. It can also enable greater data portability between clouds, making it easier to manage when switching between vendors or migrating applications across platforms.
In this article, I’ll give you an overview of the multi-cloud strategy, the benefits, and the drawbacks. And hopefully by the end of this, you’ll have a better idea of how it could fit your business needs and could be the path forward for your cloud strategy.
We’ll break this down into three main parts:
- What is a multi cloud strategy?
- Benefits of multi cloud
- Drawbacks of multi cloud
Ok, TL;DR – What is a multi-cloud strategy?
A multi-cloud strategy is an approach to using cloud computing services where an organization uses many cloud providers instead of just one. This means that you would use services from multiple cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), to meet your organization’s computing needs. By using multiple cloud providers, you can take advantage of the strengths of each provider, such as the different services and pricing options they offer, to create a more flexible and cost-effective solution for your organization.
Benefits of Multi-Cloud
With any cloud strategy, you want to make sure that you are taking advantage of the most cost-effective solutions for your IT infrastructure. A multi-cloud strategy can help you do this by allowing you to take advantage of the different pricing models offered by different cloud providers. By using multiple clouds, you can choose the right solution for your needs at a lower cost than if you were to rely on one provider alone. Additionally, since some services may be more expensive with one provider than another, you can pick and choose which solutions are most economical when utilizing multiple providers. Furthermore, when using multiple clouds in combination with hybrid or on-premise solutions, you can take full advantage of flexible pricing models and avoid vendor lock-in.
By spreading data, applications, and workloads across multiple clouds, you are better protected from service interruption due to unexpected outages or regional disasters. Additionally, by using multiple cloud providers, you can enjoy greater redundancy, which makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive information. Deploying different cloud services from various vendors also allows you to take advantage of each vendor’s unique security features, such as authentication protocols and encryption methods, which will help you mitigate risk even further.
How can you make your cloud strategy more flexible with multi-cloud? Well, for example, it will allow you to quickly and efficiently move workloads between clouds as your business needs change or when better opportunities arise. This will make the process of scaling up or down more efficient and cost-effective. Additionally, having access to multiple cloud providers will allow you to choose solutions that offer the best features for your particular use case, rather than being constrained by one provider’s offering. Finally, this approach will also offer improved availability and redundancy, since you will no longer be reliant on one single provider’s service.
Disadvantages of multi-cloud strategy
Complexity and expense
With more things come more benefits, but it may also introduce more complexity. While working with one cloud provider may limit features, managing and integrating multiple cloud environments can be more complex and costly than a single-cloud approach. Because now you’re dealing with multiple accounts, multiple vendors, and different architectures with different capabilities.
Compatibility and consistency
Standardization of tools and processes can also become an issue that slowly compounds over time. As your organization grows, so will your engineering team and cloud infrastructure. Without consistent governance in place, it can quickly spiral out of control. Many businesses have trouble maintaining governance with a single cloud provider, so this may exacerbate the issue.
Limited visibility and control
With a multi-cloud strategy, it can be difficult to get a comprehensive view of all the data and applications that are spread across different cloud environments, which can make it challenging to manage and control them effectively. While there are tools that can help you manage across clouds, having a multi-cloud setup can limit your tooling choices.
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from a multi cloud strategy. They can leverage some of the key benefits, such as:
- Improved cost savings
- Improved security
- and increased flexibility
But, it’s important to remember that it is by no means a silver bullet to all your cloud strategy challenges.
You’ll still need to have a firm understanding of your business objectives and strategic goals. Using these as the lens for which you’ll assess which cloud strategy works best for your organization.
If you’re in the midst of figuring out your cloud strategy and standing at a fork in the road, give us a shout at Autimo. We’re well-versed in helping our clients across multiple cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud (GCP), and Azure. We’ve seen where the use cases work for a business and where it seems like a square peg in a round hole.