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The Reasons and Risks of Multiple Clouds

Some companies struggle with cloud, hesitating to add any cloud into their technology mix. Others accept and embrace cloud to the point of having multiple clouds. Multi-cloud isn't a hybrid cloud configuration with one public and one private cloud; it's having multiple public clouds. Sometimes multi-cloud is the accidental result of shadow IT, but it's most effective when it's the result of deliberate business and technical decisions.

Good Reasons for Having Multiple Clouds

There are multiple good reasons for having multiple clouds:

  • Vendor concerns. Dependence on a single vendor introduces several risks to business. Although most cloud is highly redundant and highly reliable, cloud vendors do have occasional outages. Using a single vendor can then take down your business, so having your environment cloned in multiple clouds contributes to business continuity. Depending on a single vendor to support your mission critical IT services also raises concerns about vendor lock-in and your ability to take advantage of new technologies in the future.
  • Fitting applications to the right cloud. Depending on your applications' technical characteristics, they may fit better in one provider's cloud than another. Some applications' architecture may require an IaaS cloud while another may easily transition to PaaS, and you may find better service offerings from different providers.
  • Cost concerns. Cloud is generally pay-per-usage, and the pricing offered by different cloud providers may make it cost-effective to pick-and-choose. Depending on your specific estimated usage and capacity demands, you may want to leverage different service offerings from different vendors. You need to weigh any savings against the additional costs due to the more complex management and monitoring required.
  • Compliance. If specific applications have particular compliance concerns, you'll want to match them with vendors that make it easy to satisfy those concerns. Different vendors hold different security certifications that may make different vendors better fits for different applications with different security and compliance requirements.

Challenges with Multiple Clouds

Of course, adding multiple clouds can add to management challenges and risks:

  • Security threats. Having multiple clouds multiplies exposure to attacks. Because different cloud providers offer different monitoring and management tools, implementing security can become more complex. It's difficult to enforce the same policies across different environments that use different tools.
  • Visibility. Getting an overall understanding of your operations is complicated when they're split into many pieces. Although the cloud scales automatically, understanding and optimizing utilization is more difficult. New strategies may be needed to pull logs into a single location and to generate effective analytics for managing resources and costs.

Whether you have zero clouds, one cloud, or multiple clouds, dcVAST can help overcome the challenges of implementing, monitoring, and managing your cloud architecture. Our professionals are experienced with Oracle cloud, Amazon Web Services, and hybrid cloud technologies like Nutanix and NetApp. With deep understanding of multiple technologies, we'll help you build a solution using the right number and right kind of cloud to meet your business needs. Contact us to start figuring out how many clouds you need.