- August 23
- 20 min
Table of contents
Why should you consider using the multi-cloud or hybrid cloud?
The benefits of using multi-cloud providers
The challenges associated with multi-cloud
Multi-cloud strategy: Best practices for managing and securing multi-cloud
The benefits of combining on-premises and cloud infrastructure
The challenges associated with hybrid cloud
Hybrid cloud strategy: Best practices for managing and securing hybrid cloud
What are the differences between multi-cloud and hybrid cloud?
Benefits of multi-cloud
Benefits of hybrid cloud
Examples of hybrid & multi-cloud implementations
The trend of supporting cloud solutions is very strong and it will most likely continue throughout the rest of 2020 and beyond (this article is from 2020 and was updated in March 2023). As a profitable tool, the cloud is interesting to our clients, but also to engineers who are eager to work with new technologies.
When choosing cloud solutions, clients wonder what is happening to the data stored within. The greatest advantage of the AWS and Azure clouds – the giants standing behind them (Amazon, Oracle, and Microsoft) – is at the same time the feature that often discourages entrepreneurs from using this type of solution.
Large players invest a lot of money to ensure the security of data, but they also use it to analyze and test their own solutions in exchange for benefits, which is not a sufficient incentive for some companies.
Why should you consider using multi-cloud or hybrid cloud deployment?
Hybrid cloud and multicloud are two cloud computing models that provide enterprises with increased flexibility, scalability, and cost savings. Hybrid cloud is a combination of two or more clouds – public, private and/or on-premises, when multicloud management allows organizations to run multiple applications using different cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Oracle, or Google Cloud Platform.
For organizations looking to leverage the benefits of cloud computing without relying on a single cloud provider, multicloud and hybrid cloud solutions can offer the ideal solution. By utilizing both models, companies can ensure that their data is stored securely across multiple providers, gain access to different features offered by each provider, maximize cost savings by taking advantage of better pricing options on certain services, increase agility with quick provisioning, reduce downtime through redundancy and use technological advancements from leading providers.
In short, multicloud and hybrid cloud deployment solutions provide enterprises with the ability to take advantage of the benefits of multiple vendors while still maintaining operational control and flexibility. Companies can increase agility, reduce costs, enhance security measures, and benefit from technological advances all through the use of these innovative solutions. By combining the best features offered by multiple platforms into one unified environment tailored to their specific needs, organizations can ultimately leverage greater potential growth opportunities.
Learn how the migration of the solution, for one of our clients from the Automotive sector, to the cloud gave great responsiveness to the system.
Multicloud refers to a system of multiple cloud computing services from different providers. With multicloud architecture, organizations have the option to select from a wide range of infrastructure and platform options, allowing them to mix-and-match components for better control over their cloud infrastructure. This technique can help increase efficiency, cut costs, and improve performance by taking advantage of the unique strengths each provider offers.
The benefits of using multicloud providers
The first of the benefits of a multicloud is increased reliability. By using multiple cloud providers, businesses can mitigate the risk of downtime due to service outages or natural disasters. Having multiple redundant backup providers of multicloud allows organizations to remain operational in the event that one provider experiences an outage. This is especially beneficial for businesses that rely on their IT infrastructure to function without interruption.
Businesses can save money by leveraging multiple cloud providers. Instead of having to purchase a large amount of capacity from one provider, companies can acquire storage and computing resources from different vendors and pay only for the services they need at the moment. Additionally, customers can take advantage of competitive pricing models across different cloud providers and select the provider that offers the best value for their needs.
When utilizing multiple cloud providers, organizations have access to more resources which allows them to rapidly scale up or down depending on their current business requirements. For example, if a company’s customer base grows quickly, it can acquire additional server capacity or multicloud storage space from one of its other providers instead of relying on a single vendor who might not be able to meet demand in time.
By using multiple cloud vendors, companies have more options when it comes to selecting services and features that fit their exact needs. Furthermore, customers can change or switch providers anytime without having to invest in new hardware or software licenses as these are acquired through a rental basis by using various cloud solutions.
The challenges of multicloud
Multicloud solution presents a set of unique obstacles that can be difficult to deal with. Organizations must be prepared to face new and complex challenges across cloud. With the right strategies in place, businesses can become successful.
Multicloud security complexity
With the rise of multiple cloud providers and environments, risk levels according to the security of data can be higher. Developing comprehensive strategies and protocols across various clouds is essential in keeping user accounts and data protected.
