Clarity in the cloud: choosing the right model for you

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There is a common misconception among businesses that handing over infrastructure to cloud vendors means losing control

Speak to an executive in most businesses about leveraging new technologies, saving costs, creating new revenue streams, and improving agility and performance, and cloud will more than likely be a part of those discussions. Enterprises of all sizes are increasing investment in cloud platforms and seeing the benefits. In fact, the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow to $331 billion by 2020.

As a result of this substantial trajectory growth, the cloud sector is becoming increasingly crowded, not just with the big providers but challenger, more niche players who are looking to gain market share. For businesses, who are looking for a cloud platform that meets their business requirements, this sheer amount of choice can be overwhelming. Despite this, choosing the right partner has become critical to long-term business success.

The multi-cloud way

In response to this challenge, many organizations have adopted a multi-cloud strategy, which is typically made up of one private cloud, either operated by the business or managed by a third party, and at least two public clouds. This environment drives many benefits for businesses, one major one being the avoidance of vendor lock-in which involves dependence on a single cloud vendor, and can be costly and unreliable. Another advantage is the ability to flexibly scale multi-cloud resources up or down depending on particular business requirements.

This mobility means enterprises can optimize their return on cloud investments. Furthermore, businesses can exploit certain new developments from different vendors, who will naturally innovate in slightly different areas, as soon as they become available. Any business which wants to maintain a competitive edge and stay at the forefront of innovation needs the ability to test and develop new services and technologies at a rapid rate. Multi-cloud allows organizations to ‘fail fast’, experimenting with different models to find the best fit for their business goals.

A multi-cloud approach also provides a fail-safe should the primary cloud fail. Having another cloud environment available provides a failover. This undoubtedly leads to more robust and reliable services. For organizations that are particularly affected by downtime or outages, such as those working in financial services, this model is increasingly popular. The use of more than one cloud vendor is also advantageous to retaining an infrastructure that continually meets the demands of the complex regulatory environment. For example, data protection laws may stipulate that a company must retain data in certain geographies for data sovereignty.

By leveraging a multi-cloud environment, a business can flexibly select services and providers based in different datacenter regions and availability zones. Furthermore, public cloud providers are continually updating the services they offer at an impressive rate – from bare-metal servers to serverless computing. This enables companies to shift to more advanced workloads, without having to spend resources on buying, installing and operating more of their own infrastructure. – Read more