Pros & cons of a Multi-cloud approach

Written by:
Leah Johnston
Date Posted:
5 February 2020
Category:
Multi-cloud

Should you put all your eggs in one cloud-shaped basket?

Single vs. Multi
Cloud-based solutions offer clear benefits when it comes to cost, scalability and reliability, as well as freeing up valuable time and resources previously spent on maintaining a room full of servers. Whilst most enterprises have now ditched the on-premise servers and moved to the cloud, the debate between using a single cloud provider and a Multi-cloud approach remains.

A Multi-cloud solution is a deployment model comprised of more than one cloud service (public or private), from more than one cloud provider. The collaborative solution has become a buzzword in the technology industry over the past few years, with research from Gartner suggesting that 81% of enterprises are now working with two or more providers. Like every technology solution, there are benefits and challenges to consider.

The Pros

  • Cherry-picking
    Every cloud is built differently, whether it is the physical infrastructure, functionality, characteristics or pricing models. It can be difficult to predict which singular cloud solution is the right fit for your applications and business needs when there is such a vast choice. In this sense, Multi-cloud allows you to cherry-pick the best strengths and capabilities of multiple providers and run them simultaneously for different projects.
  • Reduce the risk of downtime
    By spreading your online workloads across two or more providers, your infrastructure becomes more resilient to downtime. Having uptime SLAs across multiple cloud networks makes the possibility of simultaneous downtime almost impossible. You could, if you wish, keep replicas of your applications in two separate clouds as a disaster recovery strategy, so that if one cloud service provider (CSP) goes down, your business operations don’t.
  • Low latency
    If your cloud network is stored in distant locations away from the end-user, access to data and apps will not be instantaneous. When data traffic has to travel across several nodes before reaching the end-user, minor delays can be caused – this delay is known as latency. If you opt for a Multi-cloud infrastructure, you could strategically deploy in multiple data centres that are close to your end-users, meaning the requested data can be served with minimum server hops. This is particularly useful for global businesses wishing to serve data across the world whilst maintaining a centralised end-user experience.

    However, if you choose a global hosting provider like Hyve, with a data centre presence in 5 continents across 35 locations, low latency and the ability to deploy across the world is equally as possible in a single-provider solution.

The Cons

  • Cost & management complexity
    Understandably, small to medium-sized enterprises with a smaller budget often hesitate to take a Multi-cloud approach due to the cost management involved when dealing with several providers. Managing not only costs, but also all of your assets can be a complicated process, and may require a change in existing skillsets and processes. On this basis, a single-provider is definitely the stress-free, plug-and-go option.
  • Complex structures
    The nuances of configuring and managing each CSP requires extensive knowledge of multiple principles – something that isn’t necessarily easy to find in an employee. In order to maximize the performance of each cloud, employees need essential expertise in deploying and running several clouds. This often results in hiring more staff to manage the Multi-cloud solution with confidence, ensuring it is both secure and highly available.
  • Increased security risks
    Multi-cloud makes security more difficult, as traditional security tools can’t manage all potential risks across multiple providers. Where using a public cloud gives you less control over your data, using two or more gives you even less – and also provides a wider attack surface for your applications. It is crucial that all providers involved in a Multi-cloud solution are efficiently coordinated, and use threat detection and prevention tools to work together to address any potential security issues.

Considerations
There is no doubt that Multi-clouds add complexity to a cloud strategy, yet it does have notable benefits too. With research suggesting a significant rise in Multi-cloud adoption recently, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of Multi-cloud compared to hosting with a single provider.

If you would like to speak to one of our cloud experts about the best solution for your business, email sales@hyve.com or call 0800 612 2524.

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