Expert Blog: Understanding Multi-Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Distributed Cloud

Photo Rahul Varshneya
Author: Rahul Varshneya

Cloud computing has been a mainstay of the Information Technology (IT) industry for quite some years now. However, many businesses in other verticals are only beginning to explore how this state-of-the-art tech innovation can be incorporated into their existing tech stack to accelerate growth. 

In most cases, the positive effects of cloud adoption can be experienced almost instantaneously.

According to one recent survey conducted by Multisoft, close to 80% of companies notice considerable improvements in their operations within the first few months of cloud integration.

Irrespective of whether you have only started out, or are an established industry leader, there are a number of cloud computing models to choose from when it comes to suiting the specific needs of your organization.

The most popular ones being hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, and distributed cloud.

When contemplating which cloud model to integrate in your infrastructure, you first need to know how every single one of them works, as well as the benefits of each. Below, we help you understand all of this and a lot more.

Multi Cloud Computing

Multi-cloud computing is exactly what you’d imagine it to be; it uses numerous cloud computing and storage services in one single network architecture.

This architecture consists of cloud software, apps, assets, and more hosted on various cloud environments – hence, it is called ‘multi-cloud’. A multi-cloud environment can be all-private, all-public, or a combination of both.

Multi-cloud computing utilizes cloud services from two or more different providers. Some of the benefits that come alongside leveraging a multi-cloud computing environment are:

  • A multi-cloud strategy gives businesses across domains the flexibility and freedom to experiment with several vendors rather than being locked in with one vendor who may excel in one area, but fall short in others.
  • With the ever-increasing amounts of data being processed today, outages are bound to happen – either due to human error or natural calamities. Businesses usually decide to choose this particular type of cloud computing to cut back on downtime or any kind of data loss since with a multi-cloud model, your cloud system does not depend on one environment to run. If one ecosystem goes down, you will always have another one to fall back to, provided that you’re creating backups on a frequent basis.
  • Multi-cloud environments also increase computing power and storage availability.
  • This type of computing can also help organizations with better risk management, streamlined administration, and optimal adherence to compliance regulations. Healthcare businesses, for instance, can easily utilize a multi cloud environment to take care of their comprehensive and stringent compliance and patient data security requirements.

Hybrid Cloud Computing

A hybrid cloud computing environment enables communication of the servers of your private cloud with multiple public clouds. Proprietary software enables communication between each of these services.

With a robust strategy like this in place, companies get to experience greater flexibility between cloud computing workloads as costs and resource needs often fluctuate.

Hybrid cloud environments allow businesses to have more control over their data, making it the ideal choice for many companies. This model gives businesses the ability to leverage the resources utilized on their public cloud, while also allowing them to store their data on private cloud servers.

Unlike the multi-cloud, hybrid cloud environments can be easily managed from a single location. This lets administrators control everything through one platform, instead of them otherwise individually having to manage each platform on a multi-cloud system.

Some of the major benefits of using a hybrid cloud model are:

  • Hybrid cloud computing offers stakeholders the option to play around and select an environment that best suits each one of their networking needs.
  • Most businesses don’t utilize the same amount of power each day; hybrid cloud environments enable administrators to use ‘more power’ when necessary and switch back to the normal requirement when trying to cut back on costs.
  • Insurance companies, for instance, usually have open enrollment applications submitted once or twice on an annual basis, while the supporting environment may go virtually unused for the remaining 10 months of the year. With that in mind, there really is no reason for such organizations to be paying or using an environment that is not used for the majority of a year.
  • A hybrid cloud environment gives you the freedom to do exactly this. The result: cost savings!
  • Under normal circumstances, a hybrid system also requires less space when compared with a private model. This is especially advantageous for small companies or startups that find it financially exhausting to invest in a large private data center.

Distributed Cloud Computing

Lastly, distributed cloud computing is nothing but a group of computers working together to act as one centralized network. This allows operations to carry on as usual even in the event one or more devices fail.

In a distributed cloud computing environment, the computer systems can either be run from the same physical location, or from various disparate locations. If the environment is run in multiple locations, their connection is completed through a LAN (Local Area Network) or a WAN (Wide Area Network).

A distributed cloud model can be made up of numerous configurations, including personal workstations and mainframes.

Some of the benefits that come alongside the use of a distributed cloud system include:

Distributed cloud computing gives businesses – small and big – the ability to easily scale in an inverted pyramidal structure by distributing resources among new machines as and when their workload escalates. By utilizing such a model, even if one data center goes offline, the others can pick up the slack. This makes the distributed cloud more reliable than other environments.

Distributed cloud models also provide lower latency and better performance because the traffic will only come from the data center that is nearest to your location.

This type of cloud system is often more economical than other substitutes, especially larger centralized systems since it is made up of a number of smaller computers. Distributed cloud breaks data into smaller sizes, which cuts down the time it takes to solve issues within the network.

However, it is important to note that in terms of scaling costs, using multiple devices is more efficient in the long term on a larger scale.

Which Cloud Computing Model is Going to be the Best for You?

All in all, choosing the right cloud model truly depends on the particular requirements and future expansion strategy of your business. The good thing about cloud solutions is that you can always scale up or down with most plans as per your business’ needs.

Remember, whichever cloud model you choose, it will take time to adapt to it. It is more of an ongoing process than a one-time thing.

You’ll need to migrate your existing technology to the new cloud platform, and train your team to monitor and manage it accordingly.

It’s often helpful to seek support from a managed services provider with proven expertise in the cloud environment you choose. This helps you ensure that your new solution operates efficiently and in sync with your existing tech stack, and you can derive maximum value out of your investment.