Cloud computing came on board some years ago. That marked a turning point in the way people handled their businesses. Today, multicloud is the new kid on the block. To beat the competition and meet your business needs, you may have to use different solutions. One of such is multi cloud computing.
What Is Multicloud?
Multicloud is a cloud computing approach that involves using more than a cloud service. This may be from a public or a private vendor.
You need this service since a cloud service doesn’t offer all the features your business needs. This may affect your performance. So, you may get the best of the features from vendor A and cover its inadequacies with vendor B’s services.
Difference Between Multicloud And Hybrid Cloud
Another important concept in cloud computing is a hybrid cloud. It has some good features that make it appealing to users too. Sometimes, many people use both terms interchangeably. This may be due to some similarities between them. While they seem related, they are two different clouding models.
An understanding of both concepts will enable you to make the right decision. This is important when you realize the need to use more than one cloud service for your business. Their differences are summarized in the table below:
|Infrastructure||It can use both public and private clouds||Many public or private clouds. It may use some virtual or physical infrastructure to work together with a private cloud.|
|Strategy||It is ideal for single tasks.||It is great for performing many tasks.|
|Method of operation||Processes, data, and other components can work together on hybrid|
|Components work together.||Different clouds for different tasks.|
|Connectivity||The different cloud services are connected.||The cloud services are from different providers and are not connected.|
Can you use both clouding models together? No. There is a clear distinction between them. In hybrid cloud, the clouds will work together as they are interconnected. That is opposite of how multicloud operates. So, it is impossible to adopt both cloud computing methods. You can either use hybrid cloud or multicloud, not the two together.
Before you make your final decision, here are some important factors to consider:
Factors To Consider Before Choosing A Cloud Solution
In your quest to improve your business performance, you may need cloud computing. Before settling for any cloud service provider, consider the following factors:
1. Identify where you need it
Before you opt for multicloud service, take a look at your system management. Get an idea of what role the cloud will play in it. What specific need do you want it to fill?
Once you identify where you need it, you can easily make the right choice. That’s a good foundation you can build on.
2. Customer service
What can you say about their customer support? Is it efficient and manned by professionals? Or do you have to wait for days before you get a response to a simple request? The answer to this question is a reflection of how they treat their customers. If you are not comfortable with their customer service, find an alternative.
3. Availability of new features
As your business thrives, you need the latest technology to maintain your infrastructure and scale. You won’t stay in business with old tools. The cloud service provider must regularly update their services. There has to be a consistent introduction of new features.
The level of security offered by the provider is an important factor you should consider. Check the security layer between the data center and the application. Consider the level of security the provider can guarantee your data. It should be strong enough to ward off attacks from hackers and viruses.
5. Platform Compatibility
If you run your business on many web browsers and operating systems, test if the vendor supports them. Can your customers on mobile devices have easy access to your services? Don’t forget to consider the future of your business too. Does the cloud service provider make provision for expansion? The answer to this question will help you determine what direction to go.
6. Backups and Recovery
Accidents may happen. So, when contemplating choosing a vendor, consider their provisions for backup. Learn about their recovery plans too. A cloud service provider must be able to guarantee your data’s safety.
It must also have the capability to handle exigencies without losing whatever you house with them. A great backup and recovery plan are factors you shouldn’t overlook.
If you consider these factors and others that come up during your research, you have better chances of choosing wisely.
Multicloud Computing Vendors
There is an increasing number of cloud computing vendors in 2019. The IBM Institute for Business Value claims this is due to the high number of companies that plan to use many clouds by 2021. An impressive 98% of companies want to give it a shot between now and then.
If you are shopping for multicloud computing services, these are the major providers:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Google Cloud Platform.
- Microsoft Azure.
A report by Kentik, a network and service operator, shows that the majority of cloud customers use more than one vendor. They most often pair Microsoft Azure with AWS for their multicloud plans.
As per the report, 97% of respondent use AWS. 35% of the companies also use Azure while another 24% combine Google Cloud with AWS. These companies look up to multicloud computing for their needs.
A multicloud approach offers many benefits. But, it also throws some connectivity challenges too. You may find it quite challenging to manage your multicloud environments. This may increase the difficulty of ensuring that you have a reliable and secure connectivity.
You can overcome these challenges with multicloud management. First, take a look at how multicloud management works.
The cloud management software doesn’t work in isolation. Rather, it works as a virtual machine with the cloud environments. Then, the API works together with the server. The goal is to connect the virtual resources and database in the database.
Once you connect the database, it collects some pieces of information on the virtual infrastructure. It analyzes the information and forwards it to the web. Cloud admins can take over from there.
Behind this is the operating system. It handles the technologies that form the clouds. It is also responsible for deploying whatever cloud management tools you are using.
Top Multicloud Management Tools
Regardless of the vendors you use, hitches are bound to happen. This is why you need an efficient means of managing your vendors for a smooth and efficient operation. A multicloud management tool can help with that.
Here is a list of the top 5 multicloud management tools:
Wrike is a project management software. The online tool can perform different functions for a wide range of industries. It offers some of the best tools for cloud management. This includes performance monitoring, task automation, and analytics.
There are some reasons many businesses use this management tool. Its API capabilities and security top the list. It also has everything you need to manage your cloud activities well.
You can choose from its four affordable premium plans starting at a monthly subscription fee of $9.80.
Its core features are:
- Customized reporting tools.
- Task creation and tracking.
2. IBM Cloud Orchestrator
This is a unique cloud management system. IBM Cloud Orchestrator uses policy-based tools to provide cloud services. This tool allows you to deploy development environments. It is also great for monitoring and securing your environments.