Multi-cloud strategies can help businesses increase workload resilience and ensure compliance with relevant regulations. However, there are many other pitfalls that must be avoided to guarantee this level of protection; for example, data stored in the cloud needs proper security protocols and its location should meet all regulatory requirements.
With cloud data as a necessary component of business operations, companies must take the utmost care to securely transmit sensitive information. Encryption is a key tool to prevent malicious actors from accessing vulnerable business information traversing public networks such as the internet. Ensuring secure encryption standards are met and regularly updated guarantees that valuable corporate assets remain unbreachable by unauthorized entities.
Businesses must be prepared for the worst: network and provider disruptions that can have a lasting impact. From cyber attacks to service deprecations or even more extreme scenarios like provider bankruptcies, companies may need alternative cloud providers available that they can switch too if needed, or migrate services back onsite for better control over their data centers.
Multicloud strategy: Best practices for managing and securing multicloud
Managing a multicloud environment can be more complex than managing one cloud alone due to the various feature sets and access protocols. Effectively safeguarding your data across multicloud approach requires proper strategies. To ensure maximum protection and great management, we recommend you these practices.
#1 Always be prepared
To ensure success when leveraging the benefits of multi-cloud, careful preparation is essential. Knowing which multicloud platform works best for each application and having a clear set of objectives over 12 to 36 months are important steps towards achieving this goal. Having highly skilled team members who can make changes will also be beneficial in helping your transition go smoothly.
#2 Secure the network
Companies operating on a single cloud are used to the “castle and moat” approach, which relies on securing only what lies outside of their network. However with multi-cloud adoption it is no longer possible to exclusively protect the perimeters; an internal security strategy must be in place as well. Those businesses who have rethought this model report more comprehensive IT protection overall – proving that protecting both internally and externally can make all the difference.
#3 Schedule tasks when you can
By creating a regular schedule with cloud resource usage analysis and non-critical security events investigation, companies can reduce their cloud costs significantly. Implementing start-stop times for unused resources is one of the most reliable ways to save on expenses while still staying agile – making sure that your organization only pays for what it needs!
#4 Automate wherever it is possible
Avoid the frustrations of a multi-cloud environment by leveraging policy-driven automation. Putting safeguards in place and creating alerts for resources that are over/underutilized or misconfigured can simplify management tasks as well as reduce costs associated with your cloud infrastructure.
What is hybrid cloud?
A hybrid model in cloud computing is a type of cloud computing that combines public cloud provider services with private cloud services (including on-premises data centers), allowing an organization to use the best of both worlds.
Hybrid clouds are designed to provide organizations with more flexibility and control over their data than traditional public or private clouds. With a hybrid cloud, organizations can keep sensitive data on-premise while taking advantage of one public cloud services for less critical workloads.
The benefits of combining on-premises and cloud infrastructure
Combining on-premises and cloud infrastructure offers many advantages to organizations. For one, it allows them to leverage the flexibility, scalability, and agility of cloud services while also keeping control over their most sensitive data with on-premise systems. By combining these two concepts, organizations can react more quickly to market changes and customer demands while reducing their overall costs.
Value of hybrid cloud
Organizations that combine on-premises and cloud infrastructure are able to take advantage of the extra storage space provided by the cloud while still having access to critical functions such as authentication, data encryption, and authentication processes which remain located close to the user or consumer. This additional layer of security helps protect organizations from cyberattacks since critical information is not being sent over the internet or stored in less secure locations. Furthermore, this combination allows for more efficient use of resources since IT teams can prioritize tasks based on what needs to be done in-house versus what can be outsourced to the cloud.
Hybrid cloud management
By utilizing a hybrid environment on both on-premises and cloud infrastructure, organizations can create a customized solution that works best for their industry. Utilizing an optimized combination of private networks and public clouds allows them increased flexibility when deploying applications, optimizing performance through redundancy, rapid provisioning & automated scaling as well as reducing operational costs by leveraging pricing models which charge per usage instead of upfront capital expenditure.
Overall, combining on-premises and cloud infrastructure provides organizations with a cost-effective solution that offers agility and scalability while also providing enhanced security measures that help protect potentially sensitive data in an increasingly digital world.
The challenges associated with hybrid cloud
Hybrid cloud solutions have great potential but also come with a unique set of challenges. With careful consideration and preparation, the right solutions can be implemented effectively to reach maximum benefit.
