By Andreea Andrei, Marketing and Business Administration Executive at The Cloud Computing, SaaS and Security Awards

This article is part of an A to Z series by Cloud and SaaS Awards, continuing with M for Multicloud 

Cloud computing is a computer paradigm that offers access to a set of services through the Internet on a large scale. These services may include storage, databases, network services, applications, and security services. This paradigm operates on a shared basis and employs a form of computing capability virtualization. They are distinguished by minimal administration effort and utilizing a ‘Pay as You Go’ payment mechanism (paying only for the services utilized by the customer).

More about cloud computing

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), cloud computing has five fundamental characteristics:

  • On-demand self-service: A client can supply resources, such as networking, storage, and processing without requiring direct human involvement.
  • Internet access: Customers access and manage computing and network capabilities via a network, most typically the Internet.
  • Resource elasticity: In this paradigm, resources may be provided or released quickly, with the option of automated scaling based on usage and demand.
  • Resource consumption measurement: In order to charge for their services, suppliers utilize algorithms and systems to monitor, regulate, and report on the usage of the resources provided by the customer.
  • Shared physical resources: Using a multi-tenant model, the provider’s computer resources are pooled to service numerous clients. This is accomplished through virtualization, in which resources are dynamically allocated and reassigned.

Cloud computing is classified according to its deployment model. This refers to the many approaches of implementing a cloud model, which differ primarily in terms of cloud access, size, and ownership.

  • Private cloud: The physical infrastructure is controlled by a single organization, and it is designed to be accessible and utilized by a specific group of people; for example, members of the same company use. It is then administered and controlled by the organization and is often located on-site.
  • Public Cloud: The physical infrastructure is held by a cloud provider firm and is available for public use. It is typically managed and administered by a corporation, a non-profit organization, or an academic institution. Providers in this approach provide their services through the schemes Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). These models indicate the provider’s degree of administration; in the case of IaaS, the provider is accountable from the network to the hardware to its virtualization; in PaaS, from the network to the Runtime Environment; and in SaaS, from the network to the application’s handling.
  • Hybrid Cloud: The infrastructure and services utilized are divided into two parts: one owned by the business and located on-premises, and the other on a public cloud.

What is multicloud?

Multicloud refers to a strategy in which the infrastructure and services are shared by at least two providers. This is accomplished through an architecture that incorporates a number of different services that make use of various providers. These services can be focused on the physical infrastructure required to deploy an application or service, or they can be focused on providing unique and specialized services to correctly comply with product specifications. The services are provided by each company and operate in a modular way since multicloud is designed to handle certain duties.

Multicloud differs from hybrid cloud as it must have its own components distributed in a single public cloud provider and another component in a private cloud or on premise infrastructure. These must be interconnected and closely related to function.

These services are typically used to supply the application’s basic needs, such as data storage and processing. They also vary because multicloud necessitates a higher degree of detail due to the utilization of several services supplied by various providers to split and spread the application’s duties to be completed, which are then separated into workloads.

What are the benefits of multicloud?

As a result of what has been mentioned above, multicloud offers the following benefits:

  • Flexibility and adaptability: Having multiple providers broadens the options for services, reducing reliance on providers. This increases the possibility of finding a set of services that make the solution more precise, because it is impossible for a single provider to provide all types of services for all types of applications or products.
  • Redundancy and fault tolerance: Multi-cloud setups safeguard businesses from downtime by distributing the burden of the many activities required for application execution.

However, a plan must be developed in order to fully use these benefits which ultimately use multicloud as a way to meet application needs, this implies that in order to pick the suitable configuration, the requirements, both functional and non-functional functionalities of the product or application, must be thoroughly understood. To achieve these objectives, it is required to create a strategy that clearly describes:

  1. What workloads may be conducted independently and how they can be implemented;
  2. What models must be used in load distribution to guarantee that the architecture is as balanced as feasible.

These decisions, which are related to workloads and how they will be executed within the architecture, have a significant impact on the outcome of the multicloud strategy, because distributing the workload incorrectly can complicate the implementation, operation, and continuous improvement processes, as well as reduce the benefits to the point where the effort made to have the architecture working in multicloud is no longer valuable.

The impact of multicloud on businesses

Although the multicloud provides various benefits that are not achievable with other implementation and deployment models, there are a number of potential limitations connected to both the technological and economic aspects of the organizations. For example, if you have to pay several public cloud providers, you may lose unique benefits from some providers, such as volume discounts, as is the case with Rackspace and Google Cloud.

Implementing a multicloud approach, however, requires people with extensive knowledge in the usage of several public cloud platforms, as well as familiarity with the technologies available for multicloud architecture orchestration. Workload management may also be a difficulty since the information must be moved between multiple providers and the end product, adding risks to information security and integrity.

Multicloud business applications

To correctly build the multicloud recommendation system, it is necessary to correctly characterize the business applications of users. To do so, it is necessary to recognize the variety and large number of specific and unique tasks that can be made into a business application, but it is also necessary to take into account its common characteristics, such as the minimum requirements for their operation and the frameworks of work for its construction and correctness.

Business applications, regardless of discipline or ultimate functionality, are built and implemented using multi-tier architectures. These applications are generally built with three general levels:

  • The first of which is the closest to the user and is called front-end;
  • The second is the logical level, which is responsible of making the application work and is directly related to the purpose of the product or service;
  • The final one called – for practical reasons – back-end.

The Multi-cloud is a market paradigm that addresses a number of market demands, namely the need for systems that are independent of providers and the need for highly specialized services to construct systems or applications. This paradigm introduces new challenges, such as the high complexity of developing applications in multicloud settings, as well as the ongoing change of technology and services by cloud providers. To encourage providing a solution to this challenge, the Cloud Awards team launched a new category for the Cloud Awards 2022/2023 program, Best Use of the Cloud in a Multicloud Environment.

Projects and services will both be considered, whether involving one organization’s approach to encouraging a multi-cloud environment, or joint submissions from several providers. A key focus remains on relevant case study or testimonial materials which are again essential for the Best Use of the Cloud in a Multicloud Environment category and should be supplied.

If you are interested in entering the Cloud Awards 2022/2023, you can still apply here until October 21st.