Cloud computing is constantly evolving. Both hybrid and multicloud platforms have the means to potentially transform the way businesses function and fortify their business transformation capabilities. At its core, multicloud approach offers companies the flexibility to choose which cloud services and tools are best suited to their business needs and help them in enhancing productivity, bolstering operations, and minimizing costs. On the other hand, hybrid cloud platforms are feasible for organizations that deal with highly sensitive and private information. While both hybrid cloud and multicloud management solutions have their own set of advantages, they are poles apart when it comes to their use cases.

So, how would a company know which cloud architecture can bring fruition to their goals and vision? Read this blog to know the difference between hybrid and multicloud environments, the benefits associated with each cloud model, and lastly, the key considerations to look out for choosing the ideal cloud architecture for the company.

Highlighting the Benefits of a Multi-Cloud Infrastructure

As multi-cloud adoption is evolving as a popular alternative, organizations need to be familiar with the diverse set of benefits that comes with this cloud model. They are:

  • Reduced costs: Since businesses get the opportunity to choose cloud services that are cost-effective to them, they get an upper hand in negotiating the prices as well. Along with this, enterprises also optimize their multicloud spend by switching on autoscaling, establishing a central cloud team, enabling chargeback reporting, and leveraging cloud cost management tools.
  • Optimizing Services: As different cloud partners offer different services, they are not tied into a single database or storage system. Meaning, that companies can modify, upgrade, and optimize the applications as per specific needs.
  • High Availability: With applications and services managed by different service providers, there are minimal or no dependencies on each other, making multi-cloud systems more available than hybrid clouds. By leveraging a high-availability clustering solution that enables simple switchover and switchback, organizations get to understand how each of their applications will function with failover.

In the Big Leagues: Bringing Out the Positive Impact of a Hybrid Cloud System

Almost 92% of businesses are willing to adopt a multi-cloud strategy, out of which 82% of them have already hosted their existing workloads on a hybrid cloud. This data indicates one thing: the hybrid cloud model is here to stay and will continue to support companies with their business innovations and digital transformation initiatives with benefits like:

  • Enhanced Scalability: In an ever-evolving business environment marked by new technological trends and changing customer preferences, organizations need to scale workloads up or down to cope with market fluctuations and secure a strong competitive advantage. A hybrid cloud setup integrates a public cloud model with the company’s existing on-prem environment. By doing so, businesses can allocate resources between both private and public clouds that will help them scale their infrastructure to fulfill varying demands.
  • Innovation and Agility: Business continuity is a strong determinant of a company’s competitive advantage. With hybrid clouds, organizations don’t have to solely rely on private environments as they can direct the workloads to the public clouds during periods of peak demands and high network spikes. Known as cloud bursting, this process helps websites and applications run smoothly without any interruption or downtime.
  • Security and Compliance: With the advent of globalization, businesses want to expand their horizons across different geographical barriers, target growing customer markets, and harness new business opportunities. However, in doing so, the complexities of country-specific compliances can serve as a big stumbling block to realizing their global ambitions. Such an issue can be resolved with the adoption of a hybrid cloud that helps businesses to stay compliant with country-specific data residency laws. Organizations can reach the highest levels of data privacy as private clouds can help them store their highly sensitive and confidential data with strong security measures and access controls. In the face of a natural disaster, business operations will continue to run smoothly as mission-critical workloads and data are managed and backed up on a public cloud.

United by Business Growth, Divided by Features: Differences Between Hybrid Cloud Vs Multi Cloud

Aspects

Hybrid Cloud

Multicloud

Architecture

Hybrid cloud environment comes an entire package: with centralized logging, an identity management system, stack alerts, and cloud monitoring tools. While leveraging multiple cloud solutions, organizations should ensure these services are compatible with their existing on-prem solutions.

Inter-cloud workload

A hybrid cloud model lets businesses enable different applications that work in sync to execute a function. Different cloud systems handle different tasks to enable independent data operations.

Unified Security

It is easy to implement as the hybrid cloud involves a holistic suite of tools and services to secure data and IT infrastructure that integrates private cloud, public cloud, and on-prems into one unified environment. It is difficult to implement as the security measures, controls, and technologies are different for each cloud, thus offering limited centralized visibility into the overall security posture of the organization.

Control Plane

Usually, in a hybrid cloud, there is one central control plane that handles workloads across all of the cloud environments. Generally, in a multicloud setup, companies can utilize more than one cloud at once, having different control planes for each cloud.

Consistency

In a hybrid cloud environment, companies can enable the same Identity and Access Management (IAM) frameworks, the same monitoring tools, and so on for their hybrid cloud workloads. In a multicloud setup, companies need to coordinate with different types of cloud services, given that each cloud implements its services and tools in different ways. For instance, AWS IAM is poles apart Azure IAM.

Hybrid Cloud Vs Multi-Cloud: Who Wears the Crown?

There is no clear sure-shot answer. It all depends on the company’s business goals and requirements.

Multicloud management solutions and services are easy to implement and much cheaper than buying physical servers. They are essentially considered a smart option for storage and data backup. Multicloud setups offer advanced storage and efficient data transfer capabilities to enable less expensive, flexible, and safer processes for cloud backup. By enhancing performance, and scalability of object storage, these companies can trim costs and ensure archiving and long-term retention of mission-critical data into the cloud. Quite often, during mergers and acquisitions, IT managers have to devise strategies to integrate two complete cloud environments. If organizations that are merging are leveraging two different cloud service providers, creating a multi-cloud environment is ideal instead of revamping the entire IT infrastructure. It is also an ideal solution for those organizations that don’t have to comply with stringent compliance regulations and rules.

