Today, the era of Digital Transformation is at its peak. In the last few years we have even started the transition from Cloud-first to Cloud-only model and the recent pandemic has only accelerated this transition. Cloud empowers the businesses to focus their time & energy on strengthening their core offering, rather than maintaining the in-house IT Infrastructure.
We are a stage where almost everyone knows what Cloud Computing is, and how it is applicable to each & every business out there. However, there can always be a different way to look at it. One of these ways is that Cloud Computing enables even faster, reliable and secure computing resources, which is managed by a service provider instead of the end-user or the business itself.
The question is now not what the Cloud is, but which kind of Cloud model is suitable for your business. There is Private Cloud, there is Public Cloud, then Hybrid Cloud even Multi Cloud. Let’s understand Hybrid Cloud vs Multi Cloud here, and which of these two would suit your business the most.
There is no doubt that both Hybrid Cloud and Multi Cloud sound similar and often are used interchangeably. The similarity is that both definitely do incorporate Cloud services from more than one source, however, the difference is that they do so in unique ways and refer to different Cloud setups.
Hybrid Cloud Computing:
Hybrid Cloud refers to a model that incorporates both Public Cloud and Private Cloud infrastructure. Private Cloud can even be the on-premise data center being managed by the business itself or a different data center being being managed by a Managed Services Provider.
Among many benefits that come with Hybrid way are the ability to operate in Private IT environments, which empowers businesses more control over their configurations. Additionally, in larger businesses, it may even lead to cost optimization. Combining a Private Cloud environment with a Public Cloud for certain services can provide the required redundancy and reduce outages. Public Cloud has this special ability to help businesses to scale quickly, so a Hybrid model can take advantage of the scalability of Public Cloud services while hosting certain systems which may have specialized requirements to stay on a Private Cloud.
Multi Cloud Computing:
As the name itself suggests that a Multi Cloud setup enables businesses to leverage Multiple Public Cloud Service Providers to manage their critical workloads. For instance, one of the Public Clouds can be used for analytics and the other one can be used for their user interface. Public Cloud heavily assists in managing risk, avoiding lock-ins with a single provider and comply with the ever changing regulatory requirements.
Every Cloud provider has its own pros and cons, and by combining several, a business can leverage the unique aspects of each. Typically this approach is taken to distribute resources in computing and lessen the chances of losing data or going offline. A Multi-Cloud setup is especially useful for small businesses as it enables them to optimize costs and services by choosing specific Cloud providers for specific needs, rather than one larger Cloud provider which may include services small businesses do not utilize.
Some businesses may leverage both a Hybrid and Multi-Cloud environment, in which they use a Private Cloud in addition to Multiple Public Clouds. However, if a business only uses one Public Cloud service in addition to a Private Cloud, that is considered only a Hybrid Cloud. The real differentiator here is that Multi-Cloud incorporates more than one Public Cloud.
Choosing the right Cloud option for your startup or small business
Small businesses are the ideal candidate for adopting a Hybrid or Multi-Cloud strategy. Many of today’s small businesses are Cloud-native, meaning they are born in the Cloud, and do not ever maintain their own infrastructure but instead adopt a Multi-Cloud strategy.
1) They want to focus on building their apps and not reinvent the wheel. 2) They want tools and services that are best of breed in their respective areas, in terms of productivity and ROI. Often, working with outside Cloud providers is the result of going after their desired results on a budget that makes sense for their growing business.
There is a case to be made for going with only one service provider, but this risks being unable to access specialized technology that supports innovative ideas and startup-speed iteration.
When it comes to deciding Hybrid Cloud vs Multi Cloud, the decision really lies in where your business’s non-Cloud resources are located. If purchasing and operating an onsite Private Cloud is possible and preferable due to unique needs your company may have around security or configuration, then Hybrid is the right way to go. However, if that’s not essential or desirable, then taking a Multi-Cloud approach will still bring the same benefits in terms of fortification against disaster, dealing with compliance, and having flexibility, but without the autonomy that comes with having a Private Cloud. For most small and mid-sized businesses, Multi-Cloud provides the flexibility and reliability that is needed, without the complexity and infrastructure investment required for a Hybrid Cloud setup.