As a cloud and data center manager, how can you tell if your customer has a hybrid or multi-cloud setup? Let's go through a common scenario to discuss.

A company that has traditionally used a private cloud for computing and data storage will need to be more data-centric when looking at the best approach. They might be looking for an MSP focused on private cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure as a service.

For example, as you'd expect, a company heavily invested in VMware will be much more open to hybrid cloud and data services from VMware.

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Hybrid Cloud vs. Multi-Cloud: What's the Difference?

Let's review the concept of hybrid and multi-cloud and what you can do to better your decision.

A hybrid cloud is where a company blends a private cloud where they have their most critical applications with a public cloud that is optimized for their distributed workloads.

A hybrid cloud combines multiple cloud providers' applications, storage, and even networking services.

Several important factors can drive a company to choose a hybrid cloud architecture:

  • A hybrid cloud can minimize latency to, from, and between their applications.
  • The hybrid cloud can also help protect your private cloud from an attack on your sensitive information from the public cloud.
  • A hybrid cloud is also critical to meet regulatory requirements, like the GDPR and other IT regulations, which also go well beyond the technical capabilities of a single cloud provider.
  • A hybrid cloud helps to save money by leveraging economies of scale. If a company consolidates its data center, it can save on electricity and cooling costs.
  • Also, since many businesses use a hybrid cloud to move applications between their on-premise and off-premise environments, they'll continue licensing.

Multi-Cloud refers to the use of several cloud providers. For example, one company may use AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

The standard cloud term is public cloud. A multi-cloud provider can offer a hybrid or multi-cloud offering, with a single operator who provides the single virtual IP address (VIP) from a single provider to all the services on each of their clouds.

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Where This Fits in the Marketing Landscape

In some situations, the hybrid cloud is often used in marketing terms. For example, a web developer might use the software as a service (SaaS) on one vendor's cloud and another cloud vendor's on-premises deployment.

In general, all marketers should care about multi-cloud capabilities for many reasons.

  • Does it meet your current and future needs and requirements? It would help if you had a vendor in mind that is well-versed in current and future requirements for your business. This criterion will help you focus your vendor search and vendor selection efforts.
  • Is the vendor a top-tier player in the technology space? A strong provider has more than one successful product, which will ensure they stay relevant.
  • Is the provider offering a low-touch approach for onboarding your applications and supporting them with changes, including code, configurations, and upgrades? Lower cost can result in significant ROI on any transition.

What Is a Multi-Cloud Provider?

A multi-cloud provider is a technology and services firm that can provide the best of both worlds. A multi-cloud provider is not only focused on providing a single cloud platform to meet your needs, but they are also committed to supporting and integrating your applications across multiple cloud platforms.

Because a multi-cloud provider can support all three major public cloud platforms -- AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) -- they can offer the best of both worlds. The multi-cloud vendor provides the storage and compute capabilities you need and helps integrate your on-premises infrastructure and your customer's applications.

Multi-cloud providers also support hybrid cloud capabilities, so they can be your choice for managing your entire IT stack.

Different Considerations in Choosing Your Multi-Cloud Provider

Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud are both available to you. It all depends on your business's current and future needs and requirements.

  • Your deployment options: Some multi-cloud providers can offer both private and public clouds. This is also a way to manage your infrastructure without addressing each cloud platform.
  • Integration and migration: Some multi-cloud providers are only integrated with their private cloud. Other multi-cloud providers offer an integrated solution with multi-cloud platforms.
  • Application management: The multi-cloud vendor may have the best integration of application management solutions, but it does not mean they provide the best out-of-the-box application-management solution.
  • The multi-cloud vendor may have the best integration of application management solutions. Still, it does not mean they provide the best out-of-the-box application-management solution.
  • Customer support: Businesses need to work with multiple providers to manage their IT stack. Scalability, ease of operation, customer support, and maintenance are important factors to consider.

Make sure to research any multi-cloud provider thoroughly before choosing them. Your decision should be based on what you need at this point instead of simply liking or disliking them.

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Benefits of a Multicloud Provider

There are significant benefits to choosing a multi-cloud provider over a public cloud or an on-premises solution. For example, because multi-cloud providers can support a range of cloud platforms, they eliminate the need for customers to run their own in-house data centers or even manage their hosting services. Customers can concentrate on their core business and be confident they are supported by one of the best vendors in the space.

Because they can support multiple clouds, multi-cloud providers can give their customers the flexibility to manage their entire IT stack and deploy their applications in whichever clouds or environments they choose.

Multicloud providers provide a level of convenience and comfort that you can't get anywhere else. A multi-cloud provider should be able to give you the features you need, whether it is for expanding your existing applications or creating new ones.

Multicloud providers provide a level of convenience you can't get anywhere else. A multi-cloud provider should be able to give you the features you need, whether it is for expanding your existing applications or creating new ones. Automatic failover. Having a multi-cloud provider automatically serves up new compute resources and maintenance configured to meet your needs for failover and uptime.

Having a multi-cloud provider automatically serves up new compute resources and maintenance configured to meet your needs for failover and uptime. Most multi-cloud providers can support unlimited, dynamic resources. This capability enables them to scale resources dynamically to match customer usage. This is especially important for companies that need to process an increasing amount of data daily.

Overall, the advantages of multi-cloud providers far outweigh the shortcomings. There is a significant trend in enterprise IT to move toward a more flexible, multi-cloud architecture. The architecture lets you start small and expand as your business grows.

Start with a scenario in which you have a specific need. Then, use your criteria to filter down to particular providers based on specific criteria. Once you've narrowed your options to a few providers, compare their features against your needs. When all your requirements are met, you can decide which one offers the best overall experience. Take into account the above considerations with your particular criteria to determine which one best fits your specific needs.

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For the needs you have right now, look at public clouds. You'll find the management tools and networking top-notch, making them ideal for the needs of an increasing number of customers in a brief period.

If you have more extensive or complex requirements, consider moving to a hybrid or multi-cloud provider. Moving to a multi-cloud provider means you have a company that can expand with you as your business grows.

Finally, suppose you want to become a cloud data and analytics powerhouse. In that case, you can choose a public cloud provider like AWS or Microsoft Azure to host your data and analytics workloads.

If you're eager to dive deeper into multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architectures and other cloud computing skills, you can look into the cloud computing programs offered by Caltech CTME and powered by Simplilearn. In the Americas, Caltech CTME provides the Cloud Computing Bootcamp, while in India and other countries, Caltech CTME offers a Post Graduate Program in Cloud Computing. Each provides certification in cloud offerings from multiple vendors and in-depth training in cloud computing skills.

About the Author

Matthew DavidMatthew David

Matt is a Digital Leader at Accenture. His passion is a combination of solving today's problems to run more efficiently, adjusting focus to take advantage of digital tools to improve tomorrow and move organizations to new ways of working that impact the future.

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