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  • Chris Newell

Multi-Cloud Strategy


Cloud technology has been highly adopted by businesses across the country. According to an end-2019, 94% of enterprises already have at least one cloud service in place and just 27% of workloads are run on-site, down 10 percentage points from the same survey a year earlier.


What comes next? Cloud diversification: the process by which a business uses multiple cloud environments to house everything from software applications to workloads to assets to redundancies. This multi-cloud strategy is a simplistic concept of using multiple vendors for security, flexibility, redundancy, and cost savings. Having all your eggs in one basket is seldom a good idea for any enterprise. By using more than one cloud service, companies can augment their organization’s ability to stay online, all while lowering costs and maximizing the different strengths of different cloud environments.


Security & Uptime

Anytime a company is putting its assets into a cloud environment, it is taking the risk of attacks from cybercriminals, hackers, and unexpected downtime. By having different resources on disparate cloud services, even a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack won’t be able to shut down your business entirely. If one cloud goes down for legitimate or criminal reasons, the rest can shoulder the load until the attack is rebuffed. According to Gartner, the average cost per hour of downtime for a company ranges from $140,000-$540,000. That is not a hit most companies can afford to take. Wrapping multi cloud security posture will also enable clients to limit a security event to a “north / south” penetration and not “east / west”, effectively containing the issue until it can be resolved.


Flexibility

Cloud-hosting providers have diversified their product offerings from simple storage environments to dedicated heavy processing private clouds, hyperscale clouds like AWS and Azure, community share resource clouds and so on. Different parts of your organization will have different requirements for workloads, and there is no point in overpaying for something you’ll never use. Picking and choosing from different cloud vendors to find the best match for each part of your business is the smarter play. Using multiple cloud providers and product offerings is becoming the norm.


Catastrophe-Proof

An acronym no IT person wants to see is SPOF - single point of failure. It can be a flaw in design without the proper, implementation, or configuration. If one SPOF goes down, it takes everything down with it. Think the Death Star from the original Star Wars film; one well-placed Luke Skywalker proton torpedo and the whole place turned into an ashtray. A well designed multi-cloud strategy keeps a SPOF from taking an environment down at any point. There have been a few cloud companies that have unexpectedly gone out of business or locked their clients out of their environment in the past decade. Most recent well known example of this was when AWS suspended Parler in 2020, effectively taking down the conservative social media site. Albeit this is an extreme example, it shows the importance of having a well-designed multi-cloud strategy.


Conclusion

Diversity and functionality are the goals of every IT organization., By engaging a multi-cloud strategy, companies can keep costs and security threats down while raising their ROI by choosing the right cloud design for all their needs.

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