Cloud Native / Cloud Services / Sponsored / Contributed

What to Consider When Choosing Between Hybrid and Multicloud

8 Jul 2021 7:08am, by

Leon Kuperman
Leon is co-founder and CTO at CAST AI. Formerly vice president of security products for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Leon has more than 20 years of experience spanning companies such as IBM, Truition and HostedPCI.

Sometimes one public cloud service doesn’t cut it. In certain use cases, multicloud and hybrid may be a better fit. To solve challenges such as security and compliance, organizations often bring cloud computing in-house and go for a private cloud model in combination with their public cloud resource. This is called a hybrid cloud. Other companies expand their public cloud capabilities by adopting a multicloud approach. Approximately 93% of enterprises already have a multicloud strategy in place, using four cloud services on average, according to Flexera.

What’s the difference between hybrid cloud and multicloud? Which one is a better pick for your company? Keep on reading for our advice.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud setups bring together public cloud with private cloud platforms or on-premises infrastructures like local data centers or other types of IT infrastructure running within the corporate network. These components are usually designed to work together where processes and data intersect.

When Do Companies Use the Hybrid Cloud Approach?

There are many reasons why organizations may choose a hybrid cloud strategy, such as:

  • After a partial migration: Organizations begin a partial migration to public cloud and discover that a full adoption might become too expensive or resource-intensive, so they settle on a hybrid infrastructure.
  • Keeping legacy infrastructure: Other companies keep some processes, business logic and data in their legacy on-premises infrastructure while using modern public cloud services in other areas like machine learning.
  • Protecting security or maintaining compliance: Hybrid cloud also makes sense for companies looking to keep some processes and data in a private cloud or on-premises for compliance or security reasons, but still benefit from the low overhead of public cloud in other areas.

Benefits of Hybrid Infrastructures

Hybrid infrastructure offers tangible benefits:

  • Connectivity: Secure and persistent connectivity between the company and the cloud.
  • Identity management: A single centralized identity infrastructure working across multiple environments.
  • Secure, integrated networking: Well-integrated networking for extending the corporate network securely and creating a segmented network infrastructure.
  • One platform: A single unified platform that simplifies cloud monitoring and resource management.

Challenges of Hybrid Cloud

Although hybrid cloud has advantages, there are challenges to be aware of:

  • Increased complexity: Companies end up having to perform more functions in multiple environments simultaneously.
  • Hybrid infrastructure decisions: Researching vendors and choosing the right hybrid cloud provider that anticipates your need to deploy integrated platforms, later on, can sometimes be a challenge. Upfront, investing some time in this research generally pays off and helps with gaining the most from hybrid.

Multicloud

In this scenario, companies use two or more public cloud services coming from various providers. These services are usually used for various tasks. The idea is to access best-of-breed services, optimize costs and avoid vendor lock-in.

When Do Companies Turn to Multicloud?

Turning to multicloud can help organizations:

  • Address diverse needs: Different departments or teams have different needs, so companies use multiple cloud services to meet these requirements.
  • Prevent lock-in: Eliminating vendor lock-in is another driver of multicloud adoption. By relying on more than one provider, organizations minimize their dependence on them, gain more flexibility and achieve a balance between cost and performance.

Benefits of Using Multiple Clouds

Here are some of the biggest benefits of choosing more than one cloud provider:

  • Cost savings: You can compare different cloud services and identify the services that match your needs without being restricted to a single provider. You’re no longer limited to the terms and pricing set by the provider, and secure what you need like adjustable contracts, flexible payments or customizable capacity.
  • Security: Multicloud allows choosing providers with the right security practices to ensure that your data and applications are fully protected as your business grows and changes.
  • Access to best-of-breed solutions: You can make the most of the public cloud services and features by selecting a primary provider with extra providers for additional value or completing specific tasks like machine learning computations.
  • Resiliency: Multicloud helps to protect critical business applications and data from downtime thanks to solid backup and recovery capabilities. This ensures business continuity during emergencies and prevents downtime.

Challenges of Multicloud

Multicloud is not entirely without challenges, however:

  • Lack of clarity around costs: Understanding the cost implications of every provider and service is difficult since these costs may change over time. You can solve this problem with a cloud automation solution that does the job for you.
  • Making a successful digital transition: The transition over from legacy services and infrastructure to multicloud requires careful planning and an understanding of how to best leverage what various cloud providers offer.

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Hybrid and Multicloud

  1. Cost: Public cloud services come with a smaller overhead than other types of infrastructure. The provider handles most, if not all, of the responsibilities around maintaining a data center. If cost is a deciding factor for your company, go for a multicloud deployment.
  2. Security: If you need to meet specific regulatory standards for a subset of your data or business logic, a hybrid cloud is a good choice. It allows keeping these resources in a more controlled environment, be it a private cloud or an on-premises data center. Still, don’t forget that public cloud vendors invest massive amounts of resources into security, so public cloud services might be an option as well.
  3. Ease of migration: Another key consideration is the time and effort your team would have to spend on a cloud migration. Moving data and applications to the public cloud is a resource-intensive task, but definitely worth it. If your company isn’t ready for that, partial migration and a hybrid cloud strategy could work better.
  4. Vendor lock-in: Using multiple public cloud services reduces your dependence on a single cloud vendor. If this is important in the long run, multicloud is the right way to go.
  5. High availability: Deploying applications on multiple cloud services ensures that they keep running during periods of high demand. You can use a backup cloud to move a number of workloads from the primary cloud service if it’s overwhelmed.

Try Multicloud for Kubernetes

No cloud service provider is immune to cloud outages. Relying on a single vendor in this scenario might have dramatic consequences for your finances and reputation.

If you use Kubernetes, you can implement a multicloud-based disaster prevention plan with CAST AI. The solution protects your workloads from downtime by stretching Kubernetes clusters across multiple cloud services. When one service goes down, your business continues to operate because CAST instantly replaces the lost resources.

Take a step towards disaster prevention with multicloud and protect your company from cloud outages.

Featured image via Pixabay

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