Organizations have debated the most suitable cloud deployment model for organizations since the beginning of cloud computing. Early adopters of cloud computing rely on the public cloud like Amazon, Microsoft, or Google. While many organizations have adopted this approach, it doesn’t address every use case. Organizations are also very keen on implementing in-house cloud computing with a private cloud model to address security and governance concerns. As cloud computing usage has increased in both scope and popularity, so have the ways businesses can use the cloud to meet their needs.
Until recently, most organizations have been choosing and implementing a Hybrid cloud. Now a new form of Hybrid cloud called, “Multicloud,” which utilizes multiple types of cloud services, is emerging in the industry. Multicloud architecture brings many benefits to the enterprise cloud, such as avoiding vendor lock-in and optimizing price/performance.
Hybrid cloud is an orchestration between the public cloud and on-premise private cloud; all managed as a single, policy-based environment. A common rationale for adapting a hybrid environment is using it as a transition to a full cloud deployment.
Hybrid clouds can securely extend the organization network and are part of integrated networking, creating one-network kind of infrastructure. The Hybrid cloud indicates indefatigable and secure lightning connectivity between the organization and the cloud environment. Hybrid cloud provides the capability to have a unified monitoring and resource management.
Multicloud is an orchestration between multiple public clouds like AWS, GCP, Azure, etc. Often in Multicloud, we can combine on-premise private cloud as well. Multicloud is a sort of Hybrid cloud, but its name multicloud is used to imply operations across multiple public cloud environments. Multiple clouds may be used to achieve best-of-breed results. This approach reflects the growing acceptance that not all clouds are created equal.
Each department/use case has different needs, which may not be limited to Software Development or R&D, and various cloud solutions can meet those requirements more effectively. Multicloud management requires careful orchestration and close attention to security and governance issues as it can be complicated.
Organizations may choose a Multicloud strategy for a variety of reasons. It may transpire that application demands may overwhelm a single provider, while geographic needs necessitate resources in multiple regions.
There are two main types of cloud deployment models: distributed and redundant.
In the distributed architecture app(s), components were deployed across multiple environments. They may or may not be running in the same environment.
Some examples of this deployment include:
- Tiered Hybrid: To handle security-related concerns, the backend, including data storage, runs in the private cloud while the frontend runs in the public cloud to achieve higher performance and agility.
- Partitioned Multicloud: Based on the geographic location of availability zones or specialized services provided by a particular cloud provider, enterprises maintain multiple cloud environments and deploy an app and data as per requirement.
- Analytics Hybrid/Multicloud: The data collected by the workloads is extracted and loaded into a public cloud for analytics, but transactional workloads run close to home in a private cloud.
In redundant architectures, the same app(s) components were deployed across multiple computing and storage environments to increase capacity or resiliency. In a redundant architecture, code and process can be lifted and shifted “as is” to the cloud infrastructure.
Some examples of redundant deployment include:
- Environment hybrid: Replicated workloads for non-production purposes such as development, testing, etc. are run in the public cloud, but production workloads are run in the private cloud.
- Business continuity Multicloud or Hybrid cloud storage: Disaster recovery jobs/processes are deployed redundantly across multiple cloud environments to avoid a single point of failure incidents.
- Cloud bursting: Baseline workloads can burst to the cloud as needed to scale and meet elastic capacity demands, but they can run privately as per requirement.
Both Multicloud and Hybrid cloud have flexibility due to access from multiple clouds, and data gets shared between clouds. This access can increase the overall redundancy. Databases can span clouds allowing organizations can tailor-out the plans based on their budget requirements. Both cloud environments need different sets of tools for operational management (security, cost, etc.).
It is possible for a Hybrid cloud to be Multicloud, but the reverse is not valid.
A Hybrid cloud would need security tools and approaches that could simultaneously work across different public and private clouds. Multicloud would require security approaches and tools that could work across multiple public clouds.
Multicloud administrators are mandated to learn the tools that can be utilized across multiple public clouds and translate the ops functions to the cardinal native functions of the public cloud. Hybrid cloud administrators are required to focus on native tools for operational tasks.
One of the most significant benefits of both Multicloud and Hybrid cloud is flexibility. Multicloud and Hybrid cloud strategies avoid the business risks of vendor lock-in for enterprises and provide the liberty to decide on how and where to deploy workloads. These strategies also promote more flexible data management for enhanced data sovereignty and compliance, availability, and durability.
Multicloud and Hybrid cloud strategies give enterprises price/performance optimization across providers. Multicloud and Hybrid redundant deployments strengthen business continuity by being less prone to DDoS attacks and SPOF incidents.
Enterprises can also use distributed and redundant deployment models to implement failover and disaster recovery plans. Multicloud approach provides the ability to distribute apps and services geographically. Organizations can achieve maximum business agility through DevOps culture.
- Each provider has different methods and provisioning policies that ops and DevOps teams have to get trained.
- Various pricing models and monthly bills make it difficult for enterprises to have a consolidated picture of cloud costs.
- When datasets are deployed across multiple providers, it becomes more difficult to control, track and synchronize
- Aggregating different data sources into data lakes becomes difficult for analytics and BI.
- Data protection across complex infrastructure becomes more difficult.
- Enforcing access control and data lifecycle management policies are harder.
- High levels of cloud and IT proficiency is needed to design, implement, and manage these complex environments.
- Hiring and retaining a team of IT and cloud experts with the required depth and breadth is a challenge in itself.
Choosing the Right Cloud Strategy for Your Enterprise
Enterprises must consider all the benefits and challenges of traditional approaches and new practices in cloud implementation. A robust cloud strategy is essential for a successful IT department in an organization.
Every cloud has its benefits and drawbacks, along with associated price tags. Detailed exploration and due diligence of the existing organizational workloads against the service offerings provided by each public cloud can help get control over the current cost and offers the ability to analyze ROI and the total cost of ownership that assists in making the right choice.