Most companies rely on cloud storage for their everyday operations. But different cloud computing models can be tricky.
Many companies turned to cloud computing when the traditional means of offline or on-campus storage started to become unfeasible and extremely challenging.
While cloud computing solves a good majority of the issues that businesses face with offline storage, the different models of the cloud can store endless amounts of data.
Initially, many companies started using the public cloud, where the infrastructure and support were provided by the likes of the top companies — Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. This cloud model quickly gained popularity and created revolutionary, affordable storage solutions for businesses of various scales.
However, this public cloud model doesn’t solve some issues where another storage option already exists. This was when the terms ‘multi-cloud and ‘hybrid cloud’ were introduced. So what exactly are they and what’s the difference between both? Let’s find out.
What is a Multi-Cloud Platform?
Unlike a hybrid cloud platform where two different cloud storage models are involved, a multi-cloud platform is when several cloud computing solutions of the public cloud environment exist together.
For example, a company can use public cloud storage from Amazon to store data related to marketing and sales, Microsoft’s cloud solutions for finance data transactions, and finally from Google for the rest of it.
A combination of such various public cloud models used together in an organization is called a multi-cloud platform. When partnering with multiple cloud vendors for different tasks removes the dependency on the individual providers and chooses to pick the cloud platform based on the individual department’s requirements.
What is a Hybrid Cloud Platform?
Some organizations may already be relying on a private cloud for their data storage, primarily due to their security concerns. But because of the enormous administrative and maintenance tasks needed, they may choose to go for a public cloud platform and combine both the operations together.
This is when companies go for a combination of public and private clouds called the ‘hybrid cloud model’. Sometimes, a company can combine the public cloud with an on-premise storage system too.
Hybrid cloud models are more often used along with the traditional IT systems by organizations who wish to modernize their storage options.
What’s the Difference Between a Hybrid Cloud and Multi-Cloud?
While the distinction on the combination of two or more cloud models helps to identify if it’s a hybrid or a multi-cloud, there are also some important differences.
In a hybrid cloud environment, you can differentiate and allocate operations to be conducted on just one cloud. All of the functions in the hybrid cloud platform will be communicated to the platform as a whole. This means that the individual clouds need to communicate with each other.
However, that’s not the case with a multi-cloud platform. Each team can pick its choice of cloud inside the multi-cloud and conduct operations without any interaction with the other cloud. This benefits individualistic operations that are entirely independent of the other operations and cloud providers.
So, a multi-cloud platform cannot be a part of a hybrid environment, while a hybrid cloud can be a part of a multi-cloud.
Security & Maintenance Responsibilities
In a public cloud, the providers are in charge of data security and maintenance. You, as a consumer, don’t need to worry about it.
In a private cloud environment, you should lead a team of employees or outsource to any IT services to maintain your cloud. You need to conduct regular security checks, employ the best-in-class security systems, take charge of the infrastructure needs, expand the storage capabilities, and perform every set of tasks related to the private cloud.
Cost of Operations
In a public cloud platform, the cost of operations is relatively cheaper than the total cost combined for a public cloud. This makes multi-cloud models cheaper than hybrid cloud models.
The overhead costs of maintaining a private cloud are high. Companies spend on manpower to manage the infrastructure and build on the cloud whenever needed. On the other hand, since the cloud service providers take care of the maintenance efforts, as well as the infrastructure expansion needs, your costs will be considerably lesser.
Lock-In with Cloud Service Providers
In a hybrid cloud model, the dependency on a particular cloud vendor makes it difficult to migrate to other providers. While any IT consulting firm can help you with that, the amount of work involved is enormous.
You need to take the help of a company offering Backup as a Service to back up all the information on the cloud. You should also plan for disaster recovery if things go sideways and plan for a considerable downtime in the operations of all teams that depend on the hybrid cloud environment.
However, the independence in a multi-cloud platform makes it easier to change vendors of individual clouds without any downtime for people using the other cloud systems.
How Can You Choose Between a Multi-Cloud and a Hybrid Cloud?
There are a few questions you can ask yourself when choosing the right cloud environment for you.
- Do I have the staffing to maintain a private cloud?
- Can I migrate my entire storage to a public cloud?
- Can I afford to have considerable downtime?
- Do I need to exercise complete control over my storage platform?
- Do I have the budget to take care of the overhead costs of a private cloud?
When you answer these questions, you’ll find it easier to make a decision on which environment is best for your business right now.
LayerOne Networks is a popular IT consulting firm in Corpus Christi, TX, that helps companies maintain their cloud storage while guiding them with migration and backup. With our IT consulting services, you can make the right choice between a multi-cloud or a hybrid cloud environment. Reach out to us now to book a consultation call.