IBM claims that this management tool can allow you to improve your service delivery by as much as 90%. It also enables you to cut down your provision time to a couple of minutes from weeks.
IBM Cloud Orchestrator is available in two editions: Base and Enterprise. With the Enterprise edition, you can have access to advanced functionalities. You can also receive help from the company’s expert sources. Within its users and knowledge center, you will find valuable pieces of information. This will assist you to manage your cloud services like a pro.
Its core features are:
- Customizable features.
- Automated cloud configuration.
- End-to-end cloud services management.
- Automated provisioning and deployment.
3. Symantec Web and Cloud Security
Symantec Web and Cloud Security offers a range of appealing features. Threat protection, access governance, and information security are some of them. Others are shadow IT control, network security service, and SSL inspection. All these guarantee your data security.
Some of its features are:
- Advanced threat protection.
- Integrated cyber security.
- Information and data protection.
- Network, endpoint, and cloud security.
4. ManageEngine Applications Manager
This is another efficient management tool. It is designed to monitor application performance. It supports an incredible 100 servers and applications.
You can monitor cloud resources and other infrastructure components. This includes databases, web services, application servers, and virtual systems.
On the list of its core features are:
- Fault management.
- Application discovery.
- Amazing performance indicators.
- SLA management.
AppFormix approaches multicloud management from another angle. It allows you to identify potential issues in advance and address them.
It helps simplify your operations and increase your efficiency too. The tool enables you to visualize your virtual and physical environments. You can also analyze them with it. Once you identify possible problems, you fix them before they arise.
It also analyzes applications such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
You will love some of its wonderful features that include:
- Intent-driven infrastructure.
- Automatic functions.
- Great insights.
- Improved economics for investment optimization.
These are some of the best tools you need to get the best from your multicloud vendors.
Why Choose Multiple Clouds?
Why should an enterprise consider using many clouds? Well, several factors may influence the decision to use more than one cloud service. Some of these are:
1. No Perfect Solution
This is the primary reason why most enterprises don’t stick to a single cloud service. A cloud service may provide you with what you need for a section of your service while lacking in some other areas. An inventory service provider won’t offer you marketing services. Each vendor has its area of specialization.
If you don’t fix the loophole left by the first vendor, your performance may take a hit. So, you may need a second provider to complement its efforts. Generally, no single cloud has the capacity to do everything. If it does everything, it can’t do it perfectly.
2. To Avoid Vendor Lock-In
If you are using a single cloud computing service, you may experience vendor lock-in. This occurs when you are stuck with a cloud provider service and infrastructure. A vendor lock-in may arise if one technology is incompatible with others. Inefficient processes may also trigger it.
Once you have several options to choose from, you can go with whatever meets your needs.
Most enterprises use multicloud computing because it enables them to avoid this problem. Michael Warrilow is a Gartner analyst. He says: “Most organizations adopt a multicloud strategy out of a desire to avoid vendor lock-in or to take advantage of best-of-breed solutions.”
3. Compliance with Government Directive
Another important reason why organizations adopt a multicloud strategy is to comply with data governance requirements. A viable example of this is the EU’s GDPR. They usually require that customer data be stored in certain locations. Except organizations are ready to create and maintain their own premises data lakes, a multicloud strategy is usually the way to go.
4. Proximity to Users
Multicloud enables enterprises to prevent poor response times. This is useful for customers not close to their headquarters.
The company may assign some of its workload to cloud providers in all the regions where it operates. This gives customers easy access to the provider. The solution will enable an organization to keep in touch with their users.
5. Backup against Failover
Enterprises that buy the multicloud idea enjoy protection from outages. When they share workloads among different vendors, they enjoy immunity to problems that may arise if their primary cloud fails.
With multicloud, enterprises have access to several resources. They include workflows and data backup that a user will find useful when there are issues. So, it is a safe way to ensure that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
6. Resilience against Attacks
Businesses are not completely immune to attacks. You are at the risk of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). If this occurs, you will lose access to some of your resources. Under attacks are your website, server, your cloud hosting unit, and network resources.
The denial of service may cost you financially. Note, also, that running a multicloud service protects you from such attacks and loss. If one of your services is attacked, you can always bank on the other services. This is impossible if you run your business on a single cloud.
7. Price Competition
Multi cloud computing empowers users. You can select from the available options for your business. This makes it easier for you to avoid under-performing vendors. You can also identify overcharging ones and keep away from them. This enables you to settle for ones with reasonable pricing and satisfactory performance.
8. Best Tools
The ability to combine private and public platforms will boost your business. It also offers you more financial advantage over other practices.
More so, it allows you to choose the right applications that will boost your performance. You know that a single vendor can’t meet all your needs. You must learn how to choose the best vendors for your business.
Cons Of Using Microcloud Computing
Highlighted above are some of the outstanding pros of using many cloud services. It has some shortcomings too. Consider these:
1. Security Concerns
Multicloud strategy comes with some security concerns. Applications have to struggle with the new attack vectors masked by its appealing attributes. Sadly, most of the existing security measures can’t handle the security issues. You need a multi-layered security approach to handle the problem and secure your data.
Multicloud computing reportedly saves cost. It also makes it increasingly difficult to control cloud spending. Most enterprises are always on the lookout for the next best cloud service provider. This may affect their ability to put their expenses under check.
3. Structures are more complex
Vendors provide services that support an array of interfaces, technologies, and services. But, these are not standardized. The programming language support is not regulated as well. This also applies to the methodologies and other relevant factors.
4. Different APIs
Vendors will provide you with different applications. Once you accept them, it may not be that easy for you to manage them. An effective approach to one may be ineffective for the other. This may deny you the opportunity to maximize these APIs’ potentials.