On the surface, the major cloud provider offerings seem very similar. Once you dive into the technical specifics, however, it is clear that cloud infrastructure is far from commoditized. Cloud providers differ significantly in their geographic coverage, their pricing structure, and the ease of integration with various types of software. Multicloud strategies allow companies to mix and match cloud services to get the best infrastructure for their needs, at the lowest price. Here are some of the reasons you might want, for both business and technical reasons, to take advantage of more than one public cloud.
Especially at enterprise scale, vendor lock-in is a major concern when it comes to choosing cloud providers. Cloud spends are often very high, and if you are locked in to a particular cloud provider, you won’t have any leverage to negotiate lower rates.
If you already have a part of your application running in another cloud, you’ll come to the negotiating table with substantially more leverage than if you’re only in one cloud. Even if your entire application, from compute to databases, is portable, demonstrating that you are already using another cloud provider’s infrastructure gives you more leverage in pricing discussions.
Each cloud provider has a different cost structure, ranging from how discounts are allocated to different types of storage. Multicloud strategies give companies the option of picking and choosing the cloud provider that can meet a particular application’s needs at the lowest cost. This mix-and-match ability can lead to substantially lower cloud costs.
One of the most basic reasons companies adopt a multicloud strategy is because the major cloud providers have data centers in different parts of the world. Especially if performance is a major concern, it makes sense to route requests to the closest possible data center. Azure, for example, has better coverage in South Africa while Alibaba Cloud is often the best option for China.
The Best Cloud for the Job
The most technically sophisticated reason for a multicloud strategy is to choose the cloud that offers the best infrastructure for your application’s needs. The most obvious example is using Azure for cloud-based Microsoft products like Office365, but there are other ways that cloud providers differentiate themselves, both technologically and as companies. For example, Kubernetes was developed by Google and has the tightest integration with Google Cloud.
All of the major cloud providers have experienced outages—but not all at the same time. If you want to make sure you can keep your applications up and running even if AWS is down, you need to have a multicloud strategy that incorporates at least one other cloud provider so you can seamlessly fail over to the functioning cloud environment in the event of an outage.
Spinnaker Enables Multicloud Strategies
Multicloud offers a number of advantages, but it also increases application complexity. Spinnaker, the open source continuous delivery platform created by Netflix and backed by all of the leading cloud infrastructure providers, is a critical tool for multicloud deployments. With Spinnaker, engineers have a single pane of glass to see and manage their applications, as well as a single, target-agnostic pipeline to manage deployments, regardless of the target environment.
Contact the experts at Armory to learn more about how Spinnaker can simplify your multicloud strategy.