The intricacies of competitive climbing should be easy enough to comprehend: the first person or team to the top, right? Well, not necessarily so. In fact, there are three principle choices open to the professional climber:

  • Lead climbing: which allows one attempt up an inside wall or outside rock face, with climbers quick-drawing their way as they go – with points awarded for the highest hold achieved
  • Speed climbing: where the route (marked out in advance) is the same for each climber/team – with points awarded to the fastest performers
  • Bouldering: where climbers work without ropes or harnesses on short courses designed to be tough – with the points awarded equating to the number of attempts needed to complete the climb

Each option presents a unique mix of challenges, obstacles (literally!), and opportunity – thereby demanding specific skill sets and competencies from participants.

Different climbers, different routes

Now let’s make a controlled leap (supported by belay ropes!) to the world of corporate cloud environments. Choices here started out as private or public before hybrid entered the picture. Now however, there’s a new ‘option’ available: multi-cloud.
If you’re not sure what this involves, let’s compare multi-cloud to a hybrid set-up:

  • Hybrid cloud: formed from the integration of your private cloud and a public cloud, with orchestration between the two – where you commit to working with one service provider and one management interface
  • Multi-cloud is a more flexible approach that enables you to utilize multiple public cloud solutions from multiple providers – and can incorporate physical and virtual infrastructure (including hybrid environments, and combinations of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS models)

The hybrid sales pitch

But which variation will help your business accelerate to new heights? To answer that is to first review the headline ‘sales pitch’ for both multi-cloud and hybrid cloud.

The story for hybrid is already pretty well known. By utilizing this arrangement, CIOs can match and move workloads to the right environment at the right times – depending upon specific business needs. In addition:

  • Hybrid affords one management portal and one set of processes to deal with while engaging with one vendor can help simplify any compliance concerns
  • Security is also easier to manage, while aspects such as pricing and billing should be more straightforward
  • The distinct components to be found in a hybrid cloud are designed to work together, and as a result data and processes tend to intermingle inside the environment

Multi-cloud: a multitude of differences

Multi-cloud is more of a strategy – you’re not going to find any particular vendor offering a multi-cloud solution. Instead, it’s an approach that enables organizations to utilize the services of more than one cloud computing platforms to perform various tasks – based on the strengths and perceived weaknesses of each.

The reason it’s gaining traction is based on the simple premise that not every app/workload/department/business function etc. has similar requirements in terms of performance, privacy, security, or geographic reach for their cloud requirements.

It’s also an inevitable ‘evolution’ of cloud usage as the activity matures and becomes mainstream. As not all platforms are created equal, multi-cloud lets you meet various app and data needs in the most flexible and cost-efficient way possible.

5 reasons why it’s good to go exploring

What of the benefits of multi-cloud? As these are probably less well known than hybrid, it’s worth going into the top 5 in a little more detail:

  • Deployment and functional flexibility
    Your cloud environment can be tailored for specific use cases, meaning you can choose the most suitable cloud service provider for specific business functions.
  • Greater strategic flexibility
    Businesses can invest in digital transformation without the fear of getting locked into a single service (or having to put down a huge outlay in capital).
  • ROI flexibility
    You’re free to pick and choose only those capabilities that fit business need. As these needs evolve and become more elaborate, you can allocate resources for specific uses, maximize usage, and only pay for what you use.
  • Recovery flexibility
    The SLAs put in place by the likes of Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure, it’s extremely unlikely they’ll experience concurrent downtime – thereby significantly reducing any risk of catastrophic failure.
  • Protection flexibility
    The utilization of multiple cloud solutions help create redundancies that reduce the risk of any single point of failure. Adding in hybridization increases this level of security by keeping your data within a secure, local network.

The view from the summit

As with the different routes and equipment available to any professional climber, hybrid and multi-cloud provides IT teams and CIOs with a range of options to consider. Not that they represent radically different approaches, but they do deliver a number of significantly different outputs:

  • For organizations wanting to maintain a more unified sense of command and control over their cloud infrastructure, and seeking close integration between all the associated working parts – the hybrid model could well prove to be the best option.
  • For organizations who value greater flexibility in terms of avoiding vendor lock-in, mitigating the risk of localized hardware failure, and giving IT freedom of action in finding the best solution, then maybe multi-cloud offers a closer fit.

If you need directions for choosing the best cloud provider(s) before ending this climb, take a quick detour to our cloud provider comparison before planting your flag.

Find your own route to the top

The only constant in both competitive climbing and choosing the ideal cloud environment is the fear of making the wrong move. Knowing where best to invest your time and energy is critical, which is where COMPAREX’s expertize in cloud solutions can make all the difference. With years of experience assisting customers in finding their ideal routes to the cloud, we can quickly be on hand to help you evaluate your options – and select the right course of action.

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Jan Ebrard

Jan Ebrard

Solution Advisor

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