Multicloud: Everything you need to know about the biggest trend in cloud computing

Cloud computing adoption is well established in enterprises, SMEs and startups. But how much cloud should a business adopt? How should workloads be deployed — across public, private and hybrid clouds? And if multiple cloud providers (public and/or private) are used, which ones should you choose, and how can they be managed to a business’s best advantage?

This article examines some of these questions, while the remainder of this ZDNet/TechRepublic special report covers these and other multicloud-related issues in more detail.

Multicloud

It’s worth distinguishing between ‘multicloud’ and ‘hybrid cloud’ at this point, as there is some scope for confusion here. ‘Hybrid cloud’ has traditionally meant the combination of private (either on-premises or hosted in a colocation facility) and public cloud infrastructure, with orchestration tools used to deploy workloads and manage the balance between the two — employing public cloud resources for regular or episodic bursts of compute and/or storage requirements, for example.

‘Multicloud’, by contrast, has more of a strategic emphasis, describing how enterprises use multiple cloud providers to meet different technical or business requirements. At its most granular, multicloud means cloud-native applications built from containers and microservices using component services from different cloud providers.

How do multi-cloud strategies play out in practice?

A July 2018 survey by analyst firm Forrester on behalf of Virtustream found that 86% of respondents (727 cloud strategy and application management decision makers in the US, EMEA and APAC) characterised their organisations’ cloud strategy as ‘multicloud’, identifying most with the description ‘Using multiple public and private clouds for different application workloads’:

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