Lack of capability
Creating a hybrid cloud can provide significant advantages, yet achieving this goal is not that easy. A business must have the right employees and tools in place; even then, results may be unexpected. To ensure success, businesses should take gradual steps toward their desired outcome by carefully planning each phase of development for maximum efficiency and impact.
When considering a hybrid cloud project, it’s important to look beyond the potential cost savings and factor in all costs associated with developing new workflows, guidelines and maintaining additional private infrastructure. To ensure long-term success in your project, make sure you consider every little piece when planning a hybrid cloud system.
Companies that choose to use a hybrid cloud must manage the integration of private and public clouds. Fortunately, homogeneous products make this easier; yet maintenance is still required in order to keep up with changes or updates from the multiple public cloud providers’ infrastructure or software stack.
Hybrid clouds require reliable WAN connectivity in order to function effectively – any deficiencies or interruptions could mean the system becomes completely unresponsive.
Hybrid cloud strategy: Best practices for managing and securing hybrid cloud
Redefine your security practices to ensure the utmost protection of data in a hybrid cloud environment. Learn about the best techniques and strategies that help reduce risk while driving increased performance, reliability, scalability, and agility.
To ensure maximum protection, it is essential to be aware of strategies for hybrid cloud security. Let’s take a closer look at the most effective ones.
#1 Think about continuous audits
Continuous audits give IT teams real-time visibility into potential threats in hybrid cloud environments. Third-party monitoring and observability tools help ensure security, providing valuable insight to quickly identify any risks that may appear.
#2 Choose open-source technology
Hybrid cloud environments enable enterprises maximum flexibility to choose from a wide array of tools for both security monitoring and remediation. By taking an open technology approach, businesses have the power to manage and observe their clouds more seamlessly than ever before.
#3 Data backups
Data backups are essential to protecting both cloud and hybrid resources from malicious attacks. However, if kept in the wrong location, invaluable backup data can be destroyed – creating a risky situation for all parties involved. Ultimately securing this sensitive information is vital to ensure its safety against any harm.
#4 AI adoption and automation
Automation and AI technology are revolutionizing the way businesses manage cloud security. By utilizing these tools, companies can uncover potential risks in complex hybrid environments that may go undetected with the manual examination. An example of this is data loss prevention software automatically detecting sensitive information before it exists outside the boundaries of a company’s system – providing powerful proactive protection to ensure your business remains secure.
What are the differences between multi-cloud and hybrid cloud
Hybrid and multi-cloud offer unique benefits to businesses. Both provide the necessary flexibility, redundancy, tailored infrastructure designs, and a cost-efficient switch from capital investments into operational expenses which is essential for any business today.
Hybrid clouds allow for a combination of public and private computing resources, creating one unified platform with management capabilities. In contrast, multi-clouds integrate public cloud services – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Software as a Service (Saas).
Benefits of multi-cloud
Reduce local infrastructure
Many businesses are partnering with outside providers for their IT infrastructure needs, freeing up valuable resources and allowing them the flexibility of transitioning from an on-premise system such as an Exchange server to a cloud service like Exchange Online.
Leverage specific services
By leveraging specialized cloud services from different vendors, businesses can maximize their efficiency and optimize the workloads according to their individual strengths. For instance, a company could use one provider for test/development purposes while utilizing another’s more advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.
Improve resilience and compliance
To remain successful and secure in turbulent times, redundancy is the cornerstone of compliance. Businesses can invest in deploying workloads across multiple cloud systems to not only handle increased application traffic but also guarantee resilience – if one provider fails, another will be there to keep operations running seamlessly.
Benefits of hybrid cloud
Cost management platform
Cloud resources and services can be a great solution for businesses looking to reduce capex while scaling their infrastructure. With pay-as-you-go models, companies have greater flexibility when it comes to cost control as they only pay for what is used. Additionally, cloud vendors provide transparency for budgeting purposes so business leaders know exactly where money is being spent along the way.
Security and compliance
Hybrid cloud architecture enables businesses to achieve enhanced security and compliance while accommodating regulatory requirements. With this approach, data is kept on local infrastructure without sacrificing the benefits provided by today’s advanced cloud solutions.
Resource optimization has never been easier thanks to hybrid clouds. Easily scale up or down as you need with public and private cloud platforms, giving your workloads the flexibility required for a data-driven future.
