At first go, a multi-cloud and a hybrid cloud solution might sound same or similar. Then, there are a plethora of terms including private cloud, public cloud etc. hence knowing the difference between multi cloud and hybrid cloud is critical.
These terms are often used interchangeably, even by people who seem to have great knowledge on the subject, and hence it creates a perception of being same or similar.
What’s Multi Cloud?
When an organization uses multiple cloud services from myriad cloud hosting service providers and cloud vendors, it is called a Multi Cloud strategy. Why do they do that when they can leverage economies of scale for their workloads by consolidating their needs under a single service provider?
Here are a few reasons: –
- Horses for Courses – It is exactly like this popular phrase. The requirements of each project or unit within an organization is different. For instance: – A team that uses a SaaS based collaboration tool for sharing ideas, and discussions may have very different requirements from another team that analyses tick-by-tick data and works towards deriving real-time insights from the cloud. As the needs are drastically different, they might engage with two different cloud service providers.
- The need to stay Updated: With agile methodologies and faster “go-to-market” becoming the new normal for organizations, there is little or no patience to wait for the Cloud hosting service providers to incorporate latest cloud trends into their product. Hence, organizations opt for a multi-cloud strategy and leverage the best of all clouds. As they say, all clouds are different and have their own unique advantages. A multi cloud strategy helps to leverage such advantages across cloud hosting service providers.
- The Bottom-Line Matters: By having a clutch of cloud hosting service providers as part of their multi cloud strategy, it not only accelerates innovation but also helps to garner maximum RoI and keep cloud costs in control. This helps to add significant value to the bottom-line.
- You are not held at Ransom: With multi cloud strategy, you are not at the mercy of a single cloud hosting service provider. You can rate each of them based on performance, quality, efficiency and also the alignment with your business needs and hence ensure that your operations and innovation engine run seamlessly.
Is Multi Cloud a Private Cloud, Public Cloud or Hybrid Cloud?
A multi cloud and a hybrid cloud are two different concepts and should be treated as such. A multi cloud strategy could use public cloud, private cloud, or a mix of both.
Hence, an organization which uses a multi cloud strategy is likely to use hybrid cloud. However, it does not imply that it must, or it will.
So, what is Hybrid Cloud then?
Hybrid cloud is a strategy wherein two types of cloud or hosting environment is used in the organization. The hybrid cloud strategy may use private clouds for ensuring flexibility, scalability and yet maintaining the highest level of security.
Hybrid cloud solutions allow organizations to choose the apt mix of public cloud and private cloud as per the requirement or project under consideration.
To sum it up, a multi cloud solution brings together different clouds from different providers and they are used for different types of activities which demand varied levels of performance, compute, storage, and security from the cloud. Hybrid cloud, on the other hand, empowers organizations with an option of using more than one cloud or underlying server to ensure optimum performance and security. It is specific to projects and each project can have a different hybrid cloud strategy depending on the objective and the desired end-result.
What’s right for your business?
The most important question is how do you choose the right strategy or solution for your business?
Let us go back to your objectives and needs? What is the top priority on your agenda?
Is it cost-effectiveness? Is it the speed of innovation? Is it analysis of humongous volumes of data? Is it just creating a collaboration forum? Is it about document management and asset repositories?
The cloud can enable attainment of the above objectives. All you need to do is to understand how to judiciously use the multi cloud and hybrid cloud strategies and solutions that are at your disposal.