Cloud computing offers companies many benefits that range from streamlined scalability to the ability to access cutting-edge technology. Many organizations are implementing multi-cloud environments to address their business requirements. We’re going to look at the benefits and potential drawbacks associated with this type of computing environment.

What is a Multi-Cloud Environment?

Cloud computing environments are built using either public or private resources. Public cloud service providers (CSPs) like AWS and Microsoft Azure offer computing resources to virtually anyone willing to pay for them. When cloud computing is mentioned, many people immediately think of public CSPs.

Private clouds are maintained by the organization that built them and are typically reserved for their use. Some businesses prefer a private cloud due to enhanced security and increased control over the infrastructure. There is no sharing of resources with other customers in a private cloud implementation.

Single cloud environments

In a single cloud environment, all of an organization’s cloud resources are hosted in the same infrastructure. The environment can be built using either private or public cloud resources. When using a public CSP, a company with a single cloud mentality needs to be certain the vendor can supply all the products and services they need. This is the simplest and most easily managed type of cloud environment.

Hybrid cloud environment

A hybrid cloud environment makes use of multiple cloud components to construct infrastructure that meets business objectives. Hybrid clouds employ a mix of private and public cloud services. Some companies choose to segregate sensitive workloads by hosting them on a private cloud while running other systems with a public CSP. The increased flexibility possible with a hybrid cloud solution gives organizations more options when addressing business requirements.

Multi-cloud environments

A multi-cloud environment also addresses a company’s IT requirements by combining the resources of more than one cloud infrastructure. The difference between multi-cloud and hybrid environments is that a multi-cloud solution is built with multiple public clouds, typically using products and services from more than one CSP. Private clouds are not used in a multi-cloud environment.

What Are the Benefits of a Multi-Cloud Environment?

Multi-cloud environments are becoming increasingly popular in all business sectors for multiple reasons. While not all of these reasons are relevant to any specific company’s business requirements or objectives, they are driving the interest in the multi-cloud model.

A large majority of organizations have adopted multi-cloud environments to meet their IT technology needs. This includes businesses of all sizes, with small businesses becoming substantially more interested in a multi-cloud solution in the past several years. They are finding their computing needs are better met with the multi-cloud model.

The following benefits are among the numerous advantages responsible for the continued popularity of multi-cloud environments.

Increased flexibility – Choosing a multi-cloud strategy gives an organization virtually limitless possibilities in constructing its IT environment. They can pick and choose from among the portfolios of public cloud providers to construct an ideal infrastructure.

Workload optimization – Organizations can optimize workloads by selectively choosing products and services from multiple CSPs. Multiple vendors may be able to address business objectives more efficiently than a single CSP.

Avoiding vendor lock-in – A company can avoid vendor lock-in by using services from multiple CSPs. Building relationships with different providers may allow companies to leverage alternative services to obtain the best value for their IT budget.

Enhanced resiliency – A multi-cloud environment can provide enhanced resiliency. Companies can use more than one vendor for similar functions to ensure reliable availability if one service fails or is impacted by a disaster.

What Are the Potential Drawbacks of a Multi-Cloud Environment?

As discussed, there are many benefits associated with a multi-cloud environment. However, some potential drawbacks may influence an organization’s decision to go the multi-cloud route when obtaining cloud resources. Let’s look at the possible issues that may affect multi-cloud environments and, in some instances, how a company can mitigate these problems.

Complex management – It can be difficult to manage a multi-cloud environment. Mismanagement can result in cost overruns and inefficient performance that negate the benefits of cloud computing. Working with an experienced managed service provider (MSP) with effective management tools can alleviate this potential problem.

Complicated billing – Keeping track of billing from multiple cloud vendors can become complicated and result in unnecessary expenses. Different vendors may use alternative billing methods that need to be carefully evaluated to ensure a company is spending its cloud budget efficiently.

Security concerns – Security in the cloud is a responsibility that is shared between the customer and the cloud provider. Vendors may treat security differently, making it difficult for customers to fully understand their role across multiple cloud environments. This can result in vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.

Multiple cloud skill sets required – Based on the cloud delivery model chosen, customers may need to provide technical resources to manage and maintain a multi-cloud environment. Using multiple clouds might require multiple skill sets that may not be available in all organizations.

Data silos – Data resources can become siloed in a multi-cloud environment, making information available to only a subset of the organization. This issue can be resolved with efficient management that ensures the right personnel has access to the cloud environment they need to address business concerns.

Potential duplication of services – Related to data silos is the potential duplication of services that can arise in a multi-cloud environment. This is especially true if multiple departments have engaged different vendors to handle their business requirements. Once again, efficient management, including keeping a close eye on billing, can eliminate this issue.

Streamlining the Management of Multi-Cloud Environments

The cloud experts at VAST IT Services understand the benefits and complications of implementing a multi-cloud environment. Whether your company is considering cloud migration or needs assistance managing a complex multi-cloud infrastructure, VAST has your back.

VAST’s cloud experts bring a wealth of experience to the management of your multi-cloud environment. Their Vast View platform provides the complete visibility and management functionality needed to optimize your multi-cloud infrastructure.

Read our white paper that answers your questions about multi-cloud environments and discusses how to effectively manage them to obtain the maximum benefits with VAST View. With VAST by your side, you can enjoy the advantages of a multi-cloud computing environment while minimizing the complexity involved with its management.