The future isn’t cloud. It’s multi-cloud!

Nearly a third of organizations work with four or more cloud vendors. What is driving this trend?

Rightscale has released the 2017 STATE OF THE CLOUD REPORT

85 % of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, up from 82 % in 2016

Enterprises hold firm on hybrid cloud strategy. The percentage of enterprises that have a strategy to use multiple clouds grew to 85 percent (vs. 82 percent in 2016) with 58 percent planning on hybrid (vs. 55 percent in 2016). There was also an increase in the number of enterprises planning for multiple public clouds (up from 16 percent to 20 percent) and a concurrent decrease in those planning for multiple private clouds (down from 11 percent to 7 percent).

The main reason is to this approach is that som organizations simply want to have more options—using multiple cloud providers to support different applications and workloads mean they can use the solution best suited to their needs. For example, an organization’s core applications may need resilient applications that can run even if local power is lost or that can expand or contract their capacity depending on workload.

Multi-cloud strategy reduces vulnerability

Organizations tend to prefer a multi-cloud strategy to get out of the “keeping all your eggs in one basket” problem that can leave them vulnerable to a variety of issues, such as cloud data center outages, bandwidth problems and vendor lock-in. A cloud application that consistently goes offline doesn’t reflect well on a business and can ultimately lose it customers. If critical data and applications depend on a single cloud provider the ability to negotiate through business disagreements and arbitrage compute and data storage pricing is also constrained.

Docker shoots into the lead for DevOps tools and reduces the vendor lock-in across public cloud providers. Many respondents of the Rightscale report use Docker through container-as-a-service offerings from cloud providers including AWS ECS (35 percent), Azure Container Service (11 percent), and Google Container Engine (8 percent).

Hybrid Cloud is king for Enterprises and Multinationals

Data sovereignty and compliance issues are also leading to a surge in multi-cloud as organizations, particularly in Europe, worry about how to comply with current rules and their exposure if they operate in areas where no rules governing cloud services yet exist. Storing data locally minimizes issues over data sovereignty whilst directing traffic to data centers closest to users based on their location is vital for latency-sensitive applications.

Hybrid cloud is actually a specific type of multi-cloud architecture.

It typically refers to an environment that combines public or private cloud services with more traditional deployment models, such as on premises computing or managed hosting, and includes orchestration among the various platforms.

The reality is enterprises have a significant footprint of applications, which for many reasons cannot run in the cloud out of the box. Application modernization has been a longstanding IT headache, because legacy multi-tier enterprise applications typically have a complex web of dependencies on underlying operating systems, hardware configurations, and network topologies.

This often results in “Bimodal IT”, where businesses face the overwhelming challenge of striking a balance between their slow legacy apps and much quicker modern ones.

Which is your strategy?