First time companies decide to embrace the Cloud Journey and to embrace IaaS and PaaS public computing, typically they select a public cloud vendor to partner with.
At OSB, we help customers to accomplish the “Cloud Journey” in a vendor-agnostic way and this provides us a unique position to identify new trends in cloud computing. one of the emerging tendency is to adopting a multi-cloud strategy choosing to work, based on requirements and workloads, with more than one public cloud provider.
In our experience, the drivers that lead to the adoption of multi-cloud as default strategy can be summarized as the following:
- Best of Class Technology: Cloud providers provide similar, but not equal, support and technologies for the same workload or service. Take the example of Kubernetes: it’s becoming the defacto standard for container orchestration platform. You can run it for example in Azure, in AWS, in Oracle but for sure the best experience will be (at the moment) with Google Cloud. It’s not difficult to guess why: Kubernetes was originally designed by Google and now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and, because of this, Google Container Engine (GKE) supports new features automatically and faster than other cloud providers. This example can be extended to different technologies in favor of different cloud providers but the point is that if you are adopting a service or a technology as baseline for your business you would like to get the most updated, supported and feature-rich version on the market.
- Avoid Vendor Lock-in: This is probably the most scaring and blocking point of the cloud adoption at the moment (please don’t say security anymore..): companies are concerned about vendor lock-in and, because of high switching costs, about loosing flexibility when negotiating pricing and terms with “THE” cloud provider. On the other side, cloud providers are exactly playing this game in planned or unplanned mode: if you have your entire Infrastructure as Code as part of your DevOps strategy using CloudFormation in AWS or Powershell in Azure.. Well, it will be really time and resource consuming migrate from one provider to another and not even Terraform can help you a lot in this case.
- High Availability (or in real we should call it High High Availability): When you choose one cloud provider you are actually betting your business on the reliability of a single infrastructure (of course multi-redundant, geo-replicated and much much better of what you could achieve on-prem), but issues happens and the possibility to switch to another provider should not be so far from your mind.
At the end of the story, multi-cloud it’s a fact for many of our customers but as always, the strategy depends on requirements and, for sure, in a cost-benefit analysis most of the time a single cloud provider is the way to go but my suggestion as Cloud Solution Architect is always to embrace (whenever is possible) technologies and services that have analogs in other environments so that you you could jump on different clouds in the easiest way possible and only is the benefit are really tangible to use cloud provider’s “exclusive services”.