Finding the best cloud solution to support your business is a critical component of your digital IT transformation — and for many businesses, this decision is more complex than simply deciding between a public or private cloud environment.
Nearly three-quarters of enterprises say they use a hybrid or multicloud solution (or combination of the two) to solve business needs. Whether used to comply with security regulations or as a steppingstone from an all-private to entirely public cloud strategy, both hybrid and multicloud solutions offer benefits and drawbacks all companies should consider.
What’s the Difference Between Hybrid Cloud and Multicloud?
As hybrid cloud or multicloud options are brought into consideration, you may feel your brain begin to fog, blurring the distinctions between these two solutions. While their names are similar (and sometimes incorrectly used interchangeably), hybrid cloud and multicloud are not the same. So, first, let’s set some definitions:
- A hybrid cloud environment blends both public and private cloud infrastructures — meaning a company hosts data both in an off- or on-premise private network and a publicly hosted cloud, like AWS or Azure.
- Multicloud is when an organization stores data or runs applications across two or more public cloud providers.
Hybrid Cloud: Find the Strategic Middle Ground Between Private and Public
No matter how prepared your organization is to move your applications to the cloud, most large enterprises will find this project can’t be completed all at once. That’s where a strategic and purposeful hybrid cloud environment can provide a necessary solution to bridge the gap. But, it’s critical to prepare for this transition to ensure you aren’t left with a haphazard hybrid cloud that’s tricky to manage.
In certain industries with strict security and compliance regulations, hybrid cloud has become a more permanent solution, rather than a transitional phase. For instance, a hybrid model works best in healthcare as it allows for ease of sharing information between healthcare providers and insurance payers through public cloud, while private hosting allows organizations to remain compliant with HIPAA regulations.
Although security in the public cloud is now better than ever, many organizations remain wary of moving all of their sensitive data to a public infrastructure. By deliberately splitting workloads between private and public clouds, businesses can securely store sensitive information in a private environment.
Multicloud: Mitigate Risk with Multiple Cloud Providers
The multicloud strategy is increasingly popular, and estimates suggest that by 2021, 98% of companies plan to use a multicloud approach. By utilizing this strategy, companies can take advantage of the services of several different cloud providers to meet a number of unique business needs. This can mean a more tailored approach for your business, as well as more flexibility than when tied to one single vendor.
One of the most common reasons your organization may take a multicloud approach is that it prevents you from relying solely on one vendor for all your business and service needs. By spreading your workload across multiple providers, should one provider experience downtime or an outage, your entire business operations won’t be affected.
Of course, working with more than one cloud provider may present increased challenges in managing all of your cloud applications and resources. With different security and management tools and processes, as well as varying levels of visibility into your applications and differing procedures for data access, a multicloud environment can be time-intensive for your IT department and cloud administrators.
Determining the Right Cloud Solution for Your Business
When determining your business’s cloud needs, keep in mind that hybrid cloud and multicloud are not mutually exclusive, and the best strategy for your organization may be a combination of the two. For example, as the need for companies to access applications remotely becomes increasingly important during the COVID-19 crisis, understanding the breadth of options available in the cloud space is imperative.
While some organizations may require keeping certain legacy applications in on-premise networks, taking a hybrid and/or multicloud approach can enable a more nimble transition to the cloud when you don’t have the time or resources to move all your workloads at once — allowing you to keep your business running during periods of rapid change.
That’s why many companies turn to a trusted Managed Services Provider (MSP) and partner to help enable multicloud and hybrid cloud strategies. An MSP can bring the tools, processes, and know-how to manage the added complexity and assist companies in realizing the many benefits of this strategy. This can include tools that work across cloud environments and provide the governance, automation, and cost management activities for the selected platforms.
No matter where you are in your digital and IT transformation, a hybrid cloud or multicloud option can make your overall transition to the cloud smoother and customized to your specific company needs — and CentriLogic’s cloud hosting services and cloud managed services solutions are here to help. Contact us today to learn more.