5 Frequently Asked Questions About Multi Cloud

Rachel Dines
Sr. Director of Product Marketing
Mar. 20, 2018
3 minute read

Multi cloud, hybrid cloud, heterogeneous cloud, there are a lot of catch phrases being bandied around. But no one seems to agree on what these terms really mean and what benefits they provide. We set out to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about multi cloud.

1. What is multi cloud?

Multi cloud is a dynamic approach to infrastructure. Remove all the hype and marketing-speak and here’s what you’re left with:

Multi cloud is a dynamic strategy of mixing and matching workloads across multiple public cloud vendors (eg. AWS, Azure, Google), managed under one platform, to achieve long term business objectives.

2. Why multi cloud?

Multi cloud is all about choice. Companies are moving away from monolithic virtualization and toward a more agile, microservices architecture based on containers or serverless. Multi cloud sets the stage for platform services, serverless, and composable applications leveraging different cloud services that only run when required. You can choose the cloud with the most appropriate service to meet your application and customer needs. As industries move away from static on-premises data centers and toward a modern hybrid approach, multi cloud becomes essential to meeting demand in the “age of the customer.”

3. What’s the difference between hybrid cloud and multi cloud?

Hybrid model combines public cloud, private cloud, and on-premises. The primary difference between a hybrid cloud architecture and a multi cloud architecture is that hybrid cloud uses a combination of public, private, and data center resources to concurrently support a single application. Multi cloud on the other hand, involves assembling a best-of-breed portfolio of public vendors to support entire applications. Hybrid cloud vs. multi cloud isn’t a binary decision — they are just different approaches to the same problem. There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the hybrid cloud versus multi cloud debate - when there really shouldn’t be. Multi cloud is an overarching term that includes hybrid cloud and many other deployment options. You may have some applications or lines of business that use a multi cloud architecture and other applications that use a hybrid approach. You may have the goal to move entirely to hybrid cloud at some point, with multi cloud as a stepping stone.

4. What are the top benefits and challenges of multi cloud?

There are always advantages and challenges to adopting any new infrastructure. But with the right approach to multi cloud management and the right cloud partner, these challenges don’t have to be trade-offs. Advantages of multi cloud include:

  • Agility and responsiveness to drive faster time to market
  • Virtually unlimited scalability, enabling you to rapidly respond to business requests
  • Leverages unique strengths of each vendor

Challenges of multi cloud include:

  • Greater complexity with more infrastructure to manage across more platforms
  • Potential for increased costs
  • Increased security concerns

5. How do I migrate data to the cloud to reduce IT spend?

If you’re just starting to put together your multi cloud plan, you’re likely wondering how you get started with migrating workloads to the cloud. Here are the two primary costs to consider outside of selecting the right vendors:

  1. Total cost of ownership (TCO)
  2. Cost of migration

Analyzing TCO ensures that you’re moving the right (i.e. most expensive) resources to the cloud. Analyzing migration costs assesses the degree of difficulty in the move and builds the business case for budget approvals. For more details on cloud migration, see how CloudHealth can help you streamline the process - with faster results and predictable outcomes.