The Benefits of a Multi-Cloud Strategy

The reason spring-cleaning causes us so much stress isn’t the cleaning itself. It isn’t moving all the big stuff out of the way, nor is it all the vacuuming and dusting that we do before we put everything back in place. Instead, the reason that spring-cleaning is such an onerous chore is because of all the decisions we must make. If our closets are overstuffed, which things do we move to the basement? What do we store under the bed? What do we donate, sell, or toss out? Each individual item gets considered and many get reorganized into a new spot.

When you’re moving you’re infrastructure to the cloud, you’re likely to face the same challenge. Some workloads might work best on some instances on one cloud, but other resources might be better suited to a different cloud. Putting different workloads on different clouds is called a multi-cloud strategy and it’s becoming increasingly popular among IT decision-makers. In fact, current trends indicate a strong majority of companies plan to deploy a multi-cloud strategy soon:

  • 77% of businesses plan to leverage a multi-cloud strategy (according to a recent survey of more than 650 IT decision-makers)
  • 86% of enterprises predict that they will need a multi-cloud strategy within the next two years, according to a study by IDC
  • 48% of IT decision-makers who plan to implement a cloud-based solution within the next twelve months also plan to deploy six or more cloud services.

A multi-cloud strategy can involve putting some of your workloads on one cloud and others on another cloud. It can also involve splitting the resources for a single workload so that you leverage the compute options on one cloud and the storage options on another. However you choose to build your multi-cloud strategy, you’re going to be in the company of today’s leading IT thinkers.

Benefits of a Multi-Cloud Strategy

Increasingly more organizations are adopting a multi-cloud strategy. Why? Here are a few big benefits it offers:

  1. More Choices and Higher Resiliency: Leveraging multiple clouds give you more choices. For example, AWS, Azure, and GCP each have different feature strengths, with some aligning better to your needs than others. A multi-cloud strategy enables you to mix and match these different features and services based on your organizational goals. It also enables more resiliency. Say, for instance, you have customer service requirements that demand low latency in a particular region - you can deploy two clouds there to ensure higher resiliency.
  2. Vendor Lock-In: Moving to the cloud is not easy task--nor is moving out of it. If you house all of your workloads in a single cloud but then that cloud service provider starts raising prices or making other changes that negatively affect your performance, business needs, or costs, you might be faced with the tough choice of staying put and accepting the changes or going through a second migration.
  3. Licensing Restrictions: Some cloud service providers will allow you to carry your on-premises licenses onto the cloud while others will require you to purchase a license when you migrate. If, for example, you have an on-premises license for a SQL server, you could face the cost of onboarding your license or purchasing a new license with your cloud provider. Before you determine which workloads you want to move to which cloud, you’ll need to understand the licensing restrictions of each cloud provider.
  4. Business Policies: You’ll also need to determine which workloads can be migrated to which cloud based on the policies or regulations at your company, by the cloud provider itself, or even by local governments. For example, you may have an internal policy that to migrate Microsoft apps to Azure only. Or if you have sensitive workloads (especially workloads that involve customer privacy information or government-regulated information), you may need to house that data in certain regions. A successful multi-cloud strategy will take these policies into account.
  5. Cost-Performance Optimization: Each cloud offers different compute and storage options at different prices. By doing a performance analysis of your workloads that are either on-premises or already in the cloud and comparing that to what’s available in each cloud, you can project both your workload performance and TCO for compute and storage options in each cloud and identify the options that will meet your workload performance requirements at the cheapest cost - enabling you to realize the most public cloud cost savings.

Multi-Cloud = More Flexibility

A multi-cloud strategy enables companies to create the best cloud solution for their business. It enables you to take advantage of the best of what each cloud offers, minimizes vendor lock-in, and provides more opportunities for optimization. Overall, it empowers companies to realize the full promise of the cloud - offering true flexibility to scale, improve performance, and reduce costs.

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