A Computing Delta study among 180 IT leaders at UK IaaS/PaaS-using organisations with 100 to 10,000 employees shows a growing interest in the concept of multi-cloud as a way of increasing agility and reducing vendor lock-in.
As ever, it's a good idea to define terms as one person's multi-cloud can be another's hybrid cloud.
By multi-cloud we mean the use of private or public cloud services from different vendors. There are two types of multi-cloud setup. The cloud services can be integrated with data and applications able to move between them, or they can be completely separate. The latter is quite common in large organisations where there are multiple teams each with their own favourite platform.
For hybrid cloud we used the following definition: public and private cloud in a single deployment with a degree of integration between them, usually from one vendor.
Current use of IaaS and PaaS
We looked first at current cloud strategies. The current state of play is shown in the figure below. Around about a third of respondents said multi-cloud bet described their current strategy with separate clouds more common than the integrated version. The most prevalent strategy was hybrid cloud.
Ideal use of IaaS and PaaS
We also asked, ‘what would be your ideal greenfield cloud setup if the various issues with skills, integration and so on magically went away?'
As the diagram shows, the integrated multi-cloud setup has suddenly become much more popular at the expense of both hybrid cloud and the separate multi-cloud, suggesting that for some companies at least, these are essentially holding positions, and that they will move towards the integrated approach when this becomes feasible.
Two per cent of organisations said they wish to move off cloud altogether and go back completely to on-premises. Interestingly, the figure for a single-cloud vendor was also higher, suggesting that many are happy with the rate of evolution in their current cloud provider and are not worried about issues of lock-in.
In a future article we'll be looking at the perceived benefits of integrated multi-cloud, ways of achieving them as well as some significant hurdles that remain in the way of its adoption.
Multi-cloud will also be a topic for discussion in our forthcoming Deskflix virtual event Data Mobility: Manage, Store, Secure which will be looking at data portability, intelligent storage, hybrid strategies, and more. See the agenda and register for the event.
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