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Why Organizations Should Consider a Multi-Cloud Strategy

Article Written by Vissarion Yfantis

If there's one thing enterprises have learned through years of using cloud services, it's that the conversation has now moved from choosing between public and private clouds to determining how to implement a multi-cloud strategy. In most instances, it's much better to adopt a multi-cloud strategy because you can really take advantage of the strengths of each cloud service (regardless of provider) and match them with specific business needs.

What is a multi-cloud strategy?

A multi-cloud strategy is one where an organization subscribes to different kinds of cloud services sourced from different service models (Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, or Platform as a Service), deployment types (private, public, or hybrid), or even providers (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and more). For example, a company might host a few virtual servers on AWS, store some data in Amazon S3, store another set of data in Azure Files, and run the rest of its virtual environment on its on-premise datacenter.

Reasons for adopting a multi-cloud strategy

In the 2018 edition of RightScale's annual State of the Cloud Survey, the results showed that enterprises prefer a multi-cloud strategy. Why exactly would companies want to adopt a multi-cloud strategy?

  1. Certain business functions can only be supported by a particular cloud solution. Because an organization can have several business units with different needs, it's not hard to see why one organization should subscribe to multiple Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings. That company might want to use Salesforce for its sales operations, Hubspot for its marketing campaigns, and QuickBooks Online for accounting. The myriad of SaaS offerings enables organizations to take advantage of best-of-breed solutions instead of just making do with multi-purpose products.

  2. Reduce business risk due to overdependence on a single provider. It's never wise to put all your eggs in one basket-even if that basket is as big as a public cloud. Let's say, for whatever reason, you've chosen Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as your Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider. While Google certainly won't be folding anytime soon, what if they decide to shut down GCP? It's not so far-fetched for these big companies to end a product if it isn't doing well. After all, that's what happened to Google+.

  3. Improve resilience against large-scale outages. We know that Amazon Web Services (AWS) has suffered a few outages in the past, despite being the largest public cloud service provider (CSP) in the world. GCP suffered one just last year. So did Azure. Indeed, not even the most reputable CSPs are totally immune to major outages. Because these extended downtimes can't be completely avoided, companies who want to minimize the impact of these outages can implement a business-continuity plan that involves more than one cloud platform.

Aside from these three reasons, there can be others. One provider might offer a lower price for a similar service. Or perhaps your current provider, where almost all of your workloads run, can't provide optimal support for a particular workload (e.g. a special big data-project), but another provider can.

You don't have to compromise performance, security, compatibility, or cost just because you're already subscribed to one CSP. You can leave workloads that suit your current CSP and move the rest to platforms where they fit best.

Challenges in adopting a multi-cloud strategy

Those are definitely compelling reasons to shift to a multi-cloud strategy. However, multi-cloud adoption isn't exactly a walk in the park. First of all, it entails learning the intricacies of every provider. This means more complexity and a steeper learning curve than if you had to deal with just one or two providers.

The current skills shortage doesn't help. It's difficult enough to look for needed talent to integrate, deploy, manage, and maintain digital assets on a single cloud platform. How much more for multiple platforms? In order to succeed in multi-cloud undertakings, you need to look for ways to eliminate as much complexity as you can.

Benefits of multi-cloud in virtual desktop and applications deployment

One of the business-enabling technologies that can leverage the benefits of a multi-cloud infrastructure is virtual desktop and application delivery. When you deliver virtual desktops and applications from a multi-cloud infrastructure, you can:

  1. Ensure a much better user experience. Applications and desktops can be sourced from the nearest servers possible.
  2. Meet each user's data privacy requirements. You can let them access applications and desktops from either a public cloud or an on-premise deployment from any device.
  3. Improve resiliency and high-availability capabilities. Redundancy can now be implemented not only across multiple datacenters or regions, but also multiple platforms.
  4. Keep your data secure in your on-premise deployment while using the advantages of a public or hybrid cloud solution tailored to your needs.

Removing complexity in multi-cloud deployments

You don't have to go through hoops to reap these benefits. Through ParallelsĀ® Remote Application Server (RAS), you can easily deploy virtual desktops and applications on multiple cloud platforms, including on-premise/private, public, or hybrid. Once you've deployed them, you can manage those desktops and applications from a single pane of glass. This simplified approach can substantially reduce your administrative overhead, IT costs, and overall total cost of ownership (TCO) of your multi-cloud infrastructure.

Grab a 30-day evaluation period of Parallels RAS today!

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About the Author

 

Vissarion Yfantis, Content Writer & Technical Trainer, Parallels

After many years in the IT industry as a technician deployed in multiple positions such as hardware, networking, customer support and more, I decided to extend my knowledge over virtualization. Working with Parallels since March 2018 I am responsible for writing and managing content for the manuals, blogs, how-to guides and also provide training over the Parallels RAS solution.

Published Tuesday, March 05, 2019 7:24 AM by David Marshall
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