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What Is Multi-Cloud? Features, Architecture, Pros & Cons

Updated on January 18, 2023

12 Min Read
what is multicloud

In recent years, the growth of multi-cloud solutions has skyrocketed. Especially during the pandemic, many companies pulled forward plans for multiyear cloud migrations and application modernization efforts to compensate for the lack of easy data center access.

With the rise of cloud computing, more and more organizations are increasingly turning to multi-cloud solutions to take advantage of the benefits of multiple cloud providers.

As per the VMware Digital Momentum report, around 73% of surveyed enterprises said they were using two public clouds. Similarly, a Gartner survey shows 81% of public cloud users reported using two or more providers.

Multi-cloud, for most, means managing public cloud consumption along with a mix that can include private clouds, on-premises assets, and edge clouds.

If all this sounds too technical, don’t worry. In this blog post, we’ll talk about what exactly is a multi-cloud infrastructure.

What Is Multi-Cloud?

Multi-cloud is a term used to describe the use of multiple cloud computing services. It usually includes using a mix of public and private clouds from more than 1 cloud vendor for different applications or workloads.

what-is-multi-cloud

Multi-cloud can provide greater flexibility, scalability, and redundancy than relying on a single provider. It can also help avoid vendor lock-in and reduce costs by allowing you to take advantage of each provider’s best cloud features and pricing.

Why Use a Multi-Cloud Solution?

Organizations today are turning to multi-cloud solutions to take advantage of the benefits that each individual cloud provider has to offer. As per VMware report, around 41% of businesses using multi-cloud have seen a reduction in cost and fewer hours spent on IT.

Statistically speaking, multi-cloud platform solutions can improve redundancy, performance, and security. Businesses can mitigate the risk of outages and data loss by using multiple providers.

It allows businesses to optimize their workloads for different regions or data types. The solution also gives businesses more choice and flexibility, resulting in a competitive advantage.

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Some of the benefits of using a multi-cloud solution include the following:

  • Freedom to choose the best cloud-native service provider.
  • Reduced overhead operational costs by managing infrastructure with existing toolsets across multiple clouds.
  • Improved monitoring across clouds, which can improve application performance and security.
  • Improved security by incorporating a Zero Trust architecture.
  • Improved application portability via the use of APIs.

Businesses Using Multi-Cloud Solutions

From small businesses to large enterprises, more and more companies are turning to multi-cloud to provide them with the flexibility, scalability, and security they need. The most prominent industries leveraging multi-cloud architecture include healthcare, finance, and the public sector.

Healthcare businesses are one type of company that is increasingly choosing multi-cloud. With the sensitive nature of healthcare data, security is a major concern. multi-cloud provides an extra layer of security by allowing businesses to spread their data across multiple cloud providers. This way, if one provider is breached, the rest of the data remains safe.

Financial services is another industry that is increasingly turning to multi-cloud. Financial data is also sensitive, so security is a key concern.

In addition, the scalability of multi-cloud is ideal for businesses in this industry that experience spikes in traffic. By using multiple cloud providers, businesses can ensure that they have the capacity to meet customer demand without overspending on infrastructure.

The public sector is also increasingly turning to multi-cloud. Government organizations are constantly pressured to provide citizens with the best possible services. Multi-cloud allows public sector organizations to choose the right provider for each application, ensuring they can always offer the best possible service.

As more businesses turn to multi-cloud, we expect to see more industries adopting this flexible, scalable, and secure solution. However, for a smooth transition to multi-cloud, it’s important for businesses to ensure their employees have Cisco CCNA Certification. Doing so will ensure effortless and secure adoption.

The Main Difference Between Multi-Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, and Hybrid Multi-Cloud

multi-cloud-hybrid-cloud-difference

The cloud has become an integral part of businesses today. As per a study by Flexera, around 89% of respondents reported having a multi-cloud strategy.

Multicloud architecture helps organizations be more agile, scale faster, and be more efficient. But with so many different types of clouds available, it can be hard to decide which is right for your business.

Multicloud, hybrid cloud, and hybrid multi-cloud are all popular business choices, but they each have their differences. Let’s learn more about all these cloud types in detail:

Multi-Cloud

A multi-cloud management strategy is when a business uses multiple cloud providers to run its applications and services. The strategy provides greater flexibility and choice when choosing the right provider for each application or service.

