Cloud computing has heavily revolutionized business operations in today’s time. It offers ample benefits like cost savings, mobility, flexibility in storing data, competitive advantage, remote access, etc. With an inclination of enterprises to cloud storage, there is no better time than today to make a move to the cloud.
In this ever-changing cloud arena, choosing a suitable cloud strategy is a task in itself. Here comes the two major players – Hybrid Cloud and Multi-Cloud. But these two terms are often a bit confusing. What makes their deployment different from each other? Are they meagerly IT buzzwords or something more than that? Let’s find out.
What is Hybrid Cloud?
A hybrid cloud comprises a combination of two or more cloud environments. A hybrid cloud deployment seamlessly integrates a minimum of one private cloud solution with at least a single public cloud resource.
By using a hybrid cloud, one can access a mixture of storage, computing, and various service environments. These service environments are private cloud services, on-premises architecture, and a public cloud. Thanks to the hybrid cloud, a clear-cut orchestration is created among different platforms.
What is Multi-Cloud?
Multi-cloud is the integration and combination of numerous public clouds. An organization can use one cloud for user authentication, another as a Platform As a Service, and another to authenticate users.
If the multi-cloud deployment incorporates a private cloud or an on-premises data center, it can be classified as a hybrid cloud configuration.
Hybrid cloud vs Multi-cloud – Key differences
It’s best to start with the architecture part before comparing multi-cloud and hybrid clouds. After this, we will look into the remaining ones:
Talking about the architecture, a hybrid cloud contains a mixture of public and private cloud services, while a multi-cloud has two or more cloud services in place.
Another critical difference between hybrid and multi-cloud architecture is that hybrid cloud users can own and manage private cloud as their infrastructure.
This setup is typically managed in-house, in on-premises data centers, or on dedicated third-party servers. On the other hand, multi-cloud systems exclusively use public cloud services.
Multi-cloud environments are well-suited for high availability. The prominent cloud vendors offer service-level agreements and guarantees that mean public cloud resources offer a business-critical uptime. So, if one resource goes down, it becomes seamless to another one.
Hybrid cloud resources require owner management. If the private resource goes down without a backup, it may lead to significant downtime.
A hybrid cloud lets companies manage data storage effectively. Private clouds store sensitive data, while public clouds handle not so important tasks. When evaluating hybrid cloud benefits, data storage is a crucial factor. It offers compliance for critical data but may have uptime and disaster recovery limitations. On the other hand, a multi-cloud solution provides ample storage, backup, and disaster recovery capabilities.
A corporation employing a hybrid cloud strategy could incur additional fees. This is especially true if the private cloud resource is hosted on-premises, where the corporation would acquire, operate, and maintain the resource.
That initial investment is not required for public cloud services. As a result, multi-cloud systems based on public cloud resources are substantially less expensive to implement and operate. Taking advantage of the vast purchasing power of public cloud providers provides multi-cloud users with better access to top technologies.
Flexibility is the best part of integrating a hybrid cloud. Here, an enterprise can choose the right resources that are streamlined with their operational requirements. Another catch here is that hybrid cloud users can select their provider, but they don’t get such flexibility in the private cloud.
On the other hand, multi-cloud architecture enables companies to scale as and when needed. With multi-cloud, companies can increase their resources faster. The best part of multi-cloud is that there is no vendor lock-in, enabling businesses to choose the right vendors instead of getting stuck with a single cloud service provider.
In addition to this, hybrid cloud resources contain configurations that limit your choices to a great extent. Because of this, you don’t fall into the trap of choosing the wrong ones.
Is it possible that a Hybrid Cloud can be Multi-cloud?
Yes, it may happen in some cases that a hybrid cloud can be a multi-cloud. Hybrid cloud deployment often includes a cluster of public clouds called a multi-cloud deployment. While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they have subtle differences in meaning.
How to choose the suitable cloud option for your business?
Here’s how to choose the cloud in the right manner:
- Consider your workload: Think carefully the workload you anticipate on the cloud. You may choose between SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, or a bespoke cloud solution according to your business needs to guarantee a smooth cloud transmission.
- Scalability needs: Be clear about your executions of scalability from the cloud. You can choose from a multi-cloud or a hybrid arrangement to address increasing customer demands during peak periods.
- Latency requirements: If your company requires near-real-time data exchange, a hybrid arrangement or multi-cloud deployment can assist in achieving low latency, which is adequate for most workloads.
- Budget considerations: A hybrid strategy may incur upfront expenditures, such as establishing and maintaining a private cloud infrastructure. Multi-cloud solutions, on the other hand, offer cost benefits by allowing you to pay for services as you use them.
- User locations: If your workforce is dispersed across numerous locations or relies on remote access, using a multi-cloud approach with data centers in different regions might be helpful.
To streamline your cloud deployment approach, it’s critical to focus on five crucial elements while making your selection.
The suitable cloud strategy is based on different factors such as a business’ size, goals, customer segment, types of operations, etc. If you are looking for better control over your business data or are concerned about its security, then a hybrid cloud is the right choice.
On the contrary, if you want to ensure that your workloads will run in various environments or want to gain better flexibility and a wide array of choices, then adopting a multi-cloud strategy is the right choice.
You can also get in touch with a reputed cloud services provider to make the right choice from both of these options.
Guest article written by: Hardik Shah is a Tech Consultant at Simform, a digital product engineering company. He leads large scale mobility programs that cover platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices. Connect with him to discuss the best practices of digital product engineering & cloud transformation @hsshah.