Is One Cloud Enough? Multi-Cloud Integration Strategy
Why Organizations May Want to Consider a Multi-Cloud Integration Approach
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” this saying, attributed to Cervantes, holds true 400 years later. Many organizations don’t rely on just one IT vendor to deliver all their myriad needs, so does it make sense to rely on just one cloud vendor?
Companies pick a cloud vendor for a variety of reasons; ease of use, cost, reliability, location, and security among others. What if one cloud is better in one area for one application and another cloud is better for a different one? While there are benefits to having a consolidated approach, there are also benefits to a multi-cloud strategy.
Before we dive into a multi-cloud strategy, let’s take a moment to discuss a hybrid cloud. A hybrid cloud occurs when on-premise solutions are combined with cloud solutions. For example, a company would like to keep their production ERP system on-premise, but they would also like to implement a new data warehouse. The company found it more cost-effective to implement a “born on cloud” database rather than acquire new hardware. By keeping the ERP on-premise and using a cloud data warehouse they are now using a hybrid cloud solution. Another example of a hybrid cloud is using Disaster Recovery (DR) or backup databases in the cloud or using QA/DEV systems in the cloud while the production systems are on-premise.
Why a Multi-Cloud Integration Strategy?
There are many reasons why companies adopt a multi-cloud strategy. In the process of evaluating cloud vendors, it may become apparent that one cloud doesn’t fulfill all of their computing needs. A company may choose a best of breed approach, they could end up with multiple cloud vendors as the result of a merger, or they may prefer a cloud brand for a specific application. In addition, many companies develop a multi-cloud integration strategy as a backup plan in case of cloud failure and to avoid vendor lock-in. Let’s take a look at each of these areas.
Best of Breed Approach
The best of breed approach would occur if a company chose a cloud for a specific task and then another cloud for a different task. For example, if a company put their email exchange on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud, their Oracle database system on the Oracle Cloud, and had their Snowflake data warehouse hosted on Amazon’s AWS. Similar to the on-premise world, various cloud systems may or may not be interconnected.
Mergers between corporations happen all the time. Large organizations buy smaller firms, or two large corporations merge to form a mega-corporation. Each company may have been using different cloud vendors at the time of the merger. In the beginning, they may continue to run their applications and databases on different clouds, over time the need to share information or combine databases will arise. In this scenario, having different clouds can be a hindrance and they will need to look further into data integration or merging into one cloud.
Location, Location, Location
Your favorite cloud vendor may not be in the location that you are seeking. A company may want to host a database in Malaysia for a certain reason. If the company uses Vender A in every other country in the world except for Malaysia, they may want to use Vender B for that database.
There are regulations and laws that state that the data must be hosted in the residing country. When GDPR took effect there were many companies that were looking to ensure that data resided in the European Union and that their cloud vendors were complying.
Another reason companies look to use multiple cloud vendors is to avoid vendor lock-in. What if Cloud Vendor A tripled their rates overnight? What if Cloud Vendor A’s system goes down? Most companies don’t want to be locked in with a single vendor with no way to move data to another cloud vendor. For this reason, companies look to split their workload across different vendors and move data between them.
Having the agility to move from one cloud to another is imperative. Having multiple cloud providers gives companies the flexibility to put their needs first.
One challenge that some organizations have with the multi-cloud approach is that the tools that they use don’t work on all of the major clouds or don’t work the same on the clouds.
It is important to use cloud-agnostic tools. This can be a drawback if you are using a replication tool that is built into a cloud provider. That replication tool wouldn’t necessarily work on another vendor’s cloud. Making sure tools work the same way on all the cloud would be a good test when evaluating cloud providers.
HVR helps customers move data from on-premises to the cloud or from cloud to cloud. HVR’s modular architecture allows customers to move data from platform to platform without worrying about vendor lock-in ensuring flexibility and scalability as needed.
If you’re interested in replicating data using a cloud-based instance: