Companies today stand at the threshold of a cloud revolution. The shift towards hybrid/multi-cloud architectures has allowed companies to select more than one cloud service provider empowering developers with the best tools to create compelling use cases. It also negates risks arising from a single point of failure, dependencies, and vendor lock-in.
While the benefits of cloud are apparent, the types of cloud architectures, in particular, can be pretty confusing for companies that are new to adoption. For instance, the difference between multi-cloud and the hybrid cloud can baffle companies because both terms are often changed interchangeably. It’s important to note that both these architectures differ in purpose and definition and have a few critical dissimilarities that can be critical to understanding several companies.
Multi-Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud – The Key Differences
Both these terms refer to enterprise cloud deployments involving the integration of more than one cloud platform. There is also a significant difference in the infrastructure setup that these cloud deployments have.
With a multi-cloud architecture, an organization has the liberty to leverage multiple cloud services delivered by multiple providers. In this setup, multiple cloud solutions are often aligned to multiple processes to drive best-of-breed results and reduce cases of vendor lock-in. For instance, the needs of the sales and finance function are often starkly different from the needs that an R&D function would have. And, it is here where a multi-cloud setup can help companies drive efficiencies by aligning standalone cloud solutions to meet process-specific requirements more effectively.
This model allows companies to reduce dependencies on a single cloud provider. That way, it becomes easier to control costs and enhance operational flexibility. Multi-cloud strategies across organizations often include a combination of multi-public cloud vendor platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and IBM. On the other hand, the hybrid cloud also combines public and private clouds for the same purpose, but it differs from multi-cloud on the following grounds:
- Hybrid cloud deployments leverage public and private clouds. However, the deployment strategy of multi-cloud involves multiple public clouds and virtual and physical cloud infrastructure in private clouds.
- In a multi-cloud infrastructure, separate cloud services are aligned to separate processes. In a hybrid cloud setup, however, the components typically work in unison.
The Benefits of Multi-Cloud Infrastructure
Though the benefits of the cloud are tangible irrespective of the infrastructure that a company embraces, several aspects make a multi-cloud setup beneficial in the long run. According to Gartner, more than 75% of mid-sized to large organizations will have adopted a multi-cloud strategy by the end of 2021. Now, some key factors have resulted in this increased push for multi-cloud adoption, such as: