Does entrusting your online business to a single cloud feel a bit like putting all your eggs in one virtual basket? Well, you’re not alone. While a single cloud data management strategy offers simplicity and ease of use, it also poses risks in terms of data loss and service outages. That’s where multi-cloud architecture comes in.
With a multi-cloud architecture, businesses can protect their data and services by distributing them across multiple cloud platforms. It also offers organizations unprecedented flexibility and scalability, allowing them to adapt to ever-changing business needs.
Are you curious about other benefits of multi-cloud architecture? In this article, we’ll explore its advantages, the best use cases, and tips for implementing a cloud-based architecture into your IT operations. But first, let’s learn about the multi-cloud definition and its types.
What is a Cloud?
In cloud computing, a cloud is a cluster of servers accessible to a user over the Internet. It is typically operated by a single provider that offers customers access to cloud data storage, databases, software, and computing power on demand.
Businesses use cloud services to store, access, and administer their apps and data remotely. Because cloud solutions eliminate the need for physical storage devices and on-site servers, organizations can be more flexible and scale their businesses faster.
There are three types of computer cloud environments:
A public cloud is a type of cloud computing model that offers computing services and resources over the Internet and is shared by multiple organizations and individuals. The most common examples include Google Workspace, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft 365, Azure, and Dropbox.
A private cloud is a cloud computing model offering computing services and resources exclusively to a single organization. It provides a more secure and customizable environment as the organization has complete control over its infrastructure and data. Organizations that deal with sensitive data or have strict regulatory requirements often prefer private clouds. Among examples of private clouds are Amazon VPC, HPE, IBM, and Cisco.
A hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private cloud infrastructures. It offers the flexibility of using both environments, allowing organizations to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness of the public cloud while also maintaining control over their most sensitive data in the private cloud. Examples of hybrid cloud providers include VMware, Azure Stack, and Google Anthos.
What is a Multi-Cloud Network Architecture?
A multi-cloud network architecture is a system where an organization uses multiple cloud service providers for their computing needs. This can include a combination of public, private, and hybrid clouds, all to achieve better flexibility and scalability. By choosing the best services from each provider in a multi-cloud environment, businesses can distribute their workloads, avoid being tied to a single vendor, and optimize IT operations costs.
Key Benefits of Multi-Cloud Architecture
While many companies prefer a cloud computing strategy for their services, a multi-cloud infrastructure has much to offer. Here are some of the benefits of a multi-cloud architecture:
Improved reliability of online services
If you choose a multi-cloud strategy for your organization, you can ensure a seamless operation of your online services. Multi-cloud architecture makes it possible to distribute workloads across multiple cloud providers. This lowers the chance of downtime caused by a single point of failure.
Geographic redundancy also allows you to move your online services to another location in case one of the cloud providers experiences problems. All of these factors can lead to a better user experience and higher customer satisfaction.
Flexible pricing options and cost optimization
One of the multi-cloud advantages is the ability to choose from different cloud providers that offer competitive pricing models and discounts. This way, you can get enterprise-grade capabilities at a flexible price, optimizing the overall costs of your services.
Additionally, tying to multiple vendors instead of just one makes your organization less vulnerable to the transition process. Since one provider is only responsible for a certain part of your process, you can be more flexible in your options and switch providers if you’re not satisfied with their service or find better pricing terms.
Looking for tips on how to optimize your cloud spending and stay on top of your budget? Check out our blog for more insights.
Better system performance
Multiple cloud providers allow businesses to place resources in the cloud provider’s data centers closest to the target audience. Therefore, data can be accessed and delivered more quickly to users. As a result, end-users can experience better system performance due to balanced service loading and traffic optimization.
Flexibility in decision-making
Most businesses believe flexibility in decision-making to be one of the most important multi-cloud architecture benefits. With numerous cloud providers, companies have the freedom to choose the best services and pricing terms that fit their needs and budgets.
On top of everything else, organizations can easily scale resources to quickly adapt to ever-changing market demands. It also works both ways, helping companies minimize losses when service demand is low.
Improved security and risk mitigation
Experienced professionals in all spheres and industries advise not putting all your eggs in one basket. This is especially true for IT operations. When you use more than one cloud service, vulnerabilities or breaches in a single provider’s infrastructure have less of an effect.
