Just when you’ve finally got a handle on your cloud storage options, there’s a new solution on the horizon: the multicloud, or multiple public and private clouds used by the same business to fulfill different purposes. Multicloud is a snappy term for a concept you may already have in motion. If you use Google Drive and an AWS server, you’re technically in the multicloud.
However, many organizations are taking a more strategic approach to the multicloud, using it intentionally to manage various workloads, improving performance and cost savings. But there’s a lot to consider before you jump into the multcloud. Here’s what you need to know about this emerging solution.
What is the multicloud?
As the limits of the cloud became apparent, most businesses began to realize that the public cloud just wasn’t ideal for storing certain kinds of data—specifically, sensitive data and private records. That led to the development of hybrid cloud storage, where businesses maintained both an on-premise private server and a virtualized public cloud.
Multicloud is simply the next iteration of that progression of IT solutions. In this vision of cloud computing, organizations use a combination of multiple public clouds—and perhaps a private cloud as well—as best fits their workflows and business goals.
Cloud vendors are just like providers in any industry: each one has unique strengths. The multicloud approach allows businesses to leverage those strengths in order to optimize performance, save money, and avoid data loss and downtime. More specifically, here are some of the reasons businesses are turning to the multicloud.
- It’s practical. In many cases, it’s simply easier to use a variety of providers to fulfill different business functions. For instance, an organization might choose a large, high-performance vendor to host software as a service (SaaS) and another provider for infrastructure characterized by strong security practices.
- Preventing vendor lock-in. Just because a vendor fits your needs now doesn’t mean that it always will. Your cloud services provider (CSP) could easily make product changes that don’t work for you. Or it might even go out of business. Engaging multiple CSPs allows you to switch providers easily in the event of an issue.
- Improved data security. Storing data in multiple locations strengthens organizations against ransomware and data loss.
- Cost savings. Opting for a multicloud solution allows businesses to choose the most cost-effective options for different workloads. Organizations can analyze bandwidth, cloud storage space, number of instances and other variables to select a combination that presents the most savings.
Are there any drawbacks?
The cloud is not without its shortcomings—no matter how efficiently you spread workloads across vendors. The multicloud approach can create organizational challenges, making it harder to integrate new tools and services. It may also be more difficult to understand where data is stored and who has access to it, raising some red flags for compliance. And of course, more vendors to manage means more administrative work for your employees.
To that last point, it may be wise to engage an IT solutions provider like MyITpros to serve as an intermediary between different vendors and your internal team. IT solutions providers can also ensure that vendors stay compliant with your data requirements and security best practices.
For more information about how an IT solutions provider can help with your cloud storage and services solutions, download our free ebook Does Your Business Belong in the Cloud? Use it to help you navigate the murky world of cloud computing—or should we say clouds computing?