However, managing multi-cloud can also be more complex than other options. Each cloud provider has its own management tools and processes, which can add to the complications.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is a type of cloud computing that combines on-premises infrastructure—or a private cloud—with a public cloud. A hybrid cloud can increase scalability and flexibility while allowing businesses to keep sensitive data on-site.

But this infrastructure is also more expensive. On-premise resources can be difficult and time-consuming to maintain, and you may need to invest in additional hardware and software to make the hybrid cloud work.

Hybrid Multi-Cloud

A hybrid multi-cloud strategy is when a business uses a mix of on-premise, private, and public cloud resources to host its websites or applications. This approach can help businesses reduce costs, improve agility, and increase flexibility. However, it’s important to carefully consider your specific needs before implementing a hybrid multi-cloud strategy.

When to Use Multi-Cloud?

For businesses that are growing quickly or expanding into new markets, multi-cloud can be a way to ensure that they have the flexibility and scalability they need to keep up with demand.

It can also be helpful for businesses that have complex or resource-intensive workloads, as it can allow them to distribute those workloads across multiple clouds and avoid overloading a single system.

How Is Deploying Multi-Cloud Good for Your Business?

A multi-cloud solution is a great way to keep your business data safe. It allows you to have multiple data backups in different locations, which can help prevent data loss due to hardware failure or natural disasters.
There are many other reasons why businesses should consider using multi-cloud. Here are 6 of the most important ones:

1. A More Tailored Approach

Each business has different requirements for cloud services. By using multi-cloud, businesses can mix and match different CSPs to create a solution tailored to their specific needs. This way, they can avoid paying for features they don’t need or using a one-size-fits-all approach that may not be suitable.

2. No Vendor Lock-Ins

When businesses use multiple CSPs, they are not locked into one vendor. Having this flexibility means they can switch to another CSP if they are unhappy with the service or if the costs become too high. This flexibility gives businesses more control over their cloud services and helps them avoid being locked into a long-term contract with one vendor.

3. Increased Risk Management

Businesses are always looking for ways to manage risk better, and one way to do that is to spread their data and workloads across different cloud service providers. Using multiple CSPs can help businesses keep their data safe and secure, and it can also assist them in avoiding outages and other disruptions.

4. Better Agility and Resilience

Organizations using multi-cloud can be more agile as they can quickly scale up or down their usage of different services depending on their needs. Having access to such an option help businesses save money as they only pay for the resources they use. Additionally, multi-cloud can help businesses build more resilient systems as they can recover quickly from any issues with one CSP by using the services of another.

5. High-Speed Infrastructure

Many businesses need high-speed infrastructure to support their operations. By using multi-cloud infrastructure, businesses can get the best possible performance as they can use the services of multiple CSPs that have the fastest and most reliable infrastructure.

Multi-cloud is a great option for organizations that want more control over their cloud services, need to be more agile and resilient, or require high-speed infrastructure. By using multiple CSPs, they can create a solution that is tailored to their specific needs and avoid being locked into one vendor.

6. Drives Innovation

Organizations that use multi-cloud can be more innovative as they can try out new services and technologies from different CSPs without being locked into one vendor. This gives them the freedom to experiment and find the best solutions for their needs.

How Cloudways Disrupted the Multi-Cloud Market for Small Businesses?

In the past, it was a big challenge for small businesses that wanted to use multiple cloud services for their web operations. But all that changed when we showed up at the party.

how-cloudways-disrupted-the-multi-cloud-market

Before Cloudways, if a small business wanted to use multiple cloud providers, they would have to either use a managed hosting provider or do it themselves. Managed hosting providers were expensive and often did not offer small businesses the flexibility needed. And the DIY approach was time-consuming and complicated.

But with Cloudways, small businesses finally had a solution that was both affordable and easy to use.

With Cloudways, small businesses can easily distribute their workloads across multiple cloud providers whether it be DigitalOcean website hosting, AWS Cloud or Linode giving freedom for multiple choices, allowing them to take advantage of the best features of each cloud provider.