To take advantage of emerging business opportunities and speed up time-to-market processes, businesses must be able to rapidly provision infrastructure. A hybrid cloud strategy is a key enabling this agility; staff is empowered with the flexibility to tap resources from both public and private clouds for workload testing, deployment, or migration needs.
Security – multi-cloud vs hybrid cloud
What to do with sensitive data if the client is not willing to put so much trust in Microsoft or Amazon?
Cloud solutions are not only based on public or private clouds but also various types of hybrids, combining the capabilities of both.
This enables in-house data storage (in private clouds), but in my experience, their possibilities are generally lesser compared to the public cloud offering. Therefore, when storing sensitive data in-house, it is worth taking advantage of the benefits provided by the public cloud in terms of maintenance and other services available.
Are we saving money with the cloud?
Another sensitive issue, right after security, is the financial aspect of cloud solutions. Does the cloud bring any savings?
We know that this scenario assumes quite a significant mandatory monthly fee for the availability of servers and services from cloud service provider. However, it should be borne in mind that the cloud significantly supports fast and efficient application delivery, agile development processes, application creation, and automatic updates of several cloud components. Overall, the cost balance is definitely favorable.
Thanks to the cloud it is possible to create software up to four times faster compared to writing it from scratch.
But the cloud offers even more advantages, including the flexibility and mobility of solutions, which allows access to the cloud from anywhere on Earth.
Cloud products and services are also redundant. This means that if a company or users are from, for instance, the US, then the global cloud can transfer data to American servers on a redundancy basis. This significantly reduces data access time.
Developing a hybrid multi-cloud strategy
A hybrid multi-cloud strategy is an approach to managing and deploying IT resources, which combines the use of on-premises infrastructure (private cloud), public cloud services, and multiple cloud providers. This strategy enables organizations to leverage the strengths and benefits of various cloud environments while minimizing the drawbacks.
The main components of a hybrid multi-cloud strategy include:
- On-Premises Infrastructure: This refers to the physical or virtual servers, storage, and networking equipment that an organization owns and operates within its own facility.
- Private Cloud: A private cloud is a dedicated, secure environment where an organization’s data and applications are hosted, managed, and operated either on-site or by a third-party provider.
- Public Cloud: Public cloud services are provided by third-party vendors such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). These services offer scalable and flexible computing resources on a pay-as-you-go basis.
- Multicloud: Multicloud refers to the use of multiple cloud providers to host different applications or workloads. It allows organizations to choose the best provider for each specific need, optimizing cost, performance, and security.
A hybrid multi-cloud strategy offers several advantages:
- Flexibility and Scalability:
Organizations can easily scale their resources up or down, depending on their needs, without investing in additional hardware.
- Cost Optimization:
By choosing the most appropriate cloud provider for each workload, organizations can optimize costs and avoid vendor lock-in.
- Data Sovereignty and Compliance:
Storing sensitive data on private clouds or on-premises infrastructure can help maintain compliance with data privacy regulations.
- Improved Security:
Distributing data and applications across multiple environments can improve security and mitigate risks.
- High Availability and Disaster Recovery:
A hybrid multi-cloud strategy allows for better redundancy, ensuring that critical applications remain operational even in the event of a failure in one environment.
Implementing a hybrid multi-cloud strategy requires careful planning and management, as well as the right tools and expertise. Organizations should consider their specific needs and goals, and work with experienced partners to ensure a successful transition to this modern IT infrastructure approach.
Some of the examples of hybrid cloud strategies
Hybrid cloud strategies allow organizations to leverage the best of both worlds by combining on-premises infrastructure (or private cloud) with public cloud services. Here are a few examples:
A company might use Azure for AI and machine learning workloads, AWS for its IaaS capabilities, and Google Cloud for big data analytics. This strategy leverages the strengths of each platform while maintaining flexibility.
During periods of high demand, an organization might use their own infrastructure for regular workloads and “burst” into the cloud when capacity is exceeded. This is common in retail businesses that have high seasonal demand.
Disaster Recovery and Backup
Some organizations use a hybrid cloud as a part of their disaster recovery plan. They keep their primary data on-premises or in a private cloud and replicate it to a public cloud that acts as a backup and provides disaster recovery capabilities.
Development teams often use public cloud resources for developing and testing new applications because of the speed and scalability offered. Once the application is ready, it can be deployed on-premises or in a private cloud for production.
Sensitive Data Handling
In industries like healthcare and finance where data privacy regulations are stringent, organizations often keep sensitive data on-premises or in a private cloud while using public cloud services for less sensitive data or compute-intensive tasks.
