Is Multi-cloud the new default for Enterprise computing in 2019 or just another jargon?

A recent survey by Gartner reveals that 70% of Enterprises are implementing a multi-cloud strategy in 2019. Well this certainly seems to make a strong case for multi-cloud as the strategy for enterprise cloud computing. There are too many jargons out there in Cloud computing technology, is multi cloud just another one? In today’s article, let’s find out what multi-cloud is and, why it is required.

To put it simply, multi-cloud is multiple clouds. So, if an organization adopts a multi-cloud strategy, it is using more than one, at least two or more cloud computing services in a single heterogeneous network architecture. A multi-cloud deployment can be homogeneous (all public or all private) or heterogeneous (combination of both). Although multi-cloud environment can be an implementation of multiple Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings, it mostly refers to multiple deployments of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environment, such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, IBM Cloud, Rackspace, OpenStack, etc.   

Multi-cloud strategy is often synonymous to Polynimbus strategy, where poly means multiple and nimbus means cloud (in Latin). Polynimbus is all about distribution of cloud assets, applications, software, services, etc. across different cloud-hosting environment, thereby leveraging the best of each of them as per need.

Now as we understand what multi-cloud is and discover that Forrester mentions the cloud strategy of 86% organizations to be multi-cloud today, let’s see why the pace of this strategy adoption is so high. Below are some of the reasons why I feel multi-cloud is radically capturing the market.

  • Multi-cloud enables organizations to avoid dependence on a single service provider and nullifies vendor lock-in.
  • Usage of multiple clouds not only reduces financial risk but also makes implementation more cost-effective.
  • Multi-cloud is a very effective strategy to combat Shadow IT, a technology used by employees in a company that is not managed by the company’s IT department.
  • Organizations better manage a multi-cloud deployment with tools offered by multiple cloud service providers which hides complex implementation details. There are also tools from third party vendors, which further reduces the dependency on the service provider.
  • Multi-cloud significantly reduces security attacks like distributed denial of service (DDoS).
  • Multi-cloud reconfirms negligible or no downtime, and hence there is better disaster preparedness.
  • Customizability and flexibility of multi-cloud offers an enterprise to select the best of each cloud service provider as per their business requirement, budget, geography and time.
  • With the advent of GDPR in various countries, organizations often use multi-cloud for the purpose of data sovereignty. 
  • And, over and above, Multi-cloud is readily available.

This does not mean that multi-cloud is a boon with no overheads. It has tremendous potential, but integration often becomes an issue with multi-cloud deployment. Though it secures enterprise networks from DDoS attacks, it has its own security vulnerabilities, one of them being prohibition of firewall usage. This is not a show-stopper and can be handled through proper understanding of different cloud suite landscapes. Finally, selection of the ideal cloud can pose a challenge to users, and thus face the paradox of choice.

Hope you have enjoyed this article where I penned down my initial thoughts on multi-cloud, which reiterates the fact that no one provider can offer everything to everyone. Yes, there is no one size fits all solution! Have a great day! I will be back soon with some deeper thoughts on MULTI-CLOUD.