Very few companies rely on just one cloud environment. But the price they pay for their multi-vendor approach is high. Why a multi-cloud approach at all? Flexibility and resilience are key advantages. Companies must be able to quickly adapt their infrastructure requirements to changing business conditions. Also, redundant design and backup strategies are indispensable when business-critical workloads migrate to the public cloud.
For the many, it is also about using the different functional focuses of cloud offerings. While the computing, storage and network capabilities of the hyperscalers are, in principle, comparable at a high level, sophisticated, differentiating services decide on the customers’ acceptance. One provider shows its advantages, for example in the processing of mass data, while the other scores points in areas such as AI and machine learning.
The private cloud, which is indispensable for many companies, is also part of a multi-cloud scenario: above all, legal and regulatory requirements force companies to manage sensitive data on-premises or on their servers. But there are the five most important challenges in terms of multi-cloud management which increases the end-cost.
The governance problems in multi-cloud environments are also serious because there are enormously large ecosystems of services in the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) environment. Often, individual developers or even entire corporate divisions go self-employed to develop cloud applications or use public cloud services without their IT department knowing about it. For developers, in particular, there is a huge amount of interesting things to discover and try out. But it just needs a few rules.
Some experts point out a fundamental conflict between governance and agility: one is almost always at the expense of the other. There is a lack of standards in the multi-cloud world. Workloads run this way on platform A and quite differently on platform B. If there were standards, an entirely different run on multi-cloud offers would begin. The poor interoperability is a problem for all. Many applications have to be completely rewritten if you want to change platforms. Another obstacle is the different nomenclature. If we don’t even talk fundamentally about the linguistic confusion, we will eventually get entangled in semantics.
The question of interoperability as a field of tension between two extremes. On the one hand, users could keep a certain degree of portability open by limiting themselves to functions that are similar in different cloud environments. On the other hand, the cloud invites you to “hyper-customizing” again and again, because it offers proprietary services that are ideally suited for very special applications. Unfortunately, such functions are often particularly appealing to customers.