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Cloudways has also enabled small businesses to manage their multi-cloud infrastructures. With the Cloudways platform, businesses can easily deploy, scale, and manage their applications on multiple cloud providers.

Cloudways scalability allowed businesses to deploy web projects quickly and easily shift their projects from one cloud provider in 1 click through the server cloning feature.

Since our launch in 2015, Cloudways has quickly become the leading multi-cloud platform for small businesses. In just a few short years, we have disrupted the multi-cloud market and become the go-to platform for small businesses that want to use multiple cloud providers.

If you’re a small business that wants to use multiple cloud providers, then Cloudways is your platform. With Cloudways, you can easily deploy, scale, and manage your applications on multiple cloud providers.

To understand how Cloudways is better than shared hosting and dedicated hosting, check out our detailed comparison.

How to Get Started on Your Multi-Cloud Strategy

It’s no secret that many organizations are moving to a multi-cloud strategy. According to Virtana Research, over 80% of all enterprises used a Multi-Cloud strategy as of 2023, and 78% leveraged more than 3 Public Clouds.

There are many reasons why organizations are making the switch to a multi-cloud strategy. Maybe they’re looking to reduce vendor lock-in or want to take advantage of the best features of each cloud provider. Whatever the reason, here is how you can get started.

Research Your Vendors

When looking at multi-cloud providers, it’s important to do your research. You’ll want to look at pricing, features, and customer support. But you’ll also want to look at things like vendor lock-in. Make sure you know each vendor’s policies around data portability, the number of PHP workers allowed, and service level agreements.

Make a Contingency Plan Against Any Potential Lock-Ins

Even if you’re not worried about vendor lock-ins, it’s always a good idea to have a contingency plan in place.

  • What would you do if one of your cloud providers went out of business?
  • What if there was a data breach at one of your providers?

A plan in place will help you keep your business running smoothly, even if something unexpected happens.

Research How They Handle Backup and Failovers

One of the most important parts of a multi-cloud strategy is making sure your data is safe. You’ll need to research how each vendor handles backup and fail-over. Find out their policies around data replication and snapshots, and ensure you understand how they would handle a major outage.

Look up the Support Each Vendor Provides

When using a multi-cloud strategy, you’ll need to rely on the support of your vendors. So before you commit to any one provider, make sure you understand what kind of support they offer. Find out their response times and whether they offer 24/7 support. Also, ensure you understand what kind of support they offer for data migration and debugging.

No matter your reasons for moving to a multi-cloud strategy, you should keep a few things in mind. By doing your research, making a contingency plan, and understanding the support each vendor offers, you can be sure you’re making the best decision for your business.

Pros and Cons of Multi-Cloud

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to implement a multi-cloud strategy for your business. The pros and cons of multi-cloud must be carefully weighed to determine what is best for your company, and here is a list of them.

Pros Cons
  • Multi-cloud lets you pick the best services from different clouds that fit your needs without being locked into any single cloud provider.
  • Different vendors might use different payment methods leading to confusion
  • It provides complete control over data distribution and application management.
  • Managing multi-cloud is difficult to manage since you need to track multiple accounts.
  • Ability to scale and reach more customers by leveraging a worldwide distribution network.
  • Higher security risk as each cloud provider will have its own security protocols.
  • Lower downtime and higher latency for your applications.
  • Cost-effective and allows you to save money.

Let’s learn about the pros and cons of using multi-cloud in detail.

Pros of Using Multi-Cloud

Freedom to Pick and Choose

With multi-cloud, you’re not locked into any one provider. You have the freedom to choose the best provider for each individual workload. Also, if you need to switch providers for any reason, you can do so without incurring the high costs associated with moving all of your data to a new provider.

Companies using multi-cloud solutions can also keep their options open and switch providers if they are not happy with the service they are getting.

It Gives You Control

Multi-cloud gives you more control over your data and applications. With a traditional single-cloud approach, you’re at the provider’s mercy. If they have an outage, you’re out of luck. With multi-cloud, you can quickly switch to another provider if there’s an issue.

