Flexibility and efficiency are two concepts related to cloud computing. Taking into consideration the scenario that companies currently live, they must continue to look to the cloud as a technology that will bring cost reduction, increased productivity, a higher flexibility for the business and data securit.
To better understand the concepts of hybrid cloud and multicloud, it is important to understand what cloud computing is.
What is cloud computing?
The concept of cloud computing is mix with the concept of the Internet, that is, it is a network of computers around the world, interconnected through a communication network, capable of offering information to anyone who has access to it. On the Internet as well on the cloud, it doesn’t matter where the user is or where the information you want to access is, it just needs to exist connectivity between them. The cloud allows users to access applications without having them installed on their devices (computers, mobile phones, tablets). Therefore, an organization purchases the service and is the provider of the cloud service that is responsible for the development, maintenance, storage of data and the backup of both systems and data. The user only has to access and use the resources. Through the cloud, companies and people can easily interconnect, optimising their processes, and several people can work simultaneously and collaboratively on the same platform or file, ensuring security throughout the process.
According to IDC in 2021, the investment and national business expenditure in cloud computing services and hardware necessary to develop public and private clouds will double and exceed 400 million euros. On a global scale, this market will reach close to 500 billion euros. You can read more information here.
Cloud service providers
Cloud service providers are companies that offer platform, infrastructure, applications or cloud storage services. The business model of cloud service providers is similar to the business model of some public services, such as water supply, electricity or gas, in the cloud companies have to pay for the number of cloud services they consume.
In addition to the pay-per-use model, cloud service providers also offer other benefits to companies, customers can take advantage of the scalability and flexibility, the reliability of multiple data centres with multiple redundancies, customisation by configuring servers according to their preferences, and reactive load balancing that can easily respond to changes in demand.
Nowadays, the services available in the main cloud service providers (Microsoft, Amazon, Google, IBM) are offered in different architectures, namely IAAS, PAAS, SAAS. Therefore, organizations can choose the most appropriate architecture for their processes, considering issues such as workload, security, among others.
Different approaches to Cloud services (On-Premises/ IAAS, PAAS, SAAS)
Albert Barron describes these different approaches that exist in cloud services, making an analogy with the different possibilities that exist for eating a pizza. You can read the original post here.
On-Premises / Do it yourself at home
When we choose to make a pizza at home, we will need all ingredients for the dough, the sauce and the filling, also we will need the equipment, the oven, cutlery, soda, and a table. We must also need to know how to make and have the skill to make the pizza.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) / Frozen pizza bought at a supermarket
In this approach, we assume that we already have a pizza at home, for example, a frozen pizza that we previously bought at a supermarket. The pizza is already prepared and already has the type of topping we want, but we still need the equipment to heat it (oven), cutlery, soda and a table.
Platform as a service (PaaS) / Pizzeria with home delivery
This approach is equivalent to calling a pizza store and ordering a pizza with home delivery. The pizza arrives at us already cooked and ready to eat, but we still need cutlery, soda and a table.
Software as a Service (SaaS) / Eating pizza at a restaurant/pizzeria
This option is equivalent to going to a pizzeria. Here, we don’t have to worry about anything, we just have to sit at a table and order the desired pizza, everything else is handled by the restaurant.
In conclusion, cloud service providers provide us with different options for implementing our solutions, it is up to us to understand and decide that the best approach to our requirement, mapping with our technical knowledge and the costs of different approaches.
Private Cloud Concept
A private cloud is a service that allows users to run applications, store and share data over the network through a private and protected computing environment. Companies generally use their own, or third-party IT infrastructures, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, IBM. Currently, several cloud service providers rent environments within their data centres that are perfectly capable of running and maintaining private applications.
Public Cloud concept
A public cloud is a virtual space where several users or companies share the same resources, usually paying only for the time of use, processing capacity, storage and the resources used within the system. The result of hiring a public cloud service is the best use of the assets involved, which generally involve high costs.
A hybrid cloud is a computing environment that combines a public cloud and a private cloud, allowing data and applications to be shared both. Whenever there is an increase in the demand for resources and processing needs, hybrid cloud computing provides companies with the ability to easily scale the local infrastructure also to use the public cloud, to support any exceeded capacity. The use of a hybrid cloud not only allows companies to scale IT resources, but also eliminates the need for excessive spending on the purchase of new resources to deal with short-term demand spikes. Companies pay only for the resources they use temporarily, instead of having to buy, program and maintain additional resources and equipment that could be inactive after peak usage and remain inactive for long periods. Hybrid cloud computing is the “best platform of all worlds”, providing all the benefits of cloud computing – flexibility, scalability and economic efficiency – minimising the risk of data exposure.
A common example of using the hybrid cloud is when a company has an ERP in a private cloud and also implements ERP in a public cloud to guarantee the continuity of its business in the event of serious unavailability of the local structure.
How can communication be carried out between different clouds, public and private?
The connection between public clouds and private clouds can be made in several ways, namely:
- APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
- VPNs(Virtual Private Networks)
- WANs (Wide Area Networks)
The concept of multicloud consists of the use of two or more computing structures in the cloud. The combination aims to use different cloud service providers in order to increase computing capacity, security and availability, or reduce/optimise costs.
One of the advantages of using a multicloud strategy is the ease to choose the best options for cloud services on the market. With this flexibility, it is possible to gather no same project benefits as:
- Investment optimisation: the option for multicloud allows you to use the most competitive combination of services in terms of prices and resource capacity.
- Integration of services from different clouds: With the possibility of using different providers and types of clouds, having more options to manage cloud services in a way that meets the organization’s needs in a more personalised way.
- The best of breed: being able to take advantage of the best solutions that each cloud service provider has to offer. One cloud service provider may have a better offer for storing files or databases, and another cloud service provider may have a better offer for machine learning.
- Resilience in data storage: Multicloud is seen as a way to avoid data loss or downtime due to application failures in the cloud. Also, it is considered as a security option in the event of some type of blocking by the cloud provider.
- Orchestration in data management: Orchestration tools automate and coordinate complex system administration processes, for example, data storage, application configurations, databases, web servers and load balancers.
- Flexibility in the use of resources: The versatility of multicloud, also allows organizations to keep computing resources as close as possible to their users to obtain optimal performance and minimum latency.
- The use of different clouds also allows companies to keep updated and always use the latest technological innovations developed by cloud service providers.
What is the difference between Hybrid Cloud and Multicloud?
A Hybrid cloud can be considered a Multicloud, and a Multicloud can also be considered a Cloud Hybrid, however, they are different concepts.
The concept of Hybrid Cloud is applied when facing an architecture that combines two types of cloud, a public cloud and a private cloud. The concept of Multicloud refers to the combination of two public clouds from different cloud providers.
Before choosing a model (Cloud Hybrid or MultiCloud), you should look at the company’s needs to find the best solution. Both concepts have advantages for the business, and it is here that a specialist who analyses your needs, priorities and the intended objectives can be an asset to help you decide the type of approach and investment to make.