Cloud Data Warehouse

Multi-Cloud vs. Hybrid Cloud

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Multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud – a detailed overview. To understand the differences between multi-cloud and hybrid cloud, we should start discussing what cloud computing is. Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand services, such as compute and storage, that do not require direct management by the user. This means an organization can create cloud computing infrastructures internally (private) within their organization, using external (public) suppliers of computing services, or use both private and public clouds (Hybrid). Cloud includes defined pools of computing resources that can be accessed on-demand, have broad network access, rapid elasticity, service is measured and allows resource pooling.

Cloud computing has three basic technology types and many derived types based on the three basic types. The three basic types are Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as A Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). These three basic types support all other types or what can be called “anything” (XaaS) as a service. Anything can be delivered as a service that utilizes the basic cloud types.

What Does Hybrid Cloud Mean?

Let’s start with what hybrid means at face value. A hybrid is considered a blend of at least two different things to form one new thing. Such as what happens when cross-breeding plants, animals, etc. A hybrid is created of different types of things. A hybrid cloud can actually be multiple clouds integrated to support one service, such as a web application. This single service can contain any of the basic components of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS configured on different cloud platforms, either public or private, to form a hybrid solution.

Using two or more different clouds to support a basic cloud type (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS) can be considered a hybrid cloud solution from an architecture perspective. A hybrid cloud is the joining of two cloud systems together. Hybrid cloud can also include using cloud services that are not managed by the end-user in combination with on-premises infrastructure, which is hardware traditionally owned and maintained in a data center environment.


What Does Multi-Cloud Mean?

The term multi means more than one and implies more than one of the same type of thing, such as multiple oranges or multiple chairs. With multi-cloud, organizations are utilizing services from multiple cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform.

So to keep it simple, multi cloud is just the use of more than one cloud service provider. Many organizations have multi-clouds that are not integrated but deliver a service on their own. For example, an organization may choose to have their email service in a public cloud, an example used by many that use the Microsoft Office 365 Suite. They may also choose to leverage public cloud environments for product development but may choose to use Google Cloud Platform for component benefits, such as Kubernetes containerization.

multiple networked clouds

Key Differences Between Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud

Multi cloud and hybrid cloud are sometimes used interchangeably to talk about cloud computing subjects. An organization may say that they have a hybrid cloud strategy in which they use both private clouds and public clouds for different reasons. A business unit in the organization may say they have a hybrid cloud implementation because they use both public and private for the same service or application, but segment sensitive data within the private cloud and non-sensitive data in the public cloud solution for the same delivery and support of a service. In either case, the organization is using more than one cloud.

Multi-clouds can evolve to hybrid-clouds as the organization begins combining private cloud resources with public cloud resources. The biggest difference between multi cloud and hybrid clouds is the number of cloud service providers supporting the IT solution. When private and public clouds are used together in an integrated, collaborative fashion creating a hybrid solution, then this should be considered a hybrid cloud.

Can a Hybrid Cloud Also Be Multi-Cloud?

Hybrid multi clouds are actually a mix of public and private clouds or public and private clouds along with on-premises data centers. Multi-clouds are not hybrid-clouds unless the combination or integration of the clouds, such as using both a public and a private cloud, creates the dynamics to make them hybrid. This is not always the case that it has two or more only public clouds or private clouds. The synergies between the clouds make it hybrid to form a new cloud or hybrid of the two clouds.

Sometimes it is thought that a hybrid cloud consists of a combined usage of a public cloud and a private cloud. As mentioned before, a hybrid is just a hybrid, so if using multiple public vendors who have different capabilities or characteristics, this can be a hybrid cloud solution. When the organization uses both vendor clouds in an architecture to support a service, then it can be said they have a hybrid solution. Although they are using multiple clouds or a multi cloud solution, combining the cloud solutions in this fashion makes it a hybrid solution.

Why the Hybrid Cloud Model is the Best Approach

Hybrid clouds allow flexibility in desired capabilities needed for business services. Having multiple clouds with the same capability can be very restrictive to the organization. Organizations may need specific capabilities only available in a particular cloud and maybe only from a specific cloud vendor.

A hybrid cloud approach can help organizations manage governance, risk, compliance (GRC), and cost better by providing the flexibility to keep capabilities in private clouds and less risky capabilities to public clouds. This can help with cost management of the infrastructure and other resources needed internally for private clouds.

Magnifying glass and documents with analytics data lying on table,selective focusMagnifying glass and documents with analytics data lying on table,selective focus

Multi-Cloud vs. Hybrid Cloud

The best cloud is derived from using good cloud solutions to deliver the best-needed capabilities for the organization. There are many good clouds both for public or private usage. The organization should first develop its requirements based on business needs. This is sometimes considered to be a cloud-first strategy. Then review all capabilities for each cloud. After this analysis is done, hybrid clouds may be the best approach for organizational coordination and collaboration between applications and services.

If an integrated solution is not needed, the organization may want to look initially at using multiple clouds for their benefits. Organizations with a multi cloud solution but no integration between the clouds may want to look closer at cloud data management solutions that can help with needed integration at the data level between different multi cloud implementations.

The Actian Real-time Connected Data Warehouse solution from Actian is the industry’s first and only hybrid cloud data warehouse to offer integration capabilities built into the product. Enabling you to harness diverse data sources for use in high performance analytics, in multiple clouds (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) and on-premises.

Multi cloud vs hybrid cloud

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