Wolken über der IT-Landschaft - Die Multi-Cloud


Clouds over the IT landscape - the multi-cloud

With the rapid development of cloud computing, new technologies and processes are constantly emerging that are fundamentally changing the way companies use the cloud. In addition to impressive developments in AI, the multi-cloud is one of the major cloud computing trends of recent years. Companies are increasingly moving away from singular platforms and are instead looking at all available options. Where a single cloud solution used to dominate, 9 out of 10 large companies now rely on a multi-cloud strategy. Multi-cloud refers to the use of two or more cloud service providers to host and run applications and services.

A key reason why companies are increasingly turning to multi-cloud strategies is the need for flexibility and agility: multi-cloud strategies offer the ability to select and customize services from different cloud service providers to optimize applications and services for specific use cases such as high-performance computing or machine learning. Companies are able to shift their workloads between different platforms and reduce costs through the different pricing models of the providers. This adaptability allows them to respond quickly to changing market conditions or customer needs and avoids dependency on a single cloud provider, known as vendor lock-in. Switching to another provider in the future proves difficult and is associated with problems such as high costs, legal restrictions or technical incompatibilities.  In a study by Deloitte, a large majority of the 500 senior cloud decision-makers surveyed cited the avoidance of vendor lock-in as a significant advantage of the multi-cloud approach.

Another advantage of multi-cloud solutions is improved reliability and security. By distributing their applications and services across multiple cloud providers, companies can reduce the risk of downtime or service interruptions due to disruptions or other issues. This also facilitates the implementation of disaster recovery and business continuity strategies that help companies recover quickly in the event of a major outage or data loss.

Cloudy with a chance of rain - challenge in the multi-cloud

Nevertheless, multi-cloud harbors risks and challenges. One of the biggest difficulties is the complexity of managing multiple cloud environments. Since each provider has its own tools, interfaces and management consoles, companies need to invest in specialized skills and tools to efficiently manage resources, deployments and configurations across different clouds. AWS, Azure, GCP and co. offer a variety of managed services to build environments, but the way the technology is applied differs. This can lead to issues with security and data management, as well as increasing operational costs and management overheads. There can be challenges with data migration and integration across multiple cloud providers, as well as the risk of dependency on specific tools or services. Although a multi-cloud strategy aims to avoid dependencies on individual providers, it is important to plan and design applications carefully to ensure portability. It is crucial to avoid dependencies on proprietary services and APIs to maintain flexibility and prevent complications when switching between providers.

Another challenge is the increasingly strict regulations on compliance, security and data protection. Companies should therefore consider carefully before transferring their data to these platforms for the intended purpose. Managing service level agreements (SLAs) and support across multiple cloud providers can also be complex. Organizations need comprehensive knowledge of each provider's service guarantees, support channels and escalation processes to ensure consistent and reliable service levels across all clouds. Managing relationships with multiple cloud providers requires dedicated resources and effective management practices. Organizations need to build strong relationships, negotiate contracts and ensure clear communication and alignment of objectives with each provider.

On cloud nine and eight with a multi-cloud strategy

Careful planning and implementation of the multi-cloud strategy is necessary to mitigate these risks. However, before a strategy is defined, companies need to be aware of the challenges they face. These are initially less technical and more organizational: in multi-cloud environments, companies need to ensure that they implement effective governance across different cloud components, each from different providers, while still being able to be managed as a unified environment. To realize the full potential of a multi-cloud strategy, such as flexibility, agility and scalability, it is critical for organizations to consider the unique requirements and constraints of the organization, understand the business needs and continually adapt the strategy to maximize the benefits of using multiple cloud providers. In addition to selecting the right cloud providers and services to meet specific needs, this includes developing a strong governance framework to manage security and compliance, and implementing robust monitoring and management tools to ensure visibility and control across all cloud environments.

In 2024, we are on the cusp of new breakthroughs and innovations in cloud technology that will shape both the business world and everyday life. Multi-cloud is expected to remain a major trend in the cloud, alongside advances and innovations in AI. In the future, we can expect further developments in multi-cloud, including new technology and tools to help companies manage their different cloud environments more effectively, as well as increased standardization between cloud providers.           

Multi-cloud is a dynamically growing area of cloud computing that offers organizations significant benefits in terms of flexibility, agility and resilience. Complion helps you develop strategies and methods to minimize risks and avoid pitfalls when managing multiple cloud environments.


Author: Cüneyt Baluch