Multi-cloud has been growing in popularity the last few years. It’s about to become the talked about solution in the enterprise cloud world.
Forty-nine percent of organizations were “approaching their cloud computing infrastructure as a service (IaaS) strategy through multi-cloud adoption,” according to a Gartner report from October of 2018. That number is expected to explosively grow in the coming years as the advantages of multi-cloud become better known.
But before you go throwing your current public or private cloud strategy in the trash to jump on the bandwagon, there are a few things you should know. First, what is it, exactly?
What is Multi-cloud?
Simply put, multi-cloud means you’re using more than one public cloud. It’s important to note that this is different than hybrid cloud.
Whereas hybrid means you’re using a public cloud and a private cloud deployment together, multi-cloud means you’re using multiple public cloud solutions from different vendors to balance your workload needs. Depending on your needs, these multiple cloud deployments may interact or may function independently of one another.
Any rational CIO knows that failure is a fact of life and must be planned for. Not surprisingly, cloud vendors are no exception to this rule. As the cliche goes: it’s not a matter of if, but when, a given cloud provider will experience an outage.
Multicloud environments, then, are about mitigating that risk.
Distributing your workloads across multiple public clouds not only helps avoid data loss or downtime in the event of a failure, but also helps you avoid vendor lock-in. Additionally, it gives you access to price-competition, and lets you access the speed and capacity advantages of vendors in various geographic locations.
More importantly, however, a strategy like this can play a key part in your digital transformation initiatives by modernizing processes and meeting the growing strictness of security and compliance regulations like GDPR. Likewise, if you’re butting up against policies that are pushing for data sovereignty, it gives you the flexibility to store data in specific locations to meet those policy requirements.
“By 2022, about 75% of enterprise customers using cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) will go multi-cloud, up from 49% in 2017.”
When To Use Multi-cloud
Any of the reasons outlined above are great reasons. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons enterprises are adopting this strategy at such a high rate.
Avoid Vendor Lock-in by Using Multiple Providers
No one wants their business to be beholden to a single entity, yet many find themselves in that exact position. Complete dependence on a single cloud provider is a common concern. This is especially true when so many enterprise companies rely on four major providers to host critical workloads.
Deploying a multi-cloud environment gives you the ability to spread your resources across geographic areas, while you gain negotiation leverage, and avoid vendor lock-in.
Mitigate Risk from a Provider Outage
This is the most obvious reason to go multi-cloud.
If you rely on one vendor—and they have an outage—you’re stuck. Keeping your resources and workloads distributed across clouds gives you the flexibility to access one if the other is down. This minimizes down time and reduces the risk of lost data.
Select Best of Breed Based on Business Needs
By working with multiple public cloud providers, you gain the ability to determine the best placement for your applications.
Have a specific technical requirement? Now you can find the perfect cloud environments to address it.
Need access to a new capability? You can work with that cloud platform too.
Need to keep certain data stored in specific locations to meet compliance regulations? Easy. Find a cloud provider that allows you to do that in the area you need to do it in, and bingo.
Is Multi-cloud Worth the Overhead and Complexity?
As enterprise organizations find themselves at different stages of cloud adoption—and different phases of digital transformation—its important to make sure your cloud strategy addresses a key question:
How do you make sure you have high-performing access to cloud workloads, no matter where you’re accessing those clouds from or which cloud provider you use?
There are challenges to consider in adopting a multi-cloud approach.
Applications and teams can get fractured. Budgets can be stretched too thin. Your IT team may need to invest considerable resources in configuration, deployment, and scaling with each new cloud. In short, multiple public clouds may become unruly to manage and costly to fund. They can slow digital transformation initiatives, not improve them.
As far as we’re concerned, though, all of those challenges can be managed with a little planning or by working with the right strategic partner.
Teridion and Multi-Cloud
Because Teridion’s cloud WAN service is built within the public cloud, we uniquely answer the key multi-cloud performance question. Our ability to accelerate your access to any public cloud provider, from anywhere, to anywhere, makes us the perfect partner as you consider your multi-cloud plans. Teridion puts your network edge right in the cloud provider’s datacenter for the best possible performance.
Cloud access is just one facet of our WAN solution. Teridion for Enterprise accelerates all your WAN traffic: site-to-site, site-to-SaaS, and site-to-cloud, and it comes with SLA-backed performance and reliability.