In past few years, cloud computing has flourished in both scope and popularity. This has created various ways in which enterprises use the cloud to meet their business goals. Cloud ecosystem is segmented by service models – SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and by deployment model – Public, Private and Hybrid. These models are designed to suit organizations’ unique requirements around infrastructure, workloads, security, and applications development environment.

Through the cloud adoption journey, many companies are trusting the public cloud, in which application and/or infrastructure are outsourced and are hosted on a third party, like Amazon, Microsoft, or Google. But this model doesn’t address every use case though it is strong and popular. Some organizations are adopting a private cloud model to address security and governance concerns. A private cloud uses virtualization, automated provisioning and orchestration to deliver a cloud service like IaaS or PaaS on assets owned and maintained by the organization itself.

However, best suitable and the “right” kind of cloud solution for most businesses is not either public or private but both – a hybrid cloud. But that’s not all!

Are you hearing the buzz-word “multi-cloud”, off-late? I guess so.

A new deployment model leveraging multiple types of cloud services in a multi-cloud approach.

hybrid vs multi cloud

What makes a multi-cloud deployment different from a hybrid cloud? How’s it standing out in the crowd? Or is this just another IT marketing air quotes?

Let’s found out…

In a multi-cloud solution, an organization uses multiple “public cloud services” in single network architecture. The purpose to use different clouds is to perform various tasks simultaneously or to reduce vendor lock-in. For instance, sales & marketing may have different needs than software development. Different cloud solutions can meet these requirements more effectively. Multiple clouds also minimize dependence on any one provider decreasing operational costs and increasing flexibility. In a multi-cloud environment, organizations’ multiple public clouds operate in combination with on-premises physical, virtual and private cloud infrastructure.

On the other hand, Hybrid cloud combines private and public clouds and works towards achieving the same operational goals as mentioned above. Unlike a multi-cloud model, in which different clouds are used for different tasks, the constituents of a hybrid cloud typically work together. As a result, data and processes tend to intermingle and intersect in a hybrid environment but in a multi-cloud situation usage typically remains in its own.

How does this work in real-time?

An application running in a hybrid cloud framework could use load balancing, web, and application services from a public cloud while the database and storage remain on a private cloud. It can have compute resources that perform the same function in both a private cloud and a public cloud and can switch them in either cloud-based on load and the cost.

An application in a multi-cloud environment may run all compute and networking activities in AWS while using database services from Azure or GCP. At times, some applications leverage resources only in Azure while few applications prefer AWS.

My take is that both models offer enterprises the precision to provide their services to the customers in an efficient and effective way. Gartner predicts that by 2023, 3/4th of global companies already using cloud today will adopt an “all-in cloud strategy”. That will certainly necessitate an intricate ecosystem, skillful resources, thorough planning and the management capabilities to match.

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