Differences Between Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud Computing

If you’re wondering “What is the difference between multi-cloud and hybrid cloud?”, then you’re not alone. Not only are these two separate terms often used interchangeably, but there may also be some genuine overlap with these terms, depending on your definitions. The way a business approaches its cloud enablement will likely include either a multi-cloud or a hybrid cloud strategy. 

Key Differences Between Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud Computing

The key difference between multi-cloud and hybrid cloud computing is the presence of a private cloud, often hosted by on-premise data centers. If a business is using any private clouds, then this is considered a hybrid cloud. Hybrid cloud computing always uses a private cloud, which can be hosted on or off-premises. Otherwise, there is a fair bit of overlap with these terms, since technically multi-cloud includes any environment with two or more public clouds. 

What is Multi-Cloud?

A multi-cloud strategy is used when businesses utilize multiple different public clouds. 

1. How does multi-cloud work?

For example, a business could put its database, its user authentication, and its PaaS on separate public clouds. This strategy allows businesses to choose service providers based on price and the services provided. 

What is Hybrid Cloud Computing?

Hybrid cloud computing always includes a private cloud, whether it’s hosted on or off-premises. 

1. How does the hybrid cloud work?

A hybrid cloud is usually managed as a single entity. This is facilitated by the use of a private cloud, or clouds, and is often hosted on-premises. 


Which Type of Cloud Deployment Should Your Business Use?

There is not a simple, cut-and-dried answer here. Each business is different; they have different goals, layouts, and needs. However, all businesses are united in the fact that cost and security are generally the two most important factors taken into consideration when considering the type of cloud deployment that best suits them. In addition to cost and security, here are other factors to consider when deciding between multi-cloud vs hybrid cloud

1. Cost

The most attractive feature of public clouds is the low-price tag compared with the costs of on-premises infrastructure. Businesses surrender many, if not all, of the responsibilities associated with maintaining a public cloud. This includes applying security updates, provisioning servers, etc. Using a multi-cloud approach allows businesses to reduce costs in the long run and often in the short term as well.


2. Security

Businesses or organizations in industries that have security regulations on data might want to consider a hybrid cloud approach. Private clouds or on-premise data centers are far more tightly controlled than public clouds. They are not necessarily more secure than a public cloud—that will depend on the individual organization’s security protocols. One advantage, security-wise, to public clouds, is that they often have more cybersecurity resources.  


3. Create a Cloud Migration Plan that Works for Your Business

Cloud migration of any kind requires time, money, and effort. While some businesses are situated where a complete cloud migration is feasible, that isn’t the case for many companies. Some businesses may not have the resources and need to migrate in stages, while others may need to keep some of their operations on-premise. In situations like these, a hybrid model might make the most sense. 


4. Cultivate Increased Reliability

Using multiple clouds allows businesses to take advantage of cloud bursting. This phenomenon occurs when backup clouds take on some of the workload if there is a period of extra high demand or usage. The workload “bursts” from one cloud to the backup cloud. This feature gives businesses an added layer of reliability and protection from downtime. 


5. Prevent Vendor Lock-In

Vendor lock-in occurs when a business is essentially forced to stay with an inadequate vendor due to:


  1. The exorbitant cost of moving to another vendor.

  2. The difficulty of cloud migration.

  3. The need to avoid interruptions to the business workflow.

  4. Insufficient workforce to manage a switch to a new vendor.

This can become an issue if the vendor’s quality of service degrades, or if the vendor significantly changes its service offerings. A position like this also leaves businesses vulnerable to large price increases that they may be forced to accept due to the challenges of finding and switching over to a new vendor. 


Can a Hybrid Cloud also be a Multi-Cloud?

Technically, yes. When a hybrid cloud has more than one public cloud, in addition to its private cloud resources, it becomes a multi-cloud. A hybrid cloud is used to coordinate a single IT objective between a combination of public and private clouds. A multi-cloud can include the use of private cloud platforms, but it doesn’t need to be labeled multi-cloud. A hybrid cloud always includes the use of a private cloud or on-premise private cloud infrastructure. 


Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud Implementation with Encora

Here at Encora, we’re experts at multi-cloud and hybrid cloud implementation. Make your journey to implementation seamless with help from Encora. Are you unsure about whether a multi-cloud or a hybrid cloud is best for your organization? We can help with that too. Reach out to us today with any questions or to get started with your implementation!


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