It is not always possible or necessary for an organization to rely solely on cloud resources. For example, requirements might call for on-premises infrastructure for privacy reasons. Alternatively, some organizations might use both on-premises infrastructure and public cloud services provided by companies like AWS, Azure, or Google.
With the availability of different options and configurations, in this blog we’ll help coalesce around definitions for private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, and hybrid multi-cloud. We will also address when an organization might choose one or more approaches.
Private cloud describes architectures that are based on virtualized servers and software in an organization’s data centers or compute services dedicated to a single entity (examples include AWS VPC, Cisco Quickstart, Dell APEX, Google VPC, HPE GreenLake. A private cloud may be accessed via a local area network, dedicated circuit, or the Internet. Private cloud computing gives an organization many of the benefits, including self-service, scalability, elasticity, and customization.
This approach is often applied when:
- The organization has made significant infrastructure investments
- Data must be kept on-premises for regulatory reasons
Public cloud describes architectures that are based on cloud services like compute, storage, database, analytics, and serverless functions provided by cloud vendors noted above, among many other options. Public cloud services are accessed normally over the internet. Data privacy and residency are key considerations while choosing a public cloud platform; each vendor has different strengths.
This approach is often applied when:
- An organization opts to forego investment for on-premises infrastructure
- Cloud-based business services, like CRM, payroll, HR, single sign-on, and others are often more convenient and cost effective than off-the-shelf or homegrown software
Hybrid cloud describes architectures that are running in a combination of different environments. The most common example is combining a private and public cloud environment like an on-premises data center for some workloads and public cloud-applications and services such as Salesforce for CRM and AWS EC2 for compute resources.
This approach is often applied when:
- An organization has made significant infrastructure investments
- For some business services, like CRM, payroll, HR, single sign-on, and others, public cloud services are simply more convenient and cost effective
Multi-Cloud describes architectures that combine two or more public cloud providers such as Google plus Amazon and/or Microsoft Azure (or others). An organization might choose multi-cloud if they want to take advantage of the key strengths of different public cloud providers. According to the recent State of Infrastructure Management: 2023 report by Dimensional Research, 82% of organizations are working with two or more public cloud providers.
This approach is applied when:
- An organization might choose multi-cloud if they want to take advantage of the key strengths of different public cloud providers
- Regional enterprise or government agency decisions aren’t required to follow a “centralized” dictate
- MSPs must follow their customer’s preference for which cloud they prefer
Figure 1: Hybrid Multi-cloud Data Center
Hybrid Multi-Cloud describes architectures that operate a combination of on-premises and multiple public cloud environments, effectively being both hybrid and multi-cloud simultaneously.
Benefits of Hybrid Multi-Cloud
- Access to the latest technologies. Running workloads in hybrid multi-cloud environment empowers organizations to leverage the latest innovations and capabilities from each cloud provider to take a best-in-class approach to cloud features and obtain the scale, security, and agility to innovate quickly. Cloud can help organizations build out capabilities such as advanced analytics services that might be difficult or impossible to implement in on-premises environments.
- Modernize at the right pace. With a hybrid multi-cloud strategy, organizations can migrate applications to the cloud at the pace that makes sense for their business, and transform their technical infrastructure over time.
- Improved return on investment. By adding a multiple public cloud providers to their existing on-premises infrastructure, organizations can expand their cloud computing capacity and achieve flexibility and price advantages without increasing their data center expenses. This can help reduce capital and operational expenses as well as improve transparency regarding costs and resource consumption.
- Flexibility through choice of tools. Hybrid multi-cloud strategies have advantages for organizations as a whole, but specifically benefit development teams that are working on different projects and tackling unique challenges across different lines of business. A wider choice of tools and developer talent can be applied to a particular business problem, which means responding better to changing market demands. It also avoids vendor lock-in concerns.
- Improve reliability and resiliency. Organizations can distribute core workloads across multiple cloud and on-premises infrastructures to reduce downtime and concerns about over dependence on a single source of failure. This approach can improve the quality and availability of a service.
- Maintain regulatory compliance. Many industries have rules from governmental or regulatory bodies regarding where their application(s) can operate. Adopting a hybrid solution is an effective way for an organization to ensure compliance with regional data governance, residency and digital sovereignty requirements.
- Running apps on-premises. Organizations may have regulated applications that must remain on-premises or mainframe systems that are difficult to move to the cloud. A hybrid multi-cloud approach provides the freedom and flexibility to innovate while still meeting legacy technology needs.
- Running apps at remote edge locations. Organizations and industries that run distributed apps at remote locations such as kiosks and retail or networks and telecom, can benefit from hybrid multi-cloud strategies to meet cost, geographical, or regulatory requirements. These apps often require improved performance and low latency, and a hybrid multi-cloud approach lets them run select apps at the network edge.
A hybrid multi-cloud approach is an increasingly common infrastructure setup today because organizations can continue to use their on-premises infrastructure (traditional or private cloud) while also taking advantage of optimized public cloud options.
Figure 2: Unified Hybrid Cloud Observability with DX UIM
With DX UIM by Broadcom, monitoring hybrid multi-cloud results in these benefits:
- Optimize resources. Visibility into your cloud computing environments allows you to ensure appropriate resources to meet peak demand and avoid cloud sprawl
- Prevent downtime. Mange your cloud’s overall health and decrease MTTR so you can prevent downtime, ensuring an optimal digital customer experience
- Increase cloud confidence. Cloud monitoring ensures optimal digital customer experience and increases the business’s confidence in cloud computing
- End to end visibility. Cloud computing often includes on premise resources; monitoring needs to include cloud, WAN, and on-premise visibility
DX UIM for cloud observability provides a single platform with coverage of traditional, virtual, and modern hybrid cloud technologies. It mitigates the tool sprawl that comes with multiple environments requiring proprietary monitoring tools, while at the same time provides a unified view of the modern occurrence of hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure environments.