Multi-cloud environments are fast becoming a standard component of the enterprise IT ecosystem. There remains a reasonable amount of uncertainty surrounding this type of cloud computing.
Even though multi-cloud offers businesses greater efficiency, elasticity, and scalability, it comes with drawbacks. And, like any other enterprise technology, it has its own pros and cons. So, let us dive right into the myths you have probably heard about multi-cloud computing and why they couldn’t be more wrong!
1. Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud and identical
Fact: While they are both heterogeneous environments, multi and hybrid clouds have very different implications for IT.
While multi-cloud and hybrid cloud are similar, there are some major differences. These can impact their design and operation.
It primarily utilizes clouds from various providers, like AWS for front-end applications and Azure for Exchange Servers. Hybrid cloud integrates private cloud systems with a number of public clouds, enabling them to operate as one entity.
The type of cloud architecture you implement will be dependent on the apps you run or support and your larger business goals.
2. Multi-cloud prevents vendor lock-in
Fact: There will always be a degree of lock-in with any public cloud.
In order to clarify this misconception, let’s first define what vendor lock-in means. In cloud computing, vendor lock-in happens when moving to an alternative cloud platform provider is prohibitively expensive. It ultimately ends in the consumer being essentially bound by the vendor.
The general idea is, that when you’re using multiple cloud platforms, vendor lock-in doesn’t happen. But this is not the case.
If you’re using the native APIs of a cloud service provider, you are effectively locked in. Important cloud services, like security, governance, or storage, that are consumed via one cloud provider aren’t transferable to other cloud service providers — unless they are modified to become interoperable.
3. Multi-cloud is more expensive than a single provider
Fact: Cloud costs depend on how it is managed, not the number of providers you choose.
Multi-clouds aren’t more likely than other cloud services to exceed the budget. It all depends on how you deal with them. With fundamental guidelines in place, which include monitoring, provisioning, and preserving data in the right storage layer, organizations will find it simple to keep multi-cloud costs in check.
4. Security takes a back seat when you adopt multi-cloud
Fact: Configuring security in multi-cloud environments takes largely the same effort and skills as a single cloud.
Like administration in general, security in the multi-cloud is only harder if it isn’t executed correctly.
A software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) that has an incorporated security layer is a must for cloud security. Consequently, the cloud, in its entirety, is placed beneath a single architecture that permits the expansion of safeguards and monitoring capacities at any point.
Obviously, there is nothing intrinsic to multi-cloud architecture, making it more secure than other architectures. Several service frameworks, data access, or controls will have to be dealt with (particularly during migration).
If you neglect conformity across multiple architectures as well as geographic regions, multi-cloud may not be secure. But the same applies to single cloud environments as well.
5. Containerized apps can immediately move to multi-cloud
Fact: Containerization alone is not enough for multi-cloud migration; additional efforts are involved.
It’s true that containers supply applications with mobile, standardized models. However, cloud-native applications are operationally quite complex.
A containerized workload requires additional modifications before it may be considered cloud-native. Among these changes are the adoption of container-specific OSes, the channeling of traffic, and the automated management of construction or operational settings. You will incur exorbitant costs if you migrate monolithic applications from virtualized machines to the cloud without any intermediate steps.
6. Multi-cloud will help you cut costs immediately
Fact: It turns out to be more cost-effective in the long term, but you will have to wait to unlock full value.
Cloud computing is a cost-effective solution, and this is among its greatest advantages. Yet, the notion that multi-cloud solutions are always more cost-effective than single-cloud solutions isn’t entirely accurate.
Multi-cloud strategies demand heterogeneity, which requires an array of skills for effective execution. Consequently, there is a mix of financial and non-financial risk, as quite a bit of architectural complexity is involved. Nevertheless, businesses continue to favor multi-cloud because of its increased agility, which enables them to use top-of-the-line cloud offerings and push the pedal on innovation.
In terms of direct costs, multicloud is undoubtedly more costly to construct, set up, and run than a single cloud. Multiple platforms, however, offer optimal solutions for a broad range of enterprise-level challenges.
7. Single clouds are still the norm
Fact: Headline-grabbing cloud deals aside, most enterprises use two or more cloud platforms – and vendors are embracing this as well.
It may appear that most businesses decide between AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform without thinking about other options.
However, many businesses, especially those that have been investing in tech solutions for a long time, want a broader selection of service providers. These organizations use hybrid and multi-cloud solutions to maximize the available assets while minimizing dependence on a single vendor.
Even Google acknowledges the importance of an “open cloud” in fostering creativity, versatility, and adaptability. Google is expanding its open-source ecosystem so as to ease the incorporation of multiple clouds. BigQuery, for example, facilitates the incorporation of data from multiple sources and supports data analytics in a centralized location.
8. Multi-cloud is like many rivers flowing into one ocean
Fact: Perfect interoperability is almost impossible to achieve in any heterogeneous cloud environment, including multi-cloud.
The commonly held belief is that multi-cloud deployments appear and can be managed as a singular conceptual entity. The fact is that clouds work as platforms, and despite standardization, they will continue to vary — similar to SQL databases.
It is ultimately a means for businesses to diversify. In the vast majority of cases, multi-cloud will not involve the operation of distributed databases or apps over two or more clouds. Instead, the multi-cloud strategy emphasizes cloud choice flexibility — what’s running, where.
9. Small companies cannot adopt multi-cloud
Fact: Most businesses rely on different cloud environments already, and it is a good idea to prepare early.
Now, it’s possible that large organizations have a greater demand for multi-cloud architectures. However, small businesses keep using an array of specialized apps that are improved by the use of multiple clouds. To get the most out of these tools, it’s best to start with a scaled-out environment.
Using SaaS platforms like Salesforce, Power BI, Tableau, etc., or a managed security service, small enterprises may take advantage of multi-cloud computing.
10. Multi-cloud will automatically increase my resiliency
Fact: It is useful for resiliency only if you use a different cloud for backup or to host your desktop virtualization images.
The fallacy is that businesses can dynamically transfer apps and information between databases if they employ more than one cloud provider. Therefore, they cannot be knocked out by just one outage. Using the multi-cloud strategy for disaster recovery can cost twice as much as using a single cloud for just one app.
This is because workloads cannot move between clouds in real time during an emergency, and you will need to have two instances of the same application running simultaneously on two clouds – adding to the costs.
For resiliency purposes, it is better to have redundant locations in place and invest to minimize internal network outages, given that public cloud outages are infrequent.
Today, the likelihood of ending up with a multi-cloud environment (whether you plan for it or not) is very high. You may choose to connect supply chain IoT sensors on AWS, train machine learning models on Google, and use Azure for workspace collaboration. But do go into the investment with eyes wide open and first learn all there is to know about cloud computing to make the best decision for your business.