Multi-Cloud is one of today’s biggest buzzwords. Multi-Cloud is also a fairly general term being used by many people for many purposes and as such is causing confusion and disagreement about its meaning.
Cloud and Hybrid Cloud vs. Multi-Cloud
Scality believes that Multi-Cloud is the next step of the cloud evolution that started with Cloud and then evolved into Hybrid Cloud.
- Cloud: the relatively simple use case such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service for Dev/Test workloads; data backup to a single cloud; or a Software-as-a-Service application.
- Hybrid Cloud: the use case where an application, workload, or data could be run in the same technology stack on-premise (potentially in a private cloud) and in a cloud provider, but where the customer was essentially locked into that technology stack. An example could be moving a VMware workload between an on-premise datacenter and AWS. The workload can be moved back and forth, but remains locked into the VMware technology stack and cannot be easily ported to another virtualization platform such as Microsoft, Red Hat, etc.
- Multi-Cloud: the uses cases that enabled true freedom and control to run an application, workload, or data on any cloud – private or public – based on business or technical requirements.
Multi-Cloud offers all of the benefits of Cloud and Hybrid Cloud
such as agility, flexibility, elasticity, etc.
In addition, Multi-Cloud offers:
The ability to enforce policies and standards across cloud providers and on-premises private cloud deployments to meet business and financial requirements; in other words, allow the business to determine which cloud provider(s) can be used for what purpose and when
A single interface to access multiple clouds by abstracting or virtualizing the proprietary APIs and/or management interfaces
A reduction or complete removal of lock-in to any single vendor or technology stack which allows the application, workload, or data to be run in any cloud based on ideal business or technical requirements at any given time
Features of Multi-Cloud Data Control
Features of a multi-cloud data control platform include:
- Support for multiple cloud storage services independent of the APIs and interfaces used to access these services. In other words, an abstraction layer between data and the proprietary APIs used to place that data in any given cloud storage service.
- Ability to translate data into the native format of any given cloud storage service so that the data remains open and accessible to any system and not just the system that placed the data.
- Search and metadata search capabilities to find data regardless of location.
- An extensible data workflow engine that supports full Data Lifecycle Management capabilities.
- Highly available and scalable architecture to support on-premise and cloud-based applications that themselves are highly available and scalable.
Benefits of Multi-Cloud Data Control
Having the freedom and control over data placement, movement, and search provides a number of important benefits:
• Ability to select the appropriate data storage location – public or private cloud – based on business needs or required technical features
• Higher level of data availability and durability given data can be replicated across multiple, fully autonomous clouds
• Cost efficiencies due to increased competition between cloud storage providers combined with ability to instantly take advantage of new pricing for any given storage offering