Hybrid Cloud vs. Multi-cloud: What's the Difference?
It can be easy to confuse hybrid clouds and multi-clouds because both involve multiple cloud solutions being used at the same time. However, there are key differences.
Hybrid clouds always involve both private and public solutions. On the other hand, a multi-cloud always involves more than one public cloud, but it can also include virtual and physical infrastructure.
In a multi-cloud model, multiple clouds are assigned different tasks. However, the individual components that make up a hybrid cloud usually work together. This results in processes and data coexisting and intertwining within the hybrid environment, while with a multi-cloud setup, each process tends to stay within its own cloud.
Benefits of a Hybrid Cloud
For many organizations, a hybrid cloud is a superior option when compared to other cloud- or non-cloud-based solutions. Some of the benefits include scalability, security, cost, control, and speed.
A primary obstacle posed by a private network is the expense involved in establishing, maintaining, and expanding your infrastructure. Before cloud services were available, a company had to wait until it had significant funds—enough to purchase new physical machines—before it could add to their IT system.
With public cloud options, it is easier to add more computational power and run more complex and resource-demanding applications, simply by using a hybrid cloud setup. There is no need to wait until you can afford to buy several more servers—you can use the resources provided by the cloud service.
If you make use of a hybrid cloud infrastructure, your organization can take advantage of the security that comes with a private cloud, as well as the power and options that typically come with public clouds. The data that gets stored within a private cloud environment will most likely still need to be sent to the public cloud, where it is processed and used by applications, analytics systems, and other processes.
However, with a hybrid cloud environment, it is fairly straightforward to use encryption methods to ensure the data stays safe throughout this process. With a hybrid cloud, the IT team has several options for making the transfer and storage of data safer.
Hybrid clouds often help lower long-term costs, freeing up some headroom in an organization’s budget. Because it is easier and less expensive to scale a hybrid cloud upward, the company saves money during the growth process. In addition, because scaling is more accessible, the organization can grow sooner and therefore generate more income sooner. With purely on-site storage, growth can be hindered, which results in higher opportunity costs due to the company missing out on potential income.
Another important factor is that when you store crucial data in the private section of a hybrid cloud environment, you can reduce the potentially crushing costs of migrating digital assets between two different cloud providers. If you are using a multi-cloud setup, for example, you may have to pay termination fees before you migrate your data from one silo to another. Some cloud services also charge an additional fee to move your data. A hybrid cloud infrastructure precludes these expenses.
Control is one of the primary benefits of a hybrid cloud environment. Instead of putting all facets of your IT infrastructure in the hands of a third-party provider, you can customize the private side of your cloud model so that it suits the needs of your organization. You could allocate other sectors of your hybrid cloud to handle less critical or time-sensitive tasks.
Also, with a hybrid model, it is easier to make adjustments as to which parts of the infrastructure should handle each application and process. With a multi-cloud or purely on-site solution, you may have to ink new agreements with providers or purchase new equipment to gain adequate agility. A hybrid cloud gives you the control you need to avoid these kinds of costly or complicated processes.
Another advantage of maintaining control over your network resources is enhanced speed. While a hybrid cloud environment is not, by itself, quicker than a public or multi-cloud setup, it allows IT teams to optimize the network in ways that reduce latency and simplify the data transfer process. Also, with a hybrid environment, you can use the power of edge computing, which can make your entire IT infrastructure faster.
While public clouds are forced to share their resources across their portfolio of users, the function of private clouds can be custom designed so the resources are used in the most efficient way possible. This kind of enhanced control can save critical processing time, particularly if each application is set in a sector of the environment that is specifically optimized for that application’s operation.