7 Reasons Why Multi-Cloud is the Future of Enterprise IT

Monday, March 28, 2022

Multi-cloud is an elegant solution and enterprises that haven't yet planned a cloud strategy should definitely consider it.

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7 Reasons Why Multi-Cloud is the Future of Enterprise IT
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Enterprises across the globe are choosing multi-cloud for their IT needs. A 2021 report by Faction Inc stated that 92% of businesses across the globe have a multi-cloud strategy in place or are working towards it, and, on average, every business uses close to 3 public and private clouds.

Chart showing mentions of multi-cloud

The popularity of multi-cloud has been rising steadily (Source)

Enterprises sometimes enter into a multi-cloud setup without knowing it. They opt for services from multiple cloud vendors to achieve their business goals, and that is the definition of 'multi-cloud'.

But the right way to migrate to the cloud is by creating an integrated (to a certain degree) cloud infrastructure, and not silos of clouds. That's when businesses derive the most benefit from cloud computing.

In this article, we cover the 7 reasons why multi-cloud is going to be the future of enterprise IT. These are also the reasons why 92% of businesses have preferred a multi-cloud environment for their IT infrastructure.

7 reasons why multi-cloud is the preferred environment for enterprise IT infrastructure

1. Multi-cloud gives enterprises the option to select the most affordable solutions

Multi-cloud environments cost the business less in terms of setup and consumption as compared to on-premise or single-cloud environments. A multi-cloud setup gives enterprises the freedom to select vendors based on their business needs - features, functionality and pricing. This means the enterprise can put together a solution that fits its goals for a price that is within the business budget.

Diagram showing different multi-cloud options

Enterprise can choose solutions that perfectly fit their needs AND that are affordable (Source)

And, since cloud vendors work on a pay-per-use model, enterprises can start with the minimum required specifications and scale from there (in just a few clicks). This is not the case with on-prem environments where scaling up requires major hardware overhaul resulting in either higher initial costs or upgrade costs.

2. Multi-cloud eliminates vendor lock-in

A multi-cloud environment helps businesses escape vendor lock-in, an issue that is a major disadvantage of the single-cloud environment.

Vendor lock-in refers to a situation where an enterprise has put all its eggs in one basket and hosted all its cloud requirements with one single vendor. The enterprise is limited to the vendor's services, features, functionality, pricing and compliance regulations. In most cases integrating third-party services or migrating becomes technically challenging, further increasing the company's dependency on the single vendor, creating a 'lock-in'.

A multi-cloud setup, on the other hand, enables businesses to diversify not just cloud vendors but also services, functionality and pricing. Enterprises don’t need to compromise on business goals and can select the services they need from different vendors and integrate them together.

Diagram displaying the differences between single cloud and multi-cloud

Source

3. Enterprises can meet both governmental & customer compliance requirements

Adopting a multi-cloud setup allows enterprises to store user data in specific geographies, which is sometimes a strict regulatory requirement. Businesses that have data flowing across locations often need to satisfy data sovereignty and data protection laws specific to each region. A multi-cloud environment is a considerably cheaper option than erecting standalone data centers just to fulfill a geographic compliance requirement.

A multi-cloud setup also removes vendor lock-in, which, other than the benefits mentioned earlier, also means that a business can continue to deliver even if one vendor is facing temporary downtime or even permanent closure (which will require migration). This allows the enterprise to stay compliant with its customer SLAs

4. Multi-cloud enhances service resilience and uptime

The downside of putting all your eggs in one basket, as is the case with a single cloud environment, is that when the vendor faces a service outage, all your services go down.

In April 2011, Amazon's Northern Virginia data center went down during a routine network upgrade. A misrouted data shift sent a cluster of Amazon EBS (Elastic Block Store) volumes into a re-mirroring spree. Each sought out available boxes into which they could insert backups of themselves, and this led to the outage of the company's U.S. East Region.

While most companies faced service downtime for about 4 days, Netflix stayed online, and in a blog, they stated:

"Our architecture avoids using EBS as our main data storage service, and the SimpleDB, S3, and Cassandra services that we do depend upon were not affected by the outage," Netflix engineers wrote.
 

Source

As you can see, using different services located at different locations (or vendors) helped them with uptime.

5. It has the capability to enhance performance for end-users

The ability to store data and applications in different geographical locations has another benefit - enterprises can serve their users from a data center that is closest to them. This reduces the number of hops each data packet takes, reduces the number of nodes and elements they travel through and ultimately reduces network latency and time for execution.

Map showing the number of datacenters by geography

Datacenters installed by geography deliver optimal performance for end-users (Source)

All of this results in better performance for the end-user.

6. It introduces IT scalability and business agility

Enabling businesses to be agile and scale up quickly is a USP of the cloud, and this is magnified in a multi-cloud environment.

How does cloud enable agility and scalability? Cloud services are delivered on a pay-per-use model - enterprises request for a certain number of resources, the vendor allocates them and the enterprise is charged. The advantage of this model is flexibility - an enterprise can request for resource increase or decrease, and the vendor immediately delivers. There is little to no delay in delivery, allowing businesses to get the resources they need quickly.

This gives enterprises two benefits - one is that they only need to procure the resources they need for smooth operations because they have the flexibility of increasing resources instantly, and this prevents redundancy and wastage, which, in turn, reduces cloud costs. The second is that the business can implement scaling up strategies without having to wait for IT upgradation because the cloud scales up flexibly supporting business growth decisions.

7. It enhances data and application security

Security vulnerabilities will exist in every IT environment. Multi-cloud helps enterprises introduce added security measures by allowing them to choose secure private cloud options for critical applications and data, and use the more affordable public cloud services for everything else. That's not to say public cloud is not secure, but private cloud is more secure by nature of its design.

By using this hybrid cloud (or hybrid multi-cloud) model, enterprises can ensure the security of their business data and applications while leveraging all the benefits of the cloud.

Final thoughts

Implementing a complete on-premise infrastructure is an outdated and expensive model. Yes, some critical establishments like the government may prefer shelling out the money for the sake of maximum security of data, but other businesses really don't need to.

The cloud offers a great amalgamation of convenience and performance. Enterprises don't need to host bulky infrastructure, worry about maintenance or upgradation, while also getting all the functionality they need for business operations. Multi-cloud is an elegant solution and enterprises that haven't yet planned a cloud strategy should definitely consider it.

Srushti Vachhrajani

Writer

Srushti is an ambitious, passionate and out of the box thinking woman having vast exposure in Digital Marketing. Her key focus is to serve her clients with the latest innovation in her field leading to fast and effective results. Working beyond expectations and delivering the best possible results is her professional motto. Other than work, she loves traveling, exploring new things and spending quality time with family.

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