What is Multi-Cloud?

Multi-cloud is an application environment that relies on more than one public cloud provider. While a multi-cloud deployment can refer to any implementation of multiple software as a service (SaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) cloud offerings, it generally refers to a mix of public infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environments, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

There is some confusion with hybrid cloud.  Hybrid refers to the combination of private (either on premises or hosted in a colocation facility) and public cloud infrastructure, with orchestration tools used to deploy workloads and manage the balance between the two. Multi-cloud, by contrast, describes how enterprises use multiple cloud providers for a particular class of solution or use case. For example, a company that uses both AWS and Azure for infrastructure is using a multi-cloud environment.

Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud are not mutually exclusive. If you are using private infrastructure and public clouds from multiple cloud service providers, you have a hybrid, multi-cloud environment.

Benefits of a multi-cloud strategy

  • Use best-fit provider for a given application
  • Take advantage of competitive pricing
  • Improve resilience by replicating resources in a cloud region away from a disaster area
  • Leverage proximity by using fast, low-latency connections to significantly improve application response time
  • Mitigate risk
  • Avoid vendor lock-in

Suggested Reading and Related Topics