Deciding Between Hybrid and Multicloud Environments

Choosing between hybrid and multicloud environments, or a combination of both, will depend on different organization factors and the ultimate goals of the business.  

To find the right cloud environment, IT managers need to be asking the right questions. There are a lot of similarities between hybrid cloud vs. multicloud but there are also some key differences you need to take into account. There is some confusion about multicloud and hybrid cloud environments. With the change in focus and the continued confusion over these environments, it can be hard to decide which is best. Multicloud and hybrid cloud and a combination of them are all viable models and different organizations rely on each type to get business benefits. However, it’s essential to understand the outcomes that managers are trying to achieve.

Multicloud Environment

Understanding Cloud Options

For your environment to qualify as cloud computing, it needs to have on-demand resources, utilized shared resources, be elastic and scalable, and allow for pay per user billing.

With a hybrid cloud environment, an organization combines private cloud infrastructure with public cloud resources. Hybrid clouds are made of integrated networking that extends the network and creates segments in a single overall network infrastructure. Hybrid clouds provide the ability to connect co-location, dedicated, and managed services with cloud resources while having unified resource management.

Multicloud is a new approach. With a multicloud environment, it doesn’t necessarily need to have an on-premise component. Instead, an organization that uses a multicloud strategy leverages resources from different cloud providers. Multicloud approaches usually have multiple identity infrastructure applied across multiple environments and there is the ability to mix delivery mechanisms.

It’s possible, but it’s not necessary, to combine both environments. For example, an organization that uses some private cloud components with workloads in one cloud platform and some in another uses multicloud clouds strategies but still in a hybrid cloud environment.

What Will Influence Your Cloud Strategy?

Usually, organizations use a hybrid cloud environment to find a balance between priorities, such as security, cost, and scalability. An organization may want to keep some of its data in house due to security regulations, for example. It may also want to rely on on-premise infrastructure for some day-to-day demands and then choose to go to the public cloud during some peak periods.

The growth of multicloud can be due to the reality that different cloud environments mean different opportunities in terms of flexibility, features, and cost. At one point, many organizations put all their resources in single public cloud environments but then IT leaders and businesses started to realize that this limited their options.

Different organizations will find different benefits from different cloud models. For example, a manufacturer may need on-premise infrastructure, which means a hybrid cloud model is the best fit. However, an eCommerce company may require the benefits of an infrastructure distributed among different public cloud platforms.

Hybrid clouds require more focus on operational tools, while multicloud systems need attention and investment in third-party tools.

The Role of Business Goals in Your Cloud Choices

For almost every organization, a multicloud or hybrid cloud environment is a tool to use and not an objective. A clearly defined cloud strategy is an essential element for every successful organization. Every organization will have its objectives and the IT department needs to support these goals. Before you decide which cloud approach is the best, the organization will need to ask some questions and think about the answers. Do you have inventory for all your applications? What is the lifecycle status of your current underlying infrastructure? Are you comfortable with an operation finance model? What business problems are you trying to solve and how can the IT department help?

The goal of both multicloud and hybrid cloud solutions is finding the best way to take advantage of both worlds in a way that works best for the organization and drives the business toward its own goals. Once the company can tackle the more granular questions about investments and objectives then the question of multicloud or hybrid cloud can be answered.