“83% Of Enterprise Workloads Will Be In The Cloud By 2020” – Forbes.com

It is no hidden fact that the popularity and usage of cloud computing is growing by leaps and bounds. As predicted by 2020 cloud computing will be the bulk of novel IT spend across enterprises. With a variety of cloud computing models like the public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud, it is highly important for enterprises to choose the right one after assessing their own requirements. And now, with technology moving faster and getting complex than expected, here comes a novel way to cloud computing – Multi-cloud solutions.

With increasing load on a single cloud, enterprises needed more options wherein the choice of hybrid cloud made its importance visible. Cloud giants like Google, Microsoft and Amazon were all booming with public cloud business and there were many others following thereby. With cloud computing carving a niche for itself, it was a challenging task for single cloud environments to fulfill needs of enterprises. This gave rise to this innovative concept – Multi-cloud development or Poly cloud computing.

“Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and Microsoft will capture 76% of all cloud platform revenue in 2018, expanding to 80% by 2020” – Forbes.com

What Does Multi-Cloud Solutions Mean and What Do They Signify?

Multi-Cloud” signifies usage of more than a single cloud. This model of cloud computing encompasses usage of multiple cloud providers, choosing specific services from each, as per their requirements. What it ensures is the best from each model, showcasing the benefits of each. It highlights the usage of multiple cloud computing and storage services in a unified network architecture. There is an even distribution of cloud-based assets, software apps and various components across varied cloud environments. With multi-cloud services making use of both – the public as well as private clouds, it reduces the dependency on any cloud technology or cloud service provider.

Organizations look at a multi-cloud environment to evenly distribute resources and thereby lessen the downtime and data loss possibilities. Enhancing the computing power and storage capabilities are also ensured by using a poly cloud approach. It is basically a heterogeneous approach to cloud computing that leverages the potential of the cloud in its various avatars.

Some Popular Definitions of Poly Cloud Solutions

Wikipedia: “Multi-cloud is the use of multiple cloud computing and storage services in a single heterogeneous architecture. This is also known as a Polynimbus cloud strategy. This also refers to the distribution of cloud assets, software, applications, etc. across several cloud-hosting environments. With a typical poly cloud architecture utilizing two or more public clouds as well as multiple private clouds, a multi-cloud environment aims to eliminate the reliance on any single cloud provider.”

Technopedia: “A multi-cloud deployment is, as the name suggests, the use of two or more cloud computing systems at the same time. The deployment might use public clouds, private clouds or some combination of the two. Multi-cloud deployments aim to offer redundancy in case of hardware/software failures and avoid vendor lock-in.”

TechTarget: “A multi-cloud strategy is the use of two or more cloud computing services. While a multi-cloud deployment can refer to any implementation of multiple software as a service (SaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) cloud offerings, today, it generally refers to a mix of public infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environments, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.”

Why is Multi-Cloud Development Advantageous to Enterprise IT?

This revolutionary mode of cloud computing lets organizations selects different cloud services from different service providers. No wonder, it has proven to be highly beneficial to the enterprise world in the following evident ways:

  • Offers Choice of Environment

The independent choice of cloud computing environment offers a lot of flexibility and satisfaction in terms of garnering business results. Organizations are no longer stuck to a single vendor and can get the best of all possibilities.

  • Avoids Occurrence of Mishaps

Disasters are bound to happen owing to multiple unforeseen reasons. At such times, the presence of multiple cloud-based environments helps in avoiding harm to the regular working by offering alternative arrangement. This way, downtime can be avoided. If any single web service host doesn’t operate, work can still go on with other modes of operations in such a multi-cloud environment.

  • Helps Comply with Rules & Regulations

Such poly cloud infrastructure plays an important role in helping organizations achieve their business goals with respect to risk management, government body regulations and organizational norms.

  • Eases Customization of Infrastructure

Because the best of services are combined, it becomes easy for the enterprise to customize the environment and align it well to the business objectives.

  • Optimizes RoI

Picking and choosing needed cloud-specific infrastructure has a direct implication on the working of the business. With a variety of business workflows getting satisfied with multiple cloud setups, the RoI of the organization is bound to increase.

  • Enhances Security Compliance

This mode of cloud computing authorizes enterprises to abide by strict norms as related to the security aspects of the organization. Since there are options available in case of a downtime, there are least chances of non-working time, thereby leading to efficient security protocols.