On the other hand, hybrid cloud management solutions and services are suited for enterprises that want control over their data, resources, and applications. They are more secure than multi clouds which makes them a good fit for hospitals, banks, and government agencies where data security is of the utmost importance. Even though a hybrid cloud strategy demands huge maintenance, it helps organizations exert a greater degree of control over the interfaces and digital production. Additionally, highly regulated institutions and companies that can afford to build their own private servers should opt for the hybrid cloud approach.

Different Use Cases of Multicloud and Hybrid Cloud

Use Cases of Multicloud

Blue/Green Deployment.

When making modifications to the production environment, it's sometimes useful to have a staging environment that replicates production so that IT teams can switch traffic when they are ready to push out changes. This is called blue/green deployment and is a key advantage of multicloud. Even if companies use the same provider, they may swiftly direct traffic to one set of infrastructure and then change it back if problems develop. This helps to reduce downtime and by routing limited amounts of traffic to a certain version of the program, enterprises can even limit user exposure.

Data On and Off Ramping

Many businesses want the flexibility to migrate the data from the data center to the cloud and vice-versa in a simple and cost-effective manner. Multicloud alternatives, particularly those designed for enterprise applications and workloads, can aid in this process. These are storage clouds that

  • Expediates compression and change block tracking technologies
  • Allows easier data transfer operations.
  • Provides direct cloud compatibility (which was previously unavailable).
  • Enables enterprise-level dependability and security

Eliminating Shadow IT

Shadow IT occurs when departments within a firm employ different cloud providers to satisfy the demands of their respective teams. The additional complexity and security considerations that come with having several non-aligned providers are risky and reduce efficiency.

A multi-cloud arrangement enables a corporation to ensure that each department has a cloud solution that meets the demands and requirements of the team. Meanwhile, the organization gets visibility into daily operations and ensures that no security breaches exist.

Use Cases of Hybrid Cloud

Untested Workloads

Cloud-based enterprises usually adhere to the philosophy "fail fast, fail cheaply." Given this scenario, it makes sense for businesses to employ public cloud resources for a new, untested application before incurring the capital costs associated with launching in a private cloud environment. Once an organization has established a steady-state workload pattern that ensures the longevity of an application, it may decide to move the application to a private cloud environment.

Extending Datacenters

In this scenario, on-premises servers handle the majority of the workload, with the public cloud providing critical assistance. The healthcare industry is an excellent paradigm for this hybrid cloud use case. For instance, IT assistance for patient monitoring may need to be on-premises due to latency concerns, but an organization can merge that data with other huge data sets on the cloud. By deploying the cloud as a backend, that data can then be studied to provide enhanced diagnostics.

Application Lifecycles

Dev and test environments have long been popular among cloud customers because IT teams can set up – and tear down – sandbox environments on a public cloud more quickly and cheaply. On-premises, they must go through a lengthy procurement procedure to obtain the necessary hardware and software, which might take months. When an application is ready for production, it is either moved on-premises or deployed on the public cloud.

Can a Hybrid Cloud Be Multi-cloud?

The answer is a big Yes. And vice versa is also possible. A hybrid cloud can become a multi-cloud if more than one public cloud is integrated with the private cloud and on-prem environment. Whereas the multi-cloud model can opt for a private cloud for hosting some of its data centers and storage systems.

Remember, every hybrid cloud can become a multi-cloud if it adds two or more public clouds into its infrastructure. However, not every multi-cloud can become a hybrid cloud if there is no private cloud system integrated into its infrastructure.

Building Blocks of a Hybrid/Multi-cloud Strategy

Be it creating a multicloud or a hybrid cloud management model, here are some common factors that companies should definitely keep in mind:

Migration

Conduct an assessment to check if the company needs cloud migration that includes challenges, risks, and benefits involved in the migration process. Create a migration roadmap to migrate on-prem infrastructure or applications to the cloud. Do know that some applications may require refactoring before moving to the cloud.

Pricing Structures

Companies must evaluate the pricing options offered by different cloud providers and go for the one that can manage diverse workloads without burning a hole in their pocket.

Cloud Management

Organizations may require a dedicated team to manage the whole cloud setup. Otherwise, they can be offered a dashboard for tracking, monitoring, and managing the performance of applications.

Tools and Technologies

When facilitating the cloud migration process, it needs management, deployment, and orchestration tools. Usually, companies prefer to use a unified cross-platform toolkit for carrying out such processes. For instance, Kubernetes offers advanced cloud orchestration technologies that simplify application deployment to a multi-cloud or a hybrid cloud environment.

Hybrid or Multicloud? Know Which One Suits You with Cloud4C

While adopting either a hybrid cloud or a multi-cloud approach, most companies stress over how to migrate applications from their on-premise environment or from one cloud to another cloud platform. This is where a cloud managed service provider plays a vital role. Choosing the right provider that fits the company’s profile and needs can help the organization in charting out their migration journey with the right set of tools and skillsets.

Cloud4C, offers a multitude of advanced multi-cloud and hybrid cloud management solutions and services on different cloud platforms like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure for powering a company’s digital transformation journey. Armed with a dedicated team of experts, Cloud4C helps to create effective hybrid and multi-cloud strategies that deal with migration complexities and offer visibility, cost efficiency, enhanced performance, data security, and compliance with data laws so that the company can grow and thrive in a changing business landscape.

Do you want to kickstart your hybrid or multicloud journey? Or are you confused about which one is worth investing in? Get in touch with our representative to learn about our hybrid and multicloud management solutions in detail.

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Team Cloud4c
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Team Cloud4c

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