Multi-Cloud Architectures

It is not strange to find organizations using multiple Cloud Service Providers (CSP) to deploy their cloud applications. There are many reasons organizations would want to use a multi-cloud approach for deploying their cloud applications. We will now take a look at some of these reasons.


Designing for Redundancy and High Availability

Even though each CSP has resilience and redundancy baked into in their platforms, there is still a possibility of a CSP outage. The outage could be related to platform software changes which can affect an entire zone or region. When the cloud application is deployed across multiple CSPs, this limits the footprint of such an outage to only one CSP.


Leveraging Unique Capabilities of each Cloud Service Provider

Not all clouds are born equal. Whilst all CSPs services and pricing appear similar, some CSPs will deliver a particular technology better than the other.

For example, an organization looking for optimal Oracle Database performance might favour Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). This is because OCI has engineered systems that comprise of hardware optimized to make Oracle workloads perform better than in traditional database hardware found on other CSP environments.

This article shows a simple multi-cloud scenario. The front-end (web servers and load-balancers) are deployed in GCP, whilst the database is deployed in AWS.

Similarly, an organization planning to deploy a Managed Kubernetes cluster might favour Google Cloud platform. Other CSPs can also deliver managed Kubernetes. But it is reasonable to expect that Google, as the open source platform leader that created Kubernetes, will introduce new cutting-edge features before others.

This implies that organizations should pick their CSP for best-of-breed solutions unique to each CSP.


Optimizing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Another reason for using multiple cloud service providers is to lower the TCO of moving workloads to the cloud. This is all about transaction cost economics. Cloud service providers compete fiercely on pricing.

For example, we might find that AWS is cheaper on storage archiving with Amazon Glacier than other cloud service providers. So if an organization is primarily looking for an archiving solution, they might select AWS if they offer the lowest prices.

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