Hybrid Cloud vs. Multi-Cloud: How to Choose the Right Cloud Computing Strategy

Elmira

Sooner or later business owners start wondering if one cloud platform is enough for their company. As it is often discovered, utilization of only one cloud platform is not giving as many exploiting or money-saving possibilities as desired.
 
That is why nowadays multiple cloud deployment has become more popular. There are two approaches to reconcile clouds in one environment: the multi-cloud approach which allows interconnecting public cloud platforms with one another; and the hybrid cloud which combines public cloud with private cloud or on-premise servers.
 
How can a company decide which strategy is best for operations and business in general? In this article, we explain what stands behind hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategies and drive your attention to aspects you need to consider while choosing between them.
 

Cloud environment types

First of all, let’s talk about the basics. As far as you might already know there are two cloud platform types: public and private.
 
Public cloud is a cloud computing infrastructure that’s delivered remotely and shared across different organizations through a self-service interface. The most popular public cloud providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). A public cloud might be the simplest of all clouds in terms of deployment. In case a client feels a need for more resources or services, he or she just pays a public cloud provider for another hour or byte used.
 
Private cloud is a single-tenant environment which means that the organization using it does not share any resources with other users. Private clouds are often preferred by businesses and government agencies that go for having direct control of underlying cloud infrastructure. It is possible to send a request to the IT department for architecting the platform, as well as buying it from a third-party vendor and locate the data center resources off-site or on-premise.
 
Business owners have many reasons to choose either public cloud, private cloud, or a combination of two cloud setups. For instance, public cloud platforms allow users to not only store but also analyze their data, while private cloud is safer, as many believe. However, data breaches and other security issues may occur within both cloud environments.
 

Multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud

Compliance, management, and security requirements are getting more complex every day. Cloud technology develops correspondingly to let organizations interconnect their platforms faster and what is more – easier.
 
Some companies choose not to deploy multi-cloud or hybrid-cloud architecture, despite all the benefits it offers, due to the difficulty of monitoring and managing costs across several cloud platforms. Fortunately, cloud management platforms like Binadox provide business owners with total visibility and proper cost allocation of all the assets used within the company.
 
According to what is combined, there are two types of organizing cloud platform operation: multi-cloud and hybrid cloud. Let’s find out what is the difference between them.
 

Multi-cloud

A company definitely can use one cloud platform, but a multi-cloud solution offers a good opportunity to balance the workload across several cloud services. A multi-cloud environment implies the use of two or more cloud platforms of the same type, usually the public ones. The usage of private clouds is also possible but not so common.
 
Multi-cloud usage is popular today. According to TechJury, 81% of all enterprises choose the usage of two or more cloud providers for extending their capabilities. Public cloud providers offer a bunch of several services and even if they’re similar, they are not the same. Business owners may want to take advantage of different cloud platforms without fully committing to one and only.
 

Multi-cloud strategy: pros and cons

In order to make the right choice, the company should take into consideration key aspects of working with a particular architecture.
 

Innovation

Why today business owners prefer multi-cloud architecture? By choosing a multi-cloud environment, organizations can solve different problems such as overspending, or save themselves from risks like the impossibility of data loss recovery, and also deploy new resources. Moreover, they can pick the best tools offered by each platform and use them to drive greater innovation.
 

Computing power

High demand is not a problem for those who are devoted to multi-cloud. The deployment of two or more cloud platforms offers additional computing power, which can be used for improving a company’s productivity.
 

Flexibility

Some business owners don’t want to put all the eggs in one basket and stick to one cloud provider to recover faster in case of a possible disaster. With several public clouds, organizations get the possibility to scale easier and shift focus from one platform to another when/if it’s necessary. Multi-cloud deployment allows users to move the data or applications across platforms faster and, due to that, companies can back up data and improve its recovery.
 

Security

Security is the cornerstone of any business model, no matter what type of cloud architecture enterprise or company chooses. Public cloud platforms provide trustworthy security using a shared responsibility model. It means that the cloud provider ensures the security of the cloud and the end-user (i.e your company) is responsible for the privacy of the data it stores on the cloud platform. In this case, the IT team should be well-versed in security configurations and IAM policies within each platform.
 

Personnel

Cloud architects should clearly understand how each platform works in a multi-cloud environment and be able to provide compliance checks for all of them. It requires acquiring certain certifications which state that a worker is skilled enough for accomplishing assigned configuration tasks.
 

Costs

The multi-cloud strategy has greater potential to save the company money, than the deployment of on-premises software. However, running multiple cloud environments is not that easy as it seems. Companies should constantly keep an eye on the cloud costs and take measures in order to prevent overspending on each platform.
 
In this case, using cloud management platforms like Binadox can help. They allow companies to find saving opportunities by means of identifying underutilized or idle resources.
 
Service Details representing costs and number of resources on Binadox platform
 

Hybrid cloud

What is a hybrid cloud? In comparison with multi-cloud, the hybrid cloud mixes public cloud with private one; public cloud with on-premises software, or all of three architectures. This is a good solution for those who used on-premises software and now want to be more flexible or want to run their own private cloud environments.
 
In multi-cloud architecture, each cloud platform can be used for a different purpose, for example, one cloud provider offers more beneficial storage and another one offers more powerful computing while in the hybrid cloud strategy resources are used together.
 
In some sense, multi-cloud architecture is nothing more than just a type of hybrid as it can include several public clouds in combination with one or more public clouds. The best thing is that cloud architecture is flexible and every company can create its own structure designed to satisfy its needs.
 

Hybrid cloud: pros and cons

What should an organization focus on while cogitating over designing a hybrid cloud?
 

Scalability

Hybrid cloud combines the computing power of public cloud with private cloud which allows organizations to scale faster, helping them to build their cloud architecture quickly and easily scale computing up and down.
 

Computing speed

Although hybrid cloud has most of the multi-cloud advantages, there is one factor that sets it apart – speed. As private cloud platforms can be cut down to handle specific tasks, the usual operations are not vulnerable to latency and are not interrupted.
 

Security

In the case of security, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud do not differ that much. However, in hybrid cloud architecture, there is a possibility to use more reliable encryption methods within the private cloud architecture. Besides, the organizations may deploy their own configurations and protocols for keeping data as secure as possible.
 

Personnel

A hybrid cloud strategy, compared to multi-cloud, may fit the companies that have workers experienced or skilled in at least one type of public cloud, for example, Azure or AWS. This results in team members becoming experts in one public cloud platform rather than trying to kill two (or more) birds with one stone.
 

Costs

Private clouds are better than on-premises when talking about cost optimization. But choosing a private cloud, business owners should search for new staff to develop and manage that environment. The increase in the number of employees, in turn, leads to additional spending.
 

Choose between multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architecture

Every cloud architecture has its own positive and negative sides. When choosing between two strategies or the combination of two, an organization should stick to its goals.
 
When a decision is taken, there are still some issues to think about. It’s difficult for IT teams to always keep an eye on security vulnerabilities, analyze the utilization of resources, and track the spendings manually, especially across multiple cloud environments. It would be much easier to use a cloud management platform to facilitate the deployment of multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments by right-sizing resources, managing costs, and ensuring security and compliance across clouds.
 
Binadox platform allows you to analyze resource utilization, prevent overspending on unused services and predict future costs. Moreover, with Binadox you can receive accountable recommendations for better resources and cost allocation.
 
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