Multi-Cloud: A New Dimension for Cloud Adoption

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In our last blog, we introduced the concept of Multi-Cloud which is gaining momentum in the cloud adoption across multiple industries. To refresh, the Multi-Cloud paradigm may be defined as an adjuvant use of two or more public clouds with multiple private cloud solutions, similar to the hybrid cloud-a unified cloud solution that involves a combination of a public and private cloud platforms. Let’s take a look at the benefits and challenges of this paradigm.

Benefits

  • Continuity

In the Multi-Cloud paradigm, your data and/or applications may be spread across multiple cloud providers; hence the risk of loss and unavailability is inherently limited. The Multi-cloud paradigm enables businesses to operate continuously without disruption.

  • Flexibility

Various cloud providers come with their own limitations and may not be suitable for servicing particular geographical locations. In a Multi-cloud scenario, enterprise services can be tailored to run off the best-fit cloud provider for different regions.

  • Customization

There isn’t a clear one-size-fits-all public cloud solution today with each provider providing a range of different services geared towards different use cases. The ability to custom fit applications on the most suitable provider within the Multi-Cloud management umbrella may also provide better QoS and end user experience.

Challenges

Is Multi-Cloud here to stay? It does come with its own set of challenges.

  • Complexity & Management

Enterprise cloud strategies have mostly been focused on assessment and migration to public clouds or consuming cloud services using some combination of hybrid public/private clouds where the management is still not mature. Enter the Multi-Cloud and the added dimensions further increase the management challenges.

  • Maturity in Multi-Cloud Management Tools

Couple the management challenges with the lack of standards in interfaces and API and there is a definite need for mature Multi-Cloud management tools.

  • Lack of SLA Standardization

How does one really gauge and compare SLAs of different cloud providers systematically? There are no common standards or benchmarks. In a Multi-cloud environment, this will prohibit the ability to make informed decisions about workload placements on the best-fit clouds for optimizations and harnessing the real value out of the Multi-cloud environment.

How does it impact you?

With increased awareness and popularity, the Multi-Cloud paradigm is gaining attention in the community. How does this impact the industry and how should organizations prepare themselves?

  • Enterprise IT will have to play a major role in this in terms of garnering the ability for centralized management and also act as a service broker for multiple cloud providers in order to provide abstracted unified cloud services for the organization.
  • Cloud Lifecycle Product ISVs need to start putting into place Multi-cloud management strategies and building mature cloud management products.
  • Cloud Service Providers need to strategically provide the ability to seamlessly integrate their services via conformance to some common API such as OpenStack or other industry initiatives, or perhaps risk falling behind due to vendor lock-in concerns.

Multi-Cloud does seem like a logical next step for cloud consumption models. The industry has begun to slowly shift towards this paradigm. Moving ahead, it’ll be interesting to see how enterprise IT and cloud service providers prepare to enable this kind of cloud consumption.

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