Multi-Cloud vs. Hybrid Cloud: What’s Right for You?

Mati Lerner
Cloud Computing
15 Aug 2021

The realm of cloud computing is increasing day by day. According to Statista, companies around the world spent more than 300 billion USD on this technology in 2020 alone.

For those who want to learn what is cloud computing, this technology enables businesses to leverage any computing service (e.g., servers, software, intelligence) through the internet from anywhere.

From SaaS (Software as a Service) to PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), cloud computing technology is not only sprawling in terms of its usage percentage but also in terms of its business applications. However, to unleash the full efficiency of it for your enterprise, you must first know about the pros and cons of different cloud deployment models.

For example, many organizations use the terms hybrid cloud and multi-cloud interchangeably, but there are key differences that you need to know to craft the ‘“perfect” cloud strategy for your organization’s growth.

This article covers the differences between multi-cloud and hybrid cloud. If that’s something you are interested in learning, read ahead.

What Is a Hybrid Cloud?

To understand Ridge’s hybrid cloud, you must first understand these two terms:

Private Cloud: A cloud used by one particular organization is called a “private cloud”. This virtual infrastructure serves just one organization and does not require sharing its computing resources around the web. Private clouds might be built and hosted by the organization itself, or they could be hosted and managed by an external vendor. Either way, the private cloud hosts data for just one organization.

Public Cloud: public cloud is shared among various organizations so that multiple companies share the cloud storage space to host their data. It utilizes an authentication process to enforce data security and only authenticated users can access their own applications and data files. Without logging in with the correct username and password, a user cannot access another company’s data and applications.

So, how do private and public clouds relate to hybrid cloud technology?

Hybrid Cloud architecture uses one or more public clouds and one or more private clouds to create a cloud infrastructure. This complex architecture allows enterprises to better customize their IT infrastructures and to tailor their cloud deployments to fit their unique business needs.

What Is a Multi-Cloud?

Multi-cloud computing blends multiple public clouds to use them for various purposes. For example, you may reserve one cloud for your business files, another as your database, and one more to store applications for fast, real-time data retrieval. These clouds might be managed by multiple cloud service providers.

Unlike hybrid clouds, multi-cloud solutions work in isolation and do not interact with other types of clouds.

Hybrid-Cloud Vs. Multi-Cloud Architecture: What Are the Differences?

Hybrid-cloud vs Mutli-cloud differences explained

Can A Hybrid Cloud Also Be a Multi-cloud or Vice-Versa?

The terms hybrid cloud and multi-cloud are not mutually exclusive — cloud implementations could be both at the same time. When a hybrid cloud blends multiple public clouds, it is considered a multi-cloud implementation.

Similarly, in a more complex multi-cloud architecture, your multi-cloud might also include on-premises physical data centers or supplemental private clouds. In this case, your multi-cloud is also a hybrid cloud.

What Are The Factors To Consider While Choosing A Cloud Strategy?

For businesses planning to use cloud platform(s), the benefits of cloud computing are numerous. However, to unlock multi- or hybrid cloud benefits, you must develop a good hybrid or multi-cloud strategy. Here are the factors to consider:

  • Cloud-first vs. Multi-Cloud: A cloud-first approach requires moving all enterprise data and applications to a cloud at once, which is expensive and time-consuming. On the other hand, a multi-cloud setup can include cloud storage supplemented with physical data centers. This deployment can be done gradually while choosing what will be on the cloud and what will not. Your budget and timeline will factor into which deployment model will be right for you.
  • Migration Effort, Cost, and Duration: Migration is a time-consuming task that requires a lot of effort. For enterprises that plan to digitize their operations and data and migrate to the cloud simultaneously, effort and cost will be even higher. So, before finalizing a cloud strategy, you must make sure that its migration time and cost are something you can afford.
  • Workload Audit: Right now, you might not be aware of your enterprise’s workload and bandwidth requirements. Before moving to the cloud, monitor these metrics over time to establish a baseline. It will help you pick the right subscription plan and cloud deployment strategy in the end.
  • Training Needs: Depending upon your team’s technical excellence and the complexity of your setup, you may need to learn how to use a multi-cloud platform and train employees to maintain the new implementation. In that case, your service provider must provide training to your administrators and other users.
  • Security: The hybrid or multi-cloud security arrangements of one service provider may differ from those of another. Before selecting a service provider, revisit your expectations and review the services they offer to choose a suitable service company and plan for your enterprise.

How Do Data Centers Work for Businesses?

