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What Is Multi-Cloud Architecture And Why Are Tech Companies Adapting To Them In 2022?
The cloud market is evolving at an incredible rate as more companies transition into a flexible, scalable, and agile ecosystem in order to ensure business continuity. According to Gartner, one of the biggest trends shaping the future of cloud technology is “cloud uniquity”, and the presence of hybrid or multi-cloud architecture.
Indeed, the majority of companies rely on more than one cloud environment for their enterprise architecture. The average organisation utilizes approximately 2.6 public and 2.7 private clouds as of 2022. As businesses continue to migrate legacy processes and applications into the cloud, there’s a good chance demand for multi-cloud environments will continue to grow.
Here’s everything you need to know about multi-cloud architecture.
What is Multi-Cloud Architecture?
The multi-cloud architecture is a form of cloud computing strategy which utilizes services from multiple cloud providers at once. Around 92% of companies are already using a multi-cloud strategy to access specialist services and support from a range of cloud entities.
Rather than relying on a single cloud environment to manage all business requirements, organisations use multi-cloud solutions to mix and match services. A multi-cloud architecture can include two or more public clouds, more than two “private” clouds, or a combination of both. Some multi-cloud strategies also leverage edge computing cloud technology.
For most companies, there are several reasons why a multi-cloud architecture might be the ideal solution for digital transformation. It ensures companies can leverage a “best-in-class” solution for each workload, accelerating performance and distributing applications and services as necessary. Additionally, by separating workloads, users can control costs, keep data secure, and enhance redundancy among data environments.
Why is Multi-Cloud Architecture Important?
Multi-cloud infrastructure has become the go-to choice for companies in search of a hybrid, flexible cloud environment, capable of offering cost savings and security benefits. Via a multi-cloud architecture, business leaders can unlock benefits like:
- Enhanced ROI: Different clouds have different benefits to offer. Some solutions may lack the exact features business leaders need to facilitate certain outcomes. Mixing and matching different cloud environments allows companies to create a best-in-class solution specific to their individual requirements, optimizing return on investment.
- Improved security: A multi-cloud infrastructure allows organisations to build a comprehensive cloud environment which combines security with cost savings. It’s possible to use private clouds for secure data, and public clouds for more commonplace tasks, to keep costs low without compromising on compliance.
- Lower latency: Access to apps and data stored in various locations around the world will differ depending on where users are located. When data has to travel across various nodes before reaching end-users, minor delays are common. A multi-cloud architecture can reduce the risk of latency, and allow for rapid performance.
- Autonomy: Companies rarely want to be locked into a contract with a specific vendor. A multi-cloud infrastructure gives businesses more autonomy and freedom to distribute workloads across different environments. It’s easier to update and enhance the cloud environment without compromising on performance or security.
- Disaster protection: Multi-cloud architecture prevents companies from placing all of their cloud resources in one environment. If one cloud environment is inaccessible, or there’s a problem with the cloud technology, you can still access the tools in the other cloud environments you utilize for your business.
Multi-cloud architecture strategies are also becoming more essential today because regulations for storing data and managing data sovereignty are changing. For instance, European courts have begun to evaluate whether GDPR data is stored in the EU. Certain companies will also need to ensure specific pieces of data are stored in certain locations.
Find out about the best practices while implementing a multi-cloud architecture.
Difference Between Single Cloud and Multi-Cloud Architecture
The differences between single cloud and multi-cloud platforms are relatively straightforward. With a single cloud solution, you rely on one cloud provider to deliver all of your cloud-based needs. Single cloud environments can include various features and services, but they’re all delivered by the same provider, ensuring you don’t have to switch between environments.
A single cloud environment is usually a good option for a company with limited cloud requirements. With a single cloud, there’s less need to worry about training team members to use different environments, and the administrative complexity is reduced. The benefits of a single cloud strategy can include:
- Better management of cloud computing resources
- Simpler environment control
- Fewer costs
Alternatively, with a multi-cloud strategy, you choose between different public and private cloud providers to address different business needs. Around 76% of companies rely on more than one public cloud for storing all of their data. Multi-cloud environments take more effort to run, but they allow for significantly greater flexibility.
How does a Multi-Cloud Architecture Improve an Organisation’s Resilience?
One of the biggest benefits of adopting a multi-cloud architecture is it can improve the resilience of the business. The multi-cloud architecture builds on the idea that no company should place all of its resources in one location. A multi-cloud architecture includes a distributed environment for deploying different applications and tools, which often leads to better business outcomes.
In some cases, companies with a need for regular continued uptime will distribute essential assets and data across multiple cloud environments, to ensure if one cloud ceases to work, they can continue to operate as normal. Multi-cloud architectures can give businesses more peace of mind, beyond the standard SLA agreements offered by each cloud service vendor.
Multi-Cloud Architecture and Governance
Multi-cloud architecture can help with compliance and governance in the business landscape too, by ensuring businesses can secure data according to the correct industry or local standards. However, companies will need to ensure they have the right governance policies in place to protect and maintain their cloud environments.
Most businesses implementing a multi-cloud architecture will implement zero-trust policies for all multi-cloud flows for traffic and information. Additionally, they’ll ensure data in the cloud is encrypted and monitored according to real-time security and packet inspection standards.
It’s often a good idea to tightly manage security policies across the multi-cloud environment. For instance, if applications are deployed in parallel across multiple cloud service solutions, the same security settings will need to be implemented in each environment.