Multi-cloud computing architectures are the next step up from cloud computing.
If you're an MSP, it may no longer be enough to have just one cloud.
Here's why a multi-cloud strategy can helped managed services providers.
As the term implies, multi-cloud computing refers to the use of more than one cloud.
A multi-cloud architecture could involve multiple public clouds -- such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
Multi-cloud could also take the form of a mixture of different types of clouds -- a public cloud, a private cloud and a managed cloud, for example.
In the latter sense, there is some overlap between multi-cloud architectures and hybrid architectures, which mix public and private clouds together.
Think of hybrid cloud as one form of multi-cloud computing.
Multi-cloud is a broader category, because it involves mixing clouds of many different types.
Why Multi-Cloud Architectures Can Benefit MSPs
What do businesses -- and MSPs in particular -- have to gain from a multi-cloud strategy?
Consider the following advantages of a multi-cloud architecture:
- More reliable service. Even the best run clouds sometimes go awry. But they don't usually all crash at the same time. When you deploy workloads in multiple clouds, you can have confidence that your service will remain available even if one of the clouds hosting it fails.
- Flexible data management. Depending on the types of data you work with and your clients' needs, you may be required to store some data in a certain type of cloud, while running other workloads in another cloud. A multi-cloud strategy gives you the option to pick and choose where you place each piece of data you work with.'
- Giving clients choices. For reasons of compliance, data governance or mere preference, some customers may want to work with one cloud, while others prefer a different one. With a multi-cloud architecture, you can give customers a choice. For example, perhaps you use both Alibaba's public cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS) so that your clients can choose which company hosts their data.
- Leveraging managed clouds. Are there some services you offer to customers that you don't have the ability to manage yourself? You can take advantage of a managed cloud service to add that offering to your business, while delivering other services yourself.
- Avoiding lock-in. Vendor lock-in is bad for MSPs, just as it is bad for almost anyone. A multi-cloud strategy helps prevent lock-in. When you build your systems to be compatible with multiple clouds, you ensure the ability to move your workloads between them whenever you desire.
- Anti-DDoS. Distributed-Denial-of-Service, or DDoS, attacks have become a major cybersecurity threat recently, highlighted by events like the Dyn DNS Outage. Multi-cloud architectures can make services resilient against DDoS attacks because if one cloud goes down, others remain available.