Cloud computing technology requires remote servers in various locations to function. It hosts data and applications for various users in these server locations, i.e., data centers. This way, businesses can eliminate the limitations related to physical space for keeping the storage devices.

Real-World Examples 

Hybrid and Multi-clouds can be customized and applied to various business scenarios, such as:

  • To fulfill high-performance needs: 

Video-based applications, such as cloud gaming and streaming services, must perform flawlessly in real-time. Similarly, financial applications related to transactions, such as secure OTP (one-time passwords) or payment gateway redirection mechanisms, have to operate seamlessly and reliably. Because failures and delays are unacceptable in payment processing software, using a separate high-performance cloud for these applications is a better idea.

  • To meet high-security needs

When your organization needs to store highly confidential internal data on the cloud, you might prefer a dedicated private cloud for this data and one or more public clouds for other usages with more relaxed security needs. In the banking and finance sector, this type of hybrid cloud setup is common.

  • For hosting the database

For a large database that receives varying traffic, it is wise to use hybrid or multi-cloud architectures to store the database separately from other applications. This ensures that the bandwidth use is spread across multiple clouds, preventing anyone cloud from becoming overwhelmed. Organizations may keep the DB in the same cloud with other data and applications for low-traffic sites that don’t require constant communication with their database.

  • For load-balancing

For operations that need extra servers at times of peak usage, you can deploy more than one public and or private server as needed to balance costs. For example, for low-bandwidth or infrequent operations, you may opt for low-cost or small plans.

  • To enjoy best of all facilities

You may like the hybrid cloud storage capacity of one managed cloud service provider and the snappy performance of another. With hybrid and multi-cloud deployments, you can choose different operators and cloud types and get the best facilities for your business with full cost efficiency.

Hybrid Cloud vs. Multi-Cloud — What’s Right For Your Business?

Both multi- and hybrid cloud deployments are reliable, flexible, and offer advantages to businesses. There are so many variations of data center cloud architectures, and no one size fits all. What many customers are discovering is that they’re looking for the building blocks for complex systems that include all types of legacy data center infrastructures. They may have a computing strategy that is partially on-premises, partially bare-metal, partially co-located, and partially cloud-native across five continents. And so they need a cloud provider that enables them to deploy complex systems that require a flexible architecture.

Ridge’s Flexible Data Center Architecture

Ridge, the world’s most flexible cloud, addresses the challenge with a distributed architecture that empowers developers to customize a cloud strategy that best fits their business needs.

Easily accessed through a single API, Ridge Cloud is fully interoperable with any legacy infrastructure, whether on-prem servers, colo deployments, local data centers, or hybrid clouds. Using Ridge’s managed web services — managed Kubernetes, containers, and object storage — developers enjoy the ease of use of the public cloud together with superior performance, high throughput, and full data control of localized infrastructure.

Ridge enables developers to serve cloud-native applications anywhere on the globe, with the highest level of performance, without being limited by available infrastructure.

Want to learn more about Ridge’s unique cloud solution?  Book a demo.

FAQs About Multi-Cloud Vs. Hybrid Cloud

What are the pros of a hybrid cloud strategy?

Because of the hybrid cloud’s flexibility, companies with varying workloads or changing bandwidth needs for their different operations benefit from hybrid solutions. By doing so, organizations can save costs while achieving the desired performance.

What is a multi-cloud?

Multi-cloud essentially means multiple public clouds. This cloud computing implementation uses multiple clouds from the same or multiple service providers for various purposes.

The purpose of using different clouds for different operations and purposes is to meet both the performance and budget goals of an organization. For example, a business may use a high-security cloud for its internal data and client data, while a comparatively low-cost and low-security plan for hosting its less business-critical website code.

What is the difference between multi-cloud and hybrid cloud?

In the case of multi-cloud, clouds of one type are grouped and assigned with different scopes. These clouds are then used by one organization, but they do not interact heavily in terms of operations. On the other hand, hybrid clouds utilize private cloud(s) alongside the public clouds to work interconnectedly.

What is a hybrid multi-cloud platform?

A platform that has one or more private or physical clouds alongside multiple public clouds is a hybrid multi-cloud platform. It uses both private and public clouds, making it hybrid and includes various public clouds, making it multi-cloud.

Linkedin Mati Lerner, Co-Founder & CEO | Ridge
Mati is not only one of the founders of Ridge, but also a cloud expert. He enjoys writing about the benefits of cloud nativity & different cloud architectures.