Better Service Reach

A multi-cloud infrastructure allows you to reach more customers and clients, as you’re not limited to just one provider’s service area. This can be a major advantage for businesses wanting to expand their customer base or looking for redundancy in their system. Multi-cloud also allows you to take advantage of different providers’ strengths – for example; one provider might have better data security while another has lower prices.

Lower Downtime

Multi-cloud can also help you avoid downtime. With a traditional single-cloud approach, your entire system may go down if one provider has an issue. However, with multi-cloud, if one provider has an issue, you can simply switch to another provider until the first one is up and running again.

Cost-Effective

Another big advantage of multi-cloud computing is that it can help you save money. With a cloud solution, you only pay for the resources you use, and you can easily scale up or down as your needs change. Additionally, by spreading data and workloads across multiple cloud providers, businesses can exploit the price competition between vendors and avoid being locked into a single provider.

When it comes to cloud infrastructure, there are pros and cons to using a multi-cloud strategy. On the one hand, it can be more cost-effective and provide greater flexibility. On the other hand, it can be more confusing to manage and pose a higher security risk.

Cons of Using Multi-Cloud Infrastructure

Confusing Payments

One of the downsides of using a multi-cloud infrastructure is that managing your payments can be more confusing. With a single cloud provider, you have one bill to pay. But with multiple providers, you must keep track of multiple bills and make sure you’re paying each one on time. This can be a hassle, especially if you’re not using a cloud management platform.

Management Difficulties

Another disadvantage of using a multi-cloud infrastructure is that it can be more difficult to manage. With a single cloud provider, you have one account to manage. But with multiple providers, you must keep track of multiple accounts and ensure you use each one effectively. All of this can be a challenge, especially if you’re not using a cloud management platform.

Higher Security Risk

One of the biggest concerns with using a multi-cloud infrastructure is that it poses a higher security risk. With a single cloud provider, you have one set of security controls. But with multiple providers, you have to manage multiple sets of security controls, and this can be a challenge, especially if you’re not using a cloud management platform.

Overall, there are pros and cons to using a multi-cloud infrastructure. It can be more cost-effective and provide greater flexibility. But managing it can also be more confusing and pose a higher security risk. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons to decide if a multi-cloud infrastructure is right for you.

Summary

While some challenges are associated with multi-cloud management, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Businesses can enjoy the best of all worlds by leveraging the strengths of multiple cloud providers. With multi-cloud, businesses can avoid vendor lock-in, enjoy increased flexibility and choice, and gain a competitive edge.

Multi-cloud is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but it is a great option for businesses who want to take advantage of the benefits of multiple cloud providers. With careful planning and execution, businesses can reap the rewards of multi-cloud and stay ahead of the competition.

Q: What is multi-cloud in simple terms?

A: In simple terms, multi-cloud is the use of multiple cloud computing platforms to run different parts of a single application. For example, an application might use Amazon Web Services (AWS) for storage, Microsoft Azure for computing, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for machine learning.

Q: Is multi-cloud very costly?

A: Yes, multi-cloud can be costly, but the benefits you receive can outweigh the costs. With multi-cloud, you can take advantage of the best features of each cloud provider, which can save you money in the long run. You also have the flexibility to switch providers if one becomes too expensive or doesn’t meet your needs.

Q: What are the benefits of multi-cloud?

A: Multi-cloud is a cloud computing strategy that uses multiple cloud services. It can provide organizations with greater flexibility and choice and can help them avoid vendor lock-in.
Multi-cloud can also offer benefits in terms of cost savings and performance. Organizations can use multiple cloud providers to take advantage of price competition and lower prices. And by distributing workloads across different clouds, they can improve performance and resilience.

Q: Is multi-cloud secure for all applications?

A: Yes, multi-cloud is generally secure for all applications. However, as with any type of cloud computing, there are always potential security risks. It is important to carefully evaluate the security of each individual cloud provider before using their services and to ensure that all data is properly encrypted before it is stored on any cloud platform.

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Sarim Javaid

Sarim Javaid is a Digital Content Producer at Cloudways. He has a habit of penning down his random thoughts and giving words and meaning to the clutter of ideas colliding inside his mind. His obsession with Google and his curious mind add to his research-based writing. Other than that, he's a music and art admirer and an overly-excited person.

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