Cloud computing is a billion-dollar market with companies continuing the adoption trend. Flexera’s 2022 State of The Cloud Report shows an increase in cloud migration rate and public cloud adoption. According to this report, multi-cloud as well as hybrid models are equally preferred by many companies.
Does this imply that both the cloud models are pretty identical in their disposition? Although used interchangeably, multi-cloud and hybrid cloud bear significant differences.
And along those lines, we will dive into the nitty gritty of each of these in this article.
What Does Hybrid Cloud Mean?
Among the two, the hybrid cloud is the most commonly used. That’s because a hybrid cloud combines the public cloud with a private cloud or an on-premise architecture.
Ideally, most businesses do not migrate entirely to the cloud. Some business workloads or data centers may still be part of their legacy, on-premise infrastructure. This form of partial migration leads to a hybrid cloud model.
And why would businesses choose a hybrid cloud? It’s mostly preference-specific. Storing critical business data or logic within their on-premise systems could be due to security concerns or for ease of recovery during a catastrophe.
What Does Multi-Cloud Mean?
In a multi-cloud model, multiple public clouds are combined and can be a part of various cloud vendors. In this case, companies would outsource their entire business infrastructure to a third-party cloud vendor or host.
For instance, the web app could be by AWS, while the backend data could be hosted on Azure. And in the long run, if an enterprise does include a private cloud or an on-premise onto the existing multi-cloud platform, this will lead to a hybrid cloud model. In essence, a multi-cloud strategy can integrate one or more IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS platforms.
Businesses could opt for multi-cloud owing to its higher performance or as a cost-effective approach to cloud migration.
But this is not the only fundamental difference between hybrid and multi-cloud. Here’s a profound look at the contrasts.
Hybrid Cloud Vs. Multi-Cloud – Key Differences Between Them
In a multi-cloud architecture, you would be running different applications on different clouds, and these do not necessarily communicate with each other. And since you work with vendors, there is no cap on scalability, but this model lacks an identity management system and, therefore, exhibits lesser transparency.
If scalability and high performance are a priority, opting for a multi-cloud architecture is indeed a smart decision.
As elucidated above, a hybrid cloud combines cloud resources with on-premise initiatives. This enables applications to share data and information under a single infrastructure.
It is well-suited for businesses with mission-critical systems and those that rely on legacy infrastructure for operations.
2. Vendor Lock-in
With multi-cloud, companies can escape the vendor lock-in, which is known to be one of the reasons most organizations opt for multi-cloud over hybrid. This is due to multi-cloud flexibility, which makes portability easier than hybrid cloud.
Since teams would manage multiple public clouds, they can easily change vendors in the long run, owing to technology upgrades and related requirements.
Vendor lock-in is a major headache when opting for a hybrid cloud approach. Since enterprises would’ve spent a lot of time, money, and effort integrating their on-premises infrastructure with cloud resources, doing everything from scratch while changing the vendor is not ideal.
And not to mention the additional costs and long system downtimes that arrive with switching vendors in a hybrid cloud.
Since the cloud vendor takes care of the management side of cloud offerings along with provisioning and maintenance, the cost of multi-cloud implementation is lower.
Therefore, organizations that are budget conscious prefer multi-cloud over their counterparts.
Although with hybrid cloud, there is no fear of “hidden costs,” implementing, managing, and maintaining it requires a ton of skills and the purchase of equipment. So, most organizations need to hire an in-house team, which is challenging and costly. Conversely, they can opt for outsourcing application development.
With multi-cloud, the security of the applications is entirely at the hands of the cloud vendors. They are responsible for maintenance, compliance, security patches, and upgrades.
Since applications are deployed on multiple public clouds, regular monitoring of workloads and data from the organization’s end is ideal to avoid potential mishaps.
In a hybrid cloud, companies would have to protect data and applications on both the cloud and on-premise. But when combined, cloud vendors and the organization’s own security strategies lead to minimal risk and additional security. That’s also because enterprises have the option to store critical data on their tight on-prem infrastructure.
A multi-cloud environment is highly available owing to multiple vendors or platforms. When a particular vendor is experiencing any downtime, companies can easily and quickly shift their workloads or data onto another vendor’s cloud. This reduces the risk of failure as the applications are distributed across vendors.
In a hybrid cloud approach, availability depends on the on-premise systems. And in case of downtime, it would affect system-wide operations. But through proper configuration and with the help of skilled cloud practitioners, such concerns can be minimized, leading to rapid recovery.
At the end of the day, choosing the model that best fits your organization’s needs in light of increasing operational efficiency is the ideal way forward. Hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, and any other cloud deployment model, for that matter, have their own pros and cons to be weighed before jumping onto the cloud computing bandwagon.
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