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What are Multi Cloud Environments and Services?

So, what is multi cloud and what does this terminology mean? A multi cloud environment uses more than one cloud-based service, with those services supplied by different vendors. This kind of setup is most useful when organisations need to seek out certain features for a customer-facing application from multiple cloud providers. 

When it comes to managing a multi cloud environment, it can be quite an in-depth and complex infrastructure which is best managed through professional intervention. Typically it will involve processes such as:

  • Coordinating multiple cloud computing services across providers
  • Addressing resource management
  • Security considerations
  • Compliance and relevant legal elements
  • Data movement between cloud service environments.

Effective multi cloud management will help to enhance flexibility, efficiency, and recovery capabilities, using unique features of different cloud providers.

How does multi cloud storage work?

Organisations will typically manage multi cloud storage using dedicated controllers, which combine resources into a unified namespace and API. These allow centralised monitoring and management, ideally from your IT service provider, through a single dashboard. Storing data in the cloud provides flexibility and scalability, allowing compliance with diverse privacy laws. Automation is crucial for reducing errors and enhancing operational efficiency in managing applications across multiple clouds. This flexibility, helped by microservices and containerisation, allows organisations to select cloud providers based on universal standards rather than proprietary restrictions, creating the freedom for organisations to adapt to a more diverse set of multi cloud environments.

Multi cloud vs hybrid cloud

We use the terms “multi-cloud” and “hybrid cloud” to describe environments with multiple cloud configurations, but they have distinct meanings. Hybrid clouds involve the communication and transmission of data, applications, and services between public and private clouds, using a mix of on or off-premises private cloud resources and public cloud resources. Conversely, multi-cloud involves utilising resources from two or more clouds, typically public cloud services from different providers, supplying access to various service models. While you can hybridise multi cloud environments by incorporating private cloud resources with multiple public clouds, hybrid clouds specifically involve integrating or orchestrating different deployment types. 

Benefits of a multi cloud strategy

Implementing a multi cloud strategy offers a huge range of advantages for organisations. Firstly and arguably most important, it mitigates risk by avoiding dependence on a single vendor, ensuring that downtime from one provider does not affect all services simultaneously. It enhances security through the distribution of cloud services across multiple providers, reducing the risk of attacks and optimising performance. It eases access to technology, allowing organisations to adopt solutions without heavy upfront costs and choose from a range of vendors. Customisation is another key benefit, enabling the best services from different cloud systems to align closely with specific business goals, thereby improving efficiency and return on investment. 

Challenges of implementation

Building out a multi cloud environment still comes with challenges however. Finding the right cloud service for specific needs can require extensive research, as each cloud service varies in its support for applications and processes. The presence of workflow and management tools for each cloud service adds more complexity to the environment, although ultimately the use of cloud management tools can centralise infrastructure. Skill gaps across the range of IT services involved pose difficulty in finding individuals with the necessary ability for the evolving requirements. Data silos cause inconsistencies and unexpected outputs when applying business processes across separate locations. However, the use of containers and a hybrid environment can help to address this issue. 

How an IT provider can help

A partnership with specialised cloud service providers will offer a dependable  and robust framework, utilising the latest IT security technologies. Venom IT offers tailored solutions, full IT management, and collaboration with existing IT structures. We’ve been pioneering cloud solutions since 2009 and were among the first MSPs to supply GPU accelerated Hosted Desktop Solutions in the UK. If you’d like to speak to a cloud specialist about multi cloud environments, or anything else, please contact us here.