Multicloud vs. Hybrid Cloud: What's the Difference?

Uncover the best cloud solution for your organization's needs by carefully considering the common features and architectural differences between multicloud and hybrid cloud.

Are you having a difficult time deciding whether to go with a multicloud versus hybrid-cloud setup for your business? You're not alone. Both options have their pros and cons, and it can be tough to decide which is the best solution for your particular needs. In this post, we'll break down the key differences between multicloud and hybrid-cloud setups so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your organization. 

What is Multicloud? 

Multicloud, as the name suggests, is the use of multiple cloud services. Many of these cloud services are open to the public and frequently come from a variety of different cloud providers. A multicloud use case would be an organization that uses, for example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its computer needs, Microsoft Azure for its storage needs, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for its machine-learning needs. Multicloud allows an organization to have more than one provider for their critical applications and data. Multicloud benefits include: 

  • Increased flexibility and agility 
  • More options for where to store data 
  • Ease of handling spikes in traffic 

The primary benefit of utilizing a multicloud strategy is that if one cloud service goes down, you can fall back on another cloud provider. But multicloud can also introduce more complexity into an organization's IT infrastructure. For example, an organization will need to manage multiple sets of credentials, billing arrangements, and service-level agreements. They will also need to ensure that their data is properly backed up and synchronized across all their cloud providers. Businesses that go for this option will benefit from a data management service. 

What is Hybrid Cloud? 

Hybrid cloud, on the other hand, is a mix of both. A hybrid cloud solution is a combination of two or more clouds that are connected to create a single integrated environment. Hybrid clouds can be either a public cloud or a private cloud. A public cloud is a cloud that is open to the public. Anyone can use it. A private cloud is a cloud that is for just one individual or company. Businesses may choose this strategy for reasons such as: 

  • Easier management and upkeep 
  • Increased security and privacy 
  • More flexibility and scalability 
  • Lower costs in the long run 

A hybrid cloud example would be an organization that uses a private cloud for sensitive data and applications while using a public cloud for less critical data and applications. 

Architectural Differences of the Hybrid Cloud and Multicloud 

There are several architectural differences between hybrid-cloud and multicloud setups. The most obvious difference is that a hybrid cloud is made up of multiple clouds, while a multicloud environment is made up of multiple cloud services. Additionally, the clouds that are used in a hybrid cloud are usually connected in some way, while the clouds that are used in a multicloud are usually not connected. 

Thus, IT managers can manage multiple clouds from a single dashboard with hybrid cloud. In contrast, multicloud services offered by each cloud are managed separately, even though data needs to be shared between them. 

Hybrid Cloud vs Multicloud: Which Should Businesses Choose?  

When it comes to hybrid cloud versus multicloud, it all depends on several factors. These include: 

Cost 

Hybrid cloud and multicloud each have their own cost considerations that businesses must consider. A hybrid cloud can be more expensive than traditional on-premises infrastructure since it requires the use of both on-premises and public cloud resources. Multicloud can be less expensive than hybrid cloud since businesses can choose the most cost-effective public clouds for each workload. 

Security 

Hybrid cloud security relies on both on-premises and public cloud security measures. Multicloud security, on the other hand, relies solely on the security measures of the individual public clouds. 

Hybrid cloud has the advantage of being able to customize security measures to fit the specific needs of the business. Multicloud, on the other hand, can be more difficult to manage from a security perspective, as each public cloud has its own security measures. In general, hybrid cloud is more secure than multicloud, as it offers more flexibility and control over security measures. 

IT Management and Cloud Maintenance  

When it comes to IT management and cloud maintenance, hybrid cloud and multicloud each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Hybrid cloud is typically more expensive and complex to manage than multicloud but offers greater flexibility in terms of which applications and workloads can be run on which platform. Multicloud, on the other hand, is generally less expensive and easier to manage than hybrid cloud, but it may be less flexible in terms of application and workload placement. 

So, which should you choose? It really depends on your specific needs and requirements. Those who need maximum flexibility in terms of application and workload placement may be better off with hybrid cloud, while those who prioritize cost savings and ease of management may prefer multicloud. 

Cloud Migration 

When comparing hybrid cloud and multicloud, it's important to consider the factors that influence cloud migration. One of the biggest benefits of multicloud is the ability to choose the right provider for each task. This can increase efficiency and performance, as well as reduce costs. For example, you might use a public cloud provider for storage and compute tasks, and a private cloud provider for sensitive data. Migration between clouds can also be easier with multicloud. With hybrid cloud, you're locked into a single provider, which can make it difficult to migrate to another provider if needed. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hybrid or Multicloud Strategy 

Reliability 

Both hybrid-cloud and multicloud strategies have their own benefits and drawbacks in terms of reliability. With a hybrid cloud, businesses can have some applications and data reside on-premises while other applications and data are stored in the cloud. This can be helpful for businesses that are concerned about the security of their data or who want quicker access to certain applications. However, if the on-premises infrastructure goes down, then the entire business is impacted. 

Multicloud, on the other hand, means having data and applications spread out across multiple clouds. This can be helpful for businesses that want to ensure their data is always available or that want to take advantage of different pricing options from different providers. However, managing multiple clouds can be more complicated and can lead to higher costs if not done correctly. 

Vendor Lock-In 

Both hybrid-cloud and multicloud strategies have the potential for vendor lock-in. With a hybrid cloud, businesses are typically locked into the provider they choose for their on-premises infrastructure. Multicloud can also lead to vendor lock-in, especially if businesses rely on a single provider for all their cloud services. This can be a problem if that provider experiences technical difficulties or raises its prices. Businesses should be aware of the potential for vendor lock-in when considering a hybrid or multicloud strategy and weigh the risks and benefits carefully. 

Resources Needed for Implementation and Maintenance 

When it comes to resources needed for implementation and maintenance, hybrid cloud and multicloud have different requirements. With a hybrid cloud, businesses need to have an on-premises infrastructure in place as well as the necessary staff to manage it. Multicloud does not require on-premises infrastructure, but businesses will need to have staff in place who are familiar with multiple cloud providers and how to manage them. 

Lyve Cloud for Building a Hybrid or Multicloud Environment 

So, which type of cloud is the best for your business? The answer to that question depends on factors including your budget, vendor lock-in, and how much technical expertise you have in-house.  

Seagate Lyve Cloud supports an effective hybrid or multicloud environment by partnering with existing cloud vendors to optimize its efficiency, storage capacity, ease of use, and cost. Incorporating Seagate Lyve Cloud into your greater cloud architecture delivers a customized solution for your business needs.  

If you’re still not sure which option is best for you, don’t worry—we can help. Talk to one of our Seagate Lyve Cloud experts by submitting an inquiry here. We’re happy to provide tailored advice based on your specific business needs.