There is a growing trend for large enterprise businesses to invest and develop a multi-cloud strategy that spans cloud services across multiple providers and often on-premises infrastructure. Multi-cloud is adopted to improve infrastructure resilience, meet compliance demands, reduce the chances of downtime, and diminish any concerns around vendor lock-in.
A multi-cloud setup might be considered a romantic idea that is hard to achieve, so businesses often choose relevant services from various cloud providers to create a resilient service mesh. Although your multi-cloud journey may include backups, disaster recovery, or isolating applications, every business uses multi-cloud differently.
Multi-cloud environments introduce significant challenges surrounding their management and implementation. For example, data governance has added complexity because data is located at various touch points within different cloud providers. In addition, multi-cloud is expensive, and it requires having experienced technical teams that are skilled in multiple cloud vendors.
There are numerous pros and cons to having a multi-cloud strategy. This article will discover the best use of the cloud in a multi-cloud environment.
More Than Just Public and Private: What Is Multi-Cloud?
Multi-cloud is precisely what it sounds like; it is when businesses leverage multiple public and private clouds. But what exactly does that mean? Of course, the public cloud is any publicly available cloud provider, including the heavyweight providers AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure. But other providers, including Atlantic.Net, are a genuine alternative to the hyper-scale providers.
“Private cloud” is a name often given to non-public shared hosting environments. For businesses, this is hosting at a colocation; perhaps it is a virtual cloud running on VMware or OpenStack. On the other hand, it may be an on-premise hybrid stack that connects directly to the cloud, such as AWS Outposts, Azure Stack, and Google Anthos.
A multi-cloud configuration is desirable for many reasons:
- Introduce Low Latency: It doesn’t matter how big the cloud provider is; not all cloud providers have a point of presence in the parts of the world where your customers are located. A good example might be a European or American company serving customers in China, the Middle East, Australasia, and regions of East Asia. Customers may choose to leverage providers with a strong presence in these areas.
- Offer A Better User Experience: Being closer to your customers will result in a much faster connection and response for the customer, improving the user experience dramatically.
- Keep Sensitive Data On-Premise: Many businesses have compliance requirements that enforce data sovereignty because some personal data is too important to be allowed in the public realm, typically information the government keeps on you. To combat this problem, a multi-cloud configuration enables you to use the power of the cloud while keeping sensitive data onsite.
- Automate Tasks: To be an efficient and influential player in a multi-cloud world, automation must be embedded within your organization. It’s much easier to manage and secure a multi-cloud platform using infrastructure as code than attempting to manage manually. Combining IAC and having some control plane allows engineers, operators, and developers to have a simple way to deploy resources throughout every cloud ecosystem.
- Increase Visibility: It’s critical to have a holistic view of the multi-cloud infrastructure; this is commonly achieved using Grafana and Prometheus. Monitoring tools like these are vendor agnostic and widely used.
Multi-Cloud Use Cases
How multi-cloud configurations are used varies from customer to customer. Multi-cloud helps businesses reuse infrastructure assets they have already procured and provides cost-effective options. But there are five everyday use cases Atlantic.Net engineers witness.
- Tiered/Layered Applications: This approach is used by businesses looking for global-scale resilience. Applications, particularly those running in containers or Kubernetes, are the scale between providers. A Kubernetes stack will happily scale across service providers by providing rapid and resilient networking.
- Partitioned Application: Partitioned apps are usually servers that operate independently but as part of a stack. You might run the frontend in AWS and the backend and midtier in Atlantic.Net. This approach lowers the risk of downtime.
- Edge Computing: Multi-cloud users can create a central control plane at the network edge that reduces application load and improves performance.
- Analytics: A Multi-cloud setup is perfect for data analytics; heavy transactions are processed on-premises to improve performance and lower costs, and cloud-native services, such as AI and managed data lakes, are offloaded to the cloud.
- Bursting: Bursting happens when a business uses private servers; however, workloads are burst to run in the cloud to improve processing time. This setup is popular with Big Pharma businesses that need intense CPU cycles to process massive datasets quickly.
Obstacles to Overcome
Multi-cloud is still reserved for the most prominent companies with deep pockets, and there are several obstacles to overcome even to consider multi-cloud as a viable option. First, to avoid an administration headache, the business should have single sign-on (SSO) enabled; this allows users and engineers to log into all environments with a single username, password, and MFA credential.
Unified cloud security posture management (CSPM) is needed for multi-cloud environments. Tools like CloudStrike and Checkpoint are designed to identify misconfiguration issues and compliance risks. Additionally, infrastructure as code is required for security compliance and infrastructure deployment across vendors to manage everything.
Make Atlantic.Net Part Of Your Multi-Cloud Strategy
Atlantic.Net provides world-class hosting services, including virtual private servers, dedicated hosting, HIPAA hosting, and more. Our custom cloud platform is robust and user-friendly. Why not experiment with it as part of your multi-cloud strategy? You can spin our 1-click applications in under 30 seconds from the intuitive cloud management portal.