Early this year, IDG published a survey, which reviewed IT environments, multi-cloud advantages, and IT budgets. The survey revealed that around 55% of respondents adopted a multi-cloud strategy – 34% work with two clouds, 10% utilize three, and 11% rely on more than three clouds. Nearly 50% of them justified their preference by referencing similar multi-cloud advantages; they believe each helps them to leverage the best-in-class platform and service options.
The rising trend of companies employing multiple clouds is backed up by the following benefits.
Takes Your Cloud Innovation to Newer Levels
One of the significant multi-cloud advantages is the flexibility it offers for rapid innovation while utilizing the unique sets of services offered by the cloud. This allows your engineers to prioritize innovation without making any compromises for meeting the limitations of cloud providers.
This is similar to the legacy enterprise approach wherein the vendor controlled the architecture of the enterprise apps by leveraging features. Thus, the innovation opportunity by taking advantage of the suitable set of services is one of the biggest benefits of a multi-cloud strategy.
For example, AWS can be your best bet to encode a video, whereas Google Cloud is better if you are looking to annotate videos so they can be searched and found easily.
Prevents Vendor Lock-In
Getting a single provider comes with a lot of risks. While selecting a vendor, you need to ensure that the service will address your present and future requirements and offer the type of cloud service you need (public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud). When your project starts to expand, there comes a point where it will no longer remain as the best choice. When you develop your application to function on a single cloud platform, it makes you restricted, after which it will be harder to adopt a separate platform.
Cloud service providers launch new services, subsequently increasing their prices. When using a single platform, you will fail to take advantage of the opportunities others providers might provide or struggle with migrating to a platform with affordable pricing. The flexibility to pick multiple cloud platforms can minimize your reliance on a cloud service provider and you can make the most of the best features of each vendor, mixing and matching their services to resolve your business’ needs.
Optimizes Your Workloads
Since different cloud service providers specialize in separate fields, choosing a cloud provider that will allow your systems and applications to perform at optimal levels and managing your application deployments accordingly is valuable. It enables organizations to boost their productivity and efficiency to a significant extent. In addition, you get to streamline compliance, save costs, and deliver exceptional quality of service.
For instance, you may decide to go for IBM’s AI solutions, but for your data management, you may find AWS more tempting.
One of the foremost multi-cloud advantages includes the option to choose from a wide range of cloud regions and zones – ones that are closer in proximity to your clients. Doing this lowers latency and enhances user experience. Think for yourself – the less distance your data has to travel, the quicker your applications will have to process and respond. Usually, cloud service providers distribute their data centers across the world, but a certain one may have a data center located nearer to your customers. Hence, getting multiple cloud service providers can turn out to be an excellent step if it assists you with achieving higher speeds, thereby improving your customer satisfaction and customer retention rates.
Adopting multi-cloud has its fair share of issues as well. Here’s what to expect when it comes to multi-cloud challenges:
Difficult to Hire
Cloud computing architects are now more in demand than ever before. Cloud computing professionals who have a single cloud service provider are already quite tough to find. However, cloud computing architects who have the proficiency and experience in more than one cloud are a lot harder to find. A great deal of efforts goes into looking for such cloud experts who can design applications on multiple cloud platforms and do keep in mind that the search process takes more time than your expectations.
More Complex Security Infrastructure
If you partner with a single cloud service provider that manages data security, it doesn’t cause too many complications. However, if you store data on multiple clouds, complexity is an undesirable byproduct, making it tougher to safeguard your data and avoid leakage.
A multi-cloud environment is quite challenging to secure than a single cloud. Also, you will have to consider the following:
- SSL/TLS encryption
- Secrets management
- Resource policies
- Identity and access controls
- Encryption keys
On the flip side, multi-cloud also comes with security benefits, such as preventing DDoS attacks effectively. Storing data on various platforms is beneficial, such as with a persistent DDoS attack that will not cause any significant damage to your business. In the meantime, other vendors can take control until the breached provider resumes the affected service.
Cost Estimation and Reporting
While working with various vendors, you do save more money, but it also makes cost estimation and consolidation far more complex than before. As cloud service providers have varying costs for all services, it’s necessary to have a proper understanding of how pricing works for every cloud service. It also means that you have to delve deeper into finding cross-account reporting dashboards and optimization tools for successfully handling the financial components. Moreover, when you move data between multiple clouds, your expenses will grow too.
Final Thoughts on Multi-Cloud Advantages and Multi-Cloud Challenges navigated by your Cloud Service Provider
Although a multi-cloud strategy requires more resources, multi-cloud advantages easily outweigh the multi-cloud challenges. All you need is a team of reputable cloud service provider and cloud computing architects and for that, we are here to help.