The multi-cloud is when an enterprise uses more than one cloud platform that each delivers a specific application service. A multi-cloud can be comprised of a public, private, and hybrid clouds to achieve the enterprise’s end goals. Often, multi-cloud is confused with the hybrid cloud. It is different from a hybrid cloud since a hybrid cloud is an infrastructure while multi-cloud is a strategy.
What is a Multi-Cloud and Why Use it?
A multi-cloud may use several different architectures, such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), to achieve an overarching business goal. It’s “about using different providers to meet specific workload requirements, and aren’t necessarily connected to each other.”
Enterprises elect a multi-cloud strategy due to the benefits. For starters, the multi-cloud is readily available. If one cloud is offline, then the enterprise may still work on the other clouds and achieve its goals. It’s also customizable and flexible in the sense that an enterprise may “select the ‘best’ of each cloud type to suit their particular business needs, economics, locations, and timing.” Another significant draw for a multi-cloud adoption is that enterprises can escape vendor lock-in as its data is stored on various service providers’ clouds.
The multi-cloud strategy offers security precautions that a single cloud deployment does not. According to Citrix, the multi-cloud also hinders Shadow IT activity. The company describes Shadow IT as “technology used by individuals or groups within an organization that is not managed by the organization’s IT department. This problem tends to arise when policy-compliant IT does not fully meet the needs of the organization. A multi-cloud environment allows groups to comply with IT policy while benefiting from a specific cloud technology.” It also dodges the gravity of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack as the attack won’t affect all the clouds within a multi-cloud, leaving the enterprise still functional despite the attack.
Cons to the Multi-Cloud Strategy
While the multi cloud’s benefits are attractive, it does possess some weak points too. One of the possible pitfalls with incorporating a multi-cloud strategy is the potential for a difficult integration across the various cloud servers. The multi-cloud also possesses unique security vulnerabilities. While the multi-cloud does limit the debilitating effect of a DDoS attack, it leaves the enterprise vulnerable to other attacks. Possessing multiple clouds means that an enterprise can’t apply its firewalls around the multi-cloud in its entirety to thwart hackers and viruses. An enterprise must maintain due diligence in knowing each of its cloud service providers’ security measures and to then identify the steps it needs to take to secure the gaps in security coverage.