If security is a big concern to you, using a private or hybrid cloud makes sense. However, we recommend considering the benefits of hybrid cloud architecture. You can better protect your customers’ sensitive data while having the possibility to scale your operations when needed.
Streamlined international growth
Businesses seeking global expansion may find a multiple cloud strategy a viable solution to streamline their international growth. By partnering with cloud providers in different regions, organizations can guarantee that their services are available and perform well in different countries.
However, multi-cloud benefits do not end here. With several IT vendors servicing your business, you can easily comply with local data regulations and establish a strong presence in new markets. If you prioritize your future progress, you can choose suppliers that specialize in meeting certain standards from the start.
Companies with two or more cloud-based applications want optimal performance and reliability for each. With multiple cloud providers, you can tailor the choice of cloud provider to specific workloads and each application’s requirements.
For example, one of your applications may require high processing power and low latency. In this case, choosing a cloud provider with advanced infrastructure capabilities is wiser. On the other hand, another app may emphasize data storage and security more. Then, you need to choose a cloud provider with robust encryption and data protection measures.
Top 3 Use Cases of Multi-Cloud Network Architecture
Multi-cloud network architecture is a great solution if you want to keep your IT infrastructure in top shape. Let’s look at some of the best use cases for this approach.
1. Disaster recovery
For any large organization, business continuity is critical, as any downtime can lead to significant financial losses and damage to the company’s reputation. Facebook’s big outage in 2021, which lasted around six hours, cost the company about $60 million in ad revenue and $47.3 billion in market capitalization. According to Bloomberg, Zuckerberg lost $6 billion in personal fortune during the short hours that Facebook was offline.
Multi-cloud architecture helps prevent losses with disaster recovery—an application’s ability to keep serving its clients even when an outage occurs. However, for this to happen, you need to deploy the app in two or more independent regions. You choose the primary region to run the application. But if there is an outage, a backup region takes over as the leading region. This helps keep business operations running smoothly.
2. Application migration
In IT operations, cloud migration is a common practice. A company can have plenty of reasons to move its application to a new cloud: to improve scalability, enhance security, reduce costs, or simply adopt new technology. Whatever the cause, having backup options makes application migration easier, and a multi-cloud architecture allows you to have those options.
3. Cloud bursting
Cloud bursting is a strategy where an application can use additional resources from a different cloud provider when its primary cloud environment reaches its capacity limits. With cloud bursting, a company can access more computing resources from third-party cloud providers.
Cloud bursting is especially useful for businesses that experience unpredictable spikes in demand. If this happens, they can shift the additional load to external services. As a result, a company will smoothly scale its application without any interruptions or downtime.
Cloud Architecture Recommendations & Implementation for Beginners
When choosing a type of cloud architecture for your SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS application, it is important to consider the following:
- The scalability and flexibility of the architecture to handle spikes in demand and seamlessly adapt to future growth
- The reliability and availability of the architecture to minimize downtime and ensure uninterrupted service
- The cost-effectiveness of the architecture, taking into account the pricing models and resource usage of different cloud providers
- The security and compliance requirements of the application, including data privacy and protection measures
- The integration capabilities of the architecture with other systems and services, such as databases, APIs, and third-party tools
- The ease of management and monitoring of the architecture, including deployment, scaling, and troubleshooting processes
Once you’ve researched and considered our advice, you can start implementing your cloud or multi-cloud architecture. Follow our step-by-step instructions for a hassle-free implementation:
- Choose a cloud provider. Evaluate providers based on needs, services, and pricing. If you’re new to cloud computing, consider starting with a popular provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Azure. These are user-friendly platforms suitable for beginners.
- Create an account and configure resources. Set up your account and apply any security measures you can to protect it. Then, deploy your application and configure the main networking and storage components.
- Monitor and optimize your cloud. Once you have completed the initial setup, it is important to regularly monitor your cloud, including resource usage, performance, and security. Implement automated scaling and load balancing to ensure efficient resource allocation and avoid potential bottlenecks.
Navigating the multi-cloud horizon is a challenging task. Yet, it rewards its users with better flexibility, scalability, and cost savings. With a multi-cloud architecture approach, any SaaS development company or enterprise-level organization can choose the best services and features from each provider and, as a result, customize their cloud infrastructure to industry-specific needs.