  • Provides Dependable Architecture

Because of multiple sources of cloud, there are least chances of a failure occurring in each one of them. In case something goes wrong in either, there are others to take care of. This way, dependability on architecture goes higher with least downtime.

  • Lessens Disaster Risk with SLA

Cloud service providers like Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services offer comprehensive service level agreements that safeguard the client information against any sort of disaster. With their help, the risk associated with any kind of security loss is minimal.

  • Proves to be Cost Effective

Since peer competition is high, cloud service providers offer their best rates and enterprises are free to choose the best possible model in terms of their own budget. No doubt, there must be equal focus on quality and security, but enterprises do have an option to work out the best deal.

  • Showcases a Variety of Features

Each having its own features to showcase, the different cloud services offer a range of individual characteristics that finally benefit the enterprise big way. Factors such as speed, security, capacity, cost, performance etc. can be availed at the best.

“SMBs improve chances of better market access & profitability by three times with high cloud usage” – Microsoft.com

Is Multi Cloud and Hybrid Cloud Synonymous?

No, it is not. There is a lot of interchangeability between these two technological terms – Multi cloud and Hybrid cloud. There are many who consider these similar but that is not the case. They have their own set of distinct connotations to convey.  Here is a comparison between the two similar but dissimilar cloud development types:

Multi Cloud Computing Hybrid Cloud Computing
  • The pairing of multiple clouds (private, public) from different cloud service providers is multi-cloud
  • The pairing of a private cloud with a public cloud is a hybrid cloud
  • A multi cloud may include hybrid cloud
  • Hybrid cloud is not multi-cloud
  • Organizations may choose one service provider for IaaS and another for SaaS
  • Relies on a private data center
  • Cloud service providers could be selected based on different business workflows
  • Leverages the resources of a public cloud
  • Organizations choose this model when privacy and security of data in critical
  • It could involve single or multiple service providers

How to Get Ready for a Multi Cloud Environment?

As simple as it sounds, implementing a multi cloud infrastructure isn’t an easy take. It needs a certain amount of preparedness and caution prior to plunging into it. Here are certain questions that need to be affirmed and can help start off a multi cloud implementation with ease and security.

  • Have You Stabilized Your Project Execution Methodologies, Tools & Technologies?

Whatsoever may be the cloud computing infrastructure, if teams have coined down the involved tools and technologies, finalized project execution methodologies and if they are such that can operate seamlessly on either of the cloud environment, that would be ideal to kick off the multi cloud setup.

  • Have You Strategized on Connecting the Cloud Solution Within Different Setups?

Having multiple cloud infrastructure works best provided you have the connectivity setup predefined and worked out, much in advance. This ensures secure data access across all distributed applications along with appropriate disaster recovery plans in place.

  • Have you Planned Well in Advance?

If you have a well-defined strategy planned well ahead of time, implementing multi-cloud in an organization works best. If not, there are chances of resources getting misused and project schedules getting haywire, compromising on the security and flexibility front.

  • Are You Known to SLA Details with Each Vendor?

Each cloud computing technology partner has its own set of SLA driven support system. It is important to know the details of the same so as to maximize its utilization and thereby have minimal downtime in case of any disaster occurrence.

Does Multi Cloud Development Pose Certain Challenges?

Yes, it does. Though a highly fruitful and cutting-edge technology, poly cloud solutions have their own set of challenges that need to be kept in mind, while implementing:

  • Increase in complexity of multiple cloud service providers may lead to implementation hassles with respect to security, business workflows, data transfer, flexibility, service management etc.
  • Increasing number of cloud service providers will have a direct impact on the cost factor which remains justified till it gets utilized. But once any of the cloud providers isn’t required, it becomes difficult to justify its expense.
  • Availing discounts from different cloud providers becomes a little complex and unmanageable since public cloud service providers offer huge discounts which can be availed at its best only if the entire project lies with that organization.
  • Availability of resources that are well versed with all existing types of cloud computing infrastructure may not always be possible. But it is required when it comes to poly cloud development solutions.
  • Managing and maintaining application and its respective data within cloud platforms is a tough task as they keep moving from one to another. It needs a lot of predefined approaches so as to protect the security of information traveling and access to the needed piece of information as and when required.

Wrapping it Up

The cloud has never ceased to amaze. Cloud development deployment solutions are the latest jargon today in the world of IT. With cloud-based technology providers like Amazon web services, Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine offering niche cloud solutions, there is a lot to look for. It is worth a wait to see how far cloud computing will reach in the coming years and achieve unparalleled agility, insights, and competence in application development and delivery.