The cloud is now a reality for many companies, and many of them have built their cloud strategy on a myth – that a single cloud provider can meet all their needs. Still, nowadays, 76% of all companies use a minimum of two providers. To understand such a radical shift, here is a non-exhaustive list of the pros and cons of both single and multi-cloud strategies.

The single cloud model - simplifying management at the cost of your independence

Pros:

  • Service compatibility – all of the products and services of a provider are compatible with one another, meaning integration is quick and simple
  • Administration – it is easier to manage one account for a  single provider than multiple accounts
  • Security – by limiting the exchange of data between providers, you can reduce the risk of security breaches
  • Free credits – cloud providers, especially big players like Amazon, Google or Microsoft often offer free credits so that companies can create their architecture “at no cost”

Cons:

  • Dependency – relying on a single provider leads to dependency. Decisions made by the provider (such as the price increase announced by Google recently) can directly affect your business
  • Choice limited to the provider’s catalog – in addition to this, it is extremely difficult to combine an external product with your main provider’s solutions. You end up “forced” to use the latter’s products exclusively
  • Provider lock-in – in a study conducted by Holori, it appears that the egress fees vary from one provider to the next (€0 at Scaleway, against €6,150 at Alibaba for 50 TB of data). Migration can become very expensive very quickly, which results in provider lock-in
  • Recruitment challenges – nowadays, certified developers who specialize in one provider’s solutions are rare and hard to find.

The multi-cloud model - freedom of choice and ultra-customized architecture

Pros:

  • Independence – building a multi-cloud infrastructure means you no longer depend on a single provider. You are free to stay or leave according to your needs and level of satisfaction
  • Freedom of choice – when choosing products and services, you no longer have to limit yourself to your main provider’s offer. You can now get the solutions that truly meet your specific needs, and choose the right product from any available cloud ecosystem
  • Flexibility – by choosing the best performing providers (in terms of infrastructure, security, server availability, etc.), you can take advantage of the best each cloud ecosystem has to offer for your data and applications
  • Cost – having freedom of choice means that you can also select a product or service according to its cost, which will have a positive impact on the final invoice
  • Redundancy – relying on several providers guarantees an almost permanently available application for the end users
  • Sovereignty – combining several cloud providers from different continents ensures data sovereignty for end users, no matter their geographical location
  • Open source – nowadays, development standards are created thanks to open source, making it easier to adopt and implement a multi-cloud strategy Easier recruitment – since you are no longer looking for experts in a specific provider’s solutions, you can focus on soft skills and diversify your recruitment criteria

Cons:

  • Management, if the strategy isn’t sound – a multi-cloud infrastructure must be designed for the long term, and include a clear strategy and objectives. If this is not the case, you will end up in a chaotic situation with multiple providers colliding together
  • Cost – if infrastructure isn’t properly managed, the overall cost can climb drastically

Nowadays, the benefits of a multi-cloud strategy are undeniable, and it can help to meet many business needs, such as sovereignty, the availability of applications, responsible scaling, team recruitment, etc. When there are issues, they are usually due to inefficient implementation. In order to reap the benefits of a multi-cloud strategy, companies should seek the right guidance and select the most suitable tools.

If you’d like to know more, download the white paper entitled: «White Paper - It’s time to weigh up the benefits and challenges of the multi cloud».

White Paper - It’s time to weigh up the benefits and challenges of the multi cloud
White Paper - It’s time to weigh up the benefits and challenges of the multi cloud

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