The rise of cloud-based services and a wealth of choice regarding the cloud has filled the market with more competition than ever before. Increasingly, organisations are now choosing to mix and match cloud solutions rather than choose between multiple vendors and technologies.
This debate about the benefits and challenges of a multi-cloud environment is expected to continue long into next year, with a report from Gartner on The Future of the Data Center in the Cloud Era suggesting that a multi-cloud strategy will become the common strategy for 70% of enterprises by 2019' up from less than 10% in 2017.
Customers are growing sensitive about being locked into a single legacy software solution that doesn't match their future needs. However, switch and migrations have become easier with similar APIs and the use of open standards like Linux, postgres, MySQL and others.
Many organisations are now likely to be evaluating how their data centres are designed and run as 2018 approaches, with IT departments evaluating hosting environments based on risk, complexity, speed and cost - all factors that increase the difficulty of finding one single solution for their needs.
Evaluating and implementing a multi-cloud environment can help determine who provides the best performance and support for a business. According to the Boston Herald, GE re-aligned its cloud hosting strategy to leverage both Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, with the intention to understand the best performing hosting environment and see which contract provides the lowest cost to pass to their customers.
But the multi-cloud trend doesn't come without its challenges. While flexibility is a significant advantage, a multi-cloud environment increases overhead cost from splitting your organisation's workloads across multiple providers. It also requires an internal developer team to learn multiple platforms and have additional governance processes in place, depending on the different environments they have to support.
There are many studies that show that multi-cloud adoption is on the rise, but it's more difficult to establish how much of a given platform was adopted. In many multi-cloud cases, organisations are using one provider for most of their needs and very little for others. But most of these cases fall on implementing a second cloud hosting environment as a backup in case of incompetency or failure of the main cloud hosting environment.
While 2018 will undoubtedly bring a steep rise in multi-cloud adoption, organisations will have to maneuver through the assessment of whether their strategy measures how much of each cloud platform was adopted, as well as internal usage, workload demands and implementation costs.
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Esther is a freelance media analyst, podcaster, and one-third of Media Voices. She has previously worked as a content marketing lead for Dennis Publishing and the Media Briefing. She writes frequently on topics such as subscriptions and tech developments for industry sites such as Digital Content Next and What’s New in Publishing. She is co-founder of the Publisher Podcast Awards and Publisher Podcast Summit; the first conference and awards dedicated to celebrating and elevating publisher podcasts.