What are multi-cloud environments and how can your business benefit from them?

A multi-cloud computing strategy is essentially the use of a multiple cloud services simultaneously in the interest of  minimizing the risk of data loss or downtime. Major failures of cloud-based systems are not mere hypothetical events, they are actually more common than we imagine. For instance, on August 7, 2011, Amazon experienced an outage at its cloud computing hub located in Dublin, Ireland, which was apparently caused by an electrical transformer malfunction.

It goes without saying that such malfunctions have a large number of negative (sometimes catastrophic) consequences: anything from data and revenue loss to security breaches, not to mention damaged credibility. As these sort of catastrophic scenario become more common, and customer demands and device types become more diverse and complex, cloud computing technology must evolve to keep up with these changes.

Many of the enterprises that have migrated to the cloud are starting to realize that third-party infrastructure does not provide the flexibility required to meet their emerging data requirements. One of the reasons for this is that in single-cloud environments, more often than not, resources and configuration options are standardized, therefore limited to what cloud provider has developed for generalized consumption.

Multi-cloud environments are a new trend in the cloud industry that is expected to gain more popularity over the course of this year. They have a clear advantage over traditional, single-cloud environments because they empower you to distribute data and applications across varied infrastructure, so that you can better tailor your resources necessary to support your workload.

Tech consultant Andrew Froehlich draws attention to the fact that  while “multi-cloud management tools can indeed provide benefits to streamline processes, it’s important to note that this is still an emerging market”. As to the usefulness of such an approach, he warns that “the usefulness of your multi-cloud management platform will also vary depending on what apps you are using in the cloud. The more customized (…) and the more complex the application is to set up and secure, the fewer benefits you’ll see with a multi-cloud management solution.”

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