Companies might use a public cloud service to provide virtual desktop experiences to their employees while keeping the underlying data stored on-premises for security reasons.
Remember, an effective hybrid cloud strategy relies on seamless integration and interoperability between the private and public environments. It’s also important to have solid security measures in place to protect data and applications across all platforms.
Many companies across various industries have benefited from implementing hybrid cloud strategies. Here are a few examples:
- General Electric (GE): GE implemented a hybrid cloud strategy to accommodate their vast array of products and services. Their approach allows each business unit to use the cloud provider that best suits their needs, while also allowing for the secure transmission of data between clouds and on-premises infrastructure.
- BMW: The automobile giant uses a hybrid cloud approach to manage its global supply chain. This approach allows BMW to quickly scale its IT resources up or down as needed, providing flexibility and efficiency.
- Bank of America: To meet regulatory requirements and protect sensitive financial data, Bank of America uses a hybrid cloud model. They keep some data on private servers for security, while utilizing public clouds for less sensitive, scalable tasks.
- Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola adopted a hybrid cloud strategy to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. They use their private cloud for mission-critical applications and data, and the public cloud for other tasks, such as data analytics and marketing campaigns.
- NASA: NASA uses a hybrid cloud strategy to handle vast amounts of data generated by their research. They use private clouds for sensitive and mission-critical data, while leveraging the power of public clouds for large-scale data processing and distribution.
- Novartis: The pharmaceutical company uses a hybrid cloud approach to support research and development. By using a mixture of on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure, they’re able to securely manage sensitive data while also benefiting from the scalability of cloud computing.
These examples show how hybrid cloud strategies can provide the flexibility, scalability, and security needed to meet the unique needs of various industries.
Examples of companies leveraging a multi-cloud strategy
- Unilever: Unilever uses AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud to drive their digital transformation initiatives. This multi-cloud approach allows them to leverage the unique strengths of each provider for different tasks.
- Atlassian: Atlassian uses a combination of AWS and Microsoft Azure. They use AWS for its global reach and services like Amazon RDS for database management, and Azure for additional cloud capacity and capabilities.
- Capital One: Capital One uses a multi-cloud strategy with AWS and Microsoft Azure. They use AWS for its robust IaaS capabilities and Azure for its strong PaaS offerings, allowing them to develop and deploy applications efficiently.
- GoDaddy: GoDaddy uses both AWS and Google Cloud. They leverage AWS’s infrastructure to “go global in minutes” and Google Cloud’s capabilities for their domain registration business.
- Philips: Philips uses a multi-cloud approach with AWS and Azure. They use AWS for data analytics and machine learning tasks, while Azure is used for its IoT suite and other services to support their connected health solutions.
These companies have successfully harnessed the power of multiple cloud providers to optimize their operations, improve customer experiences, and drive innovation.
The state of the advanced technologies
Despite their numerous advantages, cloud solutions still have many areas that require further development and improvement. The quality of Machine Learning products still leaves much to be desired. I’ve even heard of companies that decided to write their own algorithms for self-learning programs instead of using the unsatisfactory tools offered by public clouds. The cloud is also connected with Deep Learning, i.e. neural networks and their multi-layered learning, as well as the rapidly growing branch of Data Science.
More and more companies are becoming aware that since they gathered huge amounts of data about their users with various tools, they should know how to use it, for instance, to create specific solutions.
The process of breaking up data for tailor-made models and algorithms capable of using it, for example in the field of automotive, retail, or banking, is very interesting… Each such area can be treated individually, taking into account predictive modeling, and process optimization, as well as generating revenue sources and targeting specific client areas.
The solutions discussed above may at times seem abstract, but I’m sure that we still haven’t used all the capabilities the cloud can offer. I’m convinced that 2023 and beyond will also be of business in the clouds. Get in touch!
After carefully evaluating suppliers, we decided to try a new approach and start working with a near-shore software house. Cooperation with Hicron Software House was something different, and it turned out to be a great success that brought added value to our company.
With HICRON’s creative ideas and fresh perspective, we reached a new level of our core platform and achieved our business goals.
Many thanks for what you did so far; we are looking forward to more in future!
Hicron is a partner who has provided excellent software development services. Their talented software engineers have a strong focus on collaboration and quality. They have helped us in achieving our goals across our cloud platforms at a good pace, without compromising on the quality of our services. Our partnership is professional and solution-focused!