The Rise of Multi-Cloud
Over the last few years, we have seen exponentially growing interest in what is commonly called a multi-cloud strategy or multi-cloud infrastructure, across the enterprise community. Enterprises from all industries are considering and putting in place multi-cloud strategies, virtualizing their infrastructures and choosing a mix of cloud providers, rather than depending on a single vendor.
WHAT IS MULTI-CLOUD?
Multi-cloud is the next leap of cloud-enabled IT architecture beyond the hybrid cloud. It refers to an IT design where multiple cloud providers and on-premises private cloud resources are used simultaneously to realize certain business objectives and metrics that are hard to achieve with private-only or hybrid cloud designs.
These business objectives include the freedom of choice to pick and choose best of breed cloud services across public cloud providers, as well as allowing data mobility to eliminate concern over vendor lock-in. Organizations are also looking to achieve enhanced data availability and durability with data sets spread across multiple cloud architectures, and cost optimization with the ability to use the most appropriate cloud pricing scheme for each application across providers. These factors put the cloud customer in charge with optimal leverage and control, thereby fuelling the growing momentum of multi-cloud.
PRINCIPLES OF MULTI-CLOUD
The advantages of multi-cloud outlined above hinge on a number of principles that must be adhered to. First is the need to normalize data access, control, and security across all clouds with a single interface, with the choice being the Amazon S3 API – assuming a full-fledged implementation with Identity & Access Management or IAM. Secondly, the need to ensure that data always stays in its open, cloud-native format, so that it can be accessed wherever it exists in and can be moved around freely as required. The third is a crystal clear data brokering capability that allows data to be placed and moved around automatically based on pre-defined business rules.
If not implemented correctly and with reasonable safeguards, multi-cloud could intensify the drawbacks and challenges for cloud customers, such as increased complexity and overhead of data management, minimized flexibility in ways the data can be accessed, used, and tracking of where data is placed.
Many organizations can already be defined as multi-cloud users by default since the deployment of multiple cloud offerings within a single company has grown organically out of practices over the past few years. Those organizations are finding the need of a solution to deal with these multiple clouds. At this moment, an increasing section of customers are clearly better educated and more practical in their use of cloud services, prompting them to explore and implement multi-cloud strategies.
As multi-cloud is becoming the standard for cloud designs and is enjoying mainstream adoption, over the next couple of years there will be demand for a solution that fundamentally changes cloud storage and data management to provide customers with the full power and flexibility of on-premises storage and public clouds so that they can get not only the most value from their data but also the optimal experience in doing so. The rise of multi-cloud will help the agent to manage information across different clouds.