Coming out of 2017, multi-cloud strategies and solutions became the center of attention for most IT communities.
In this article, I explore the initial and current drivers of multi-cloud solutions and I share my thoughts on whether or not you need multi-cloud solutions.
Initial Drivers of Multi-Cloud Solutions – What Made Them so Desirable?
The biggest challenge that the cloud faced after its introduction was data security. In an attempt to overcome this challenge, organizations adapted multi-cloud strategy. Multi-cloud solutions deliver data redundancy. With multiple copies of data in different clouds, data loss is prevented and downtime is effectively reduced. Due to the fact that data loss and downtime incur major financial repercussions for businesses, multi-cloud adaptation accelerated.
Another concept that drove multi-cloud solutions was vendor lock-in prevention.
When I mention vendor lock-in some circles, I face the question: “What’s so bad about them?” I always answer that with an example, so allow me to do that in this case as well.
Let’s assume that you’ve acquired the services of Amazon Web Services and are leveraging their S3 and S3-IA storage tiers effectively. One of your primary concerns is data privacy. Microsoft Azure offers a Confidential Cloud Computing service. This service is like a black box and it’s purpose-built for privacy purposes. However, you’re an AWS user. You cannot access that service unless you set up a multi-cloud solution. If you have both clouds configured, then accessing the desired service of one or both of them is simple.
Another less popular driver for multi-cloud solutions was cost-effectiveness. With different cloud service providers, the most cost-effective ones could be used and you wouldn’t have to rely on your sole vendor. If a specific service was expensive, then you could just use the other service provider’s service.
The disadvantage here is that multi-cloud solutions lead to a pretty complex billing structure. If it’s not properly maintained, it can lead to additional expenses instead of making the venture cost effective.
Do You Need Multi-Cloud Solutions?
Allow me to present my setup as an example: I use two clouds for my data. I have a few folders with important data and I’ve configured two clouds to sync these folders at pre-defined schedules. This is a basic multi-cloud setup. The question in this scenario remains: “Do I need two clouds?”
The answer is: No. In this case, I don’t need two clouds; one would suffice. However, I use them because its important data and I don’t mind being careful with it. Basically, my reason for using a multi-cloud strategy is redundancy.
Similar to my use-case, businesses around the globe use multi-cloud solutions for various reasons. In fact, a survey by EMA pointed out the global adaptation of multi-cloud solutions.
To simply answer the question of whether or not you need multi-cloud solutions, that specifically depends on your data requirements and your data protection and management strategy. If your data management strategy emphasizes redundancy, then utilizing a multi-cloud model is the best option for you.
If your data management strategy is more biased towards simplicity, then the cloud computing model just won’t work for you.
That’s my two cents about the subject; what’s your take on it? Comment below and share with like-minded professionals.