All cloud services are prone to failure. Although technically correct, this argument is widely used by industry laggards as a deterrent to cloud adoption. And even if practical examples of cloud outages support this argument, the cloud industry already offers promising solutions to address these concerns.
For progressive organizations that want to fly cloud-ward without placing all their eggs in the same basket, they can do just that: leverage a multi-cloud environment. Multi-cloud architecture empowers organizations to distribute their workloads across multiple cloud environments so they can get the biggest bang for their buck while mitigating risks associated with individual cloud environments. This value proposition alone justifies widespread growth and adoption of multi-cloud infrastructure solutions in the future. Here’s how multi-cloud environment achieves these goals:
Every cloud is built differently. These differences not only cover physical infrastructure components but encompass a diverse range of characteristics, functionality, pricing models and policies, among other aspects. Lack of transparency around the underlying functionality and rapid changes in the dynamic enterprise IT landscape make it near impossible to predict which cloud is the right fit for your apps and business needs. Different vendors offer integration and support for different platforms and constantly change the capabilities they have to offer. The right fit is therefore determined in reference to individual metrics, for individual apps, and for individual business needs – all of which means unnecessary tradeoff and compromised choices.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the multi-cloud environment, you can spin up whatever cloud resources are on offer without having to compromise your choices. Multi-cloud infrastructure offers a rich set of cloud options to solve rigorous needs across a diverse range of computing and business functions, thereby optimizing returns on cloud investments.
Giving up control over mission-critical apps and data is often cited as the primary concern that deters cloud adoption among industry laggards. Though the perceived risks are often overblown considering the lack of security capabilities on-premise, vendors cannot expect to change this mindset without offering adequate visibility, transparency and control over their public cloud infrastructure – which they don’t. A promising but costly solution to these concerns is the private cloud environment established on-site, empowering organizations with granular control, transparency and visibility into IT resources.
Multi-cloud infrastructure allows organizations to maintain a hybrid cloud environment that enables a combination of security and cost savings at the same time. The most security-focused workloads are kept in the private cloud while running regular business data and apps in cost-effective public cloud networks.
Access to data and apps stored at distant locations across the cloud network is not instantaneous. Minor delays are caused when data traffic has to travel across several nodes before reaching end-users. This delay, called latency is inherent in cloud services delivered from servers at distant locations. With the multi-cloud infrastructure, the datacenter closest to end-users can serve the requested data with minimum server hops. This capability is especially useful for global organizations that needs to serve corporate data across geographically disparate locations while maintaining a unified end-user experience.
Vendor lock-in is the IT paradox of cloud adoption. Vendors streamline the process of migrating workloads to their cloud, and then tie customer data and applications to their infrastructure such that it’s complex and expensive for customers to leave. With this practice, vendors negate a primary driver of cloud migration: the ability to run apps without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. As a result, vendors monopolize pricing and force organizations to stick with them over the long haul.
Multi-cloud infrastructure empowers organizations to mix and match platforms and vendors such that their workloads are not locked-in to individual cloud providers. Switching vendors gets easier, simplified and fairly automated at times since workload performance is never tied to individual vendors. With the lower vendor lock-in, customers get the autonomy to address changing business needs for performance, security and returns on investments.
Less Disaster Prone
Multi-cloud infrastructure embodies the philosophy behind the ancient proverb that says don’t put all of your eggs in the same basket. Vendors typically offer at least 99.5 percent availability as part of their SLA guarantee. Distribute your workload across multiple cloud networks with each offering the same low SLA guarantee and the possibility of concurrent and simultaneous downtime across all clouds still goes down exponentially. Even if this possibility is not negligible, organizations can enjoy greater options in reacting proactively to mitigate risks when needed.
Modern cloud services are delivered from multiple, redundant data centers as part of a single cloud network. Multi-cloud infrastructure takes the very concept behind modern cloud services to the next level, and in some cases, creates a cloud of cloud or inter-cloud services. The complexity, cost and risks of running a multi-cloud environment may appear multiplied, but the only real difference is the need to monitor a network of networks with tools that deliver end-to-end visibility across all network resources.