What Is Multicloud? 

Multicloud is a strategy that involves using two or more cloud computing platforms. These platforms can include public, private, or hybrid clouds. The primary purpose of adopting a multicloud approach is to eliminate reliance on a single cloud provider. This can provide organizations with greater flexibility, provide potential cost savings, and makes it possible to take advantage of different capabilities and services offered by different cloud providers.

Beyond these immediate benefits, a multicloud strategy enables optimization of IT infrastructure. It allows organizations to match specific workloads with the most suitable cloud environments based on technical requirements, regulatory compliance, performance criteria, and cost considerations. By strategically selecting cloud providers for different needs, organizations can achieve a more resilient, agile, and efficient IT ecosystem. 

According to a report by 451 Research, 98% of organizations using the public cloud have adopted a multicloud strategy. 31% report they are using four or more cloud providers. According to the study, the top two drivers of multicloud adoption are data sovereignty and cost optimization.

In this article:

Multicloud Architecture vs. Hybrid Cloud Architecture 

In a multicloud architecture, each cloud platform is used independently according to its strengths. For instance, a company might use one cloud for compute services, another for data analytics software, and another for data storage. This allows the company to leverage the best features and capabilities of each cloud platform.

In a hybrid cloud architecture, an organization uses public and private cloud infrastructure. The public and private clouds are interconnected, allowing data and applications to move between them. This type of architecture provides businesses with more deployment options, freedom to move workloads on-premises when needed, and greater flexibility to scale on-premises resources by leveraging the public cloud.

6 Benefits of Multicloud 

The primary benefits of a multicloud strategy include:

  • Avoiding vendor lock-in: Vendor lock-in happens when a company becomes overly reliant on a single cloud service provider. By using multiple providers, a company can switch providers if needed, without experiencing a significant disruption to its operations.
  • Cost efficiency: By leveraging the strengths and capabilities of multiple cloud providers, a company can optimize its IT spend. Different providers offer different pricing models, and companies can choose the most cost-effective option for each workload.
  • Increased reliability and redundancy: By spreading workloads across multiple cloud platforms, a company can ensure that if one platform goes down, it has other platforms to rely on. This can help to minimize downtime and reduce risk.
  1. Enhanced disaster recovery capabilities: Utilizing multiple cloud providers can improve an organization’s disaster recovery plans by diversifying the risk. Should one cloud provider face a service disruption, others can serve as a failover.
  2. Compliance and data sovereignty: Multicloud environments can help meet regulatory compliance and data sovereignty requirements by allowing data to reside in specific geographic locations as mandated by law, providing more control over data residency.
  3. Tailored security strategies: Leveraging multiple clouds allows organizations to implement a layered security approach. Each cloud provider offers unique security tools and protocols, which can be combined to create a robust, multi-layered security posture.

Learn more in our detailed guide to multicloud benefits (coming soon)

Multicloud Use Cases and Examples 

There are many practical applications for multicloud strategies. Here are just a few examples:

Accelerate Digital Transformation and Delivery of New Applications

By leveraging multiple cloud platforms, organizations can access a wider range of technologies and services, enabling them to innovate and deploy applications faster than if they were constrained to a single cloud provider. 

This flexibility allows for the rapid experimentation and scaling of new applications, facilitating quicker responses to market changes and customer demands. Additionally, the ability to deploy across multiple clouds can enhance the resilience and global reach of applications, ensuring they perform optimally across different regions and meet local regulatory requirements.

Support the Rise of the Distributed Workforce

The rise of the distributed workforce has necessitated the need for flexible, accessible, and secure IT resources. A multicloud strategy supports this by providing the infrastructure to deploy and manage applications across various cloud environments, ensuring employees have reliable access to the tools and data they need, regardless of their location. 

A multicloud setup also allows organizations to adhere to data sovereignty laws by storing and processing data in specific regions, thus maintaining compliance while supporting a global workforce. By leveraging multiple clouds, businesses can create a seamless and secure work environment across diverse geographic locations.

Distribute Applications and Services to the Edge

Multicloud strategies, applications, and services are to be deployed closer to the edge, where data is generated and consumed. This approach reduces latency, improves performance, and enhances the user experience by processing data near its source. 

For example, an organization can use one cloud provider for centralized services and others for edge computing capabilities in various geographies. This optimizes application performance and supports the requirements of Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystems and mobile applications, where real-time processing and decision-making are critical.

Deploy Multicloud Kubernetes Clusters

Deploying multicloud Kubernetes clusters is a practical use case that exemplifies the advantages of a multicloud strategy. Kubernetes, an open-source platform for automating the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications, can run on virtually any cloud platform. By deploying Kubernetes clusters across multiple clouds, organizations can achieve high availability, disaster recovery, and flexibility in workload deployment. 

This approach allows workloads to be moved between clouds without being locked into a single provider’s ecosystem, optimizing costs and performance while leveraging specific cloud-native services offered by different providers.

Multicloud Management Challenges and How to Solve Them 

Maintaining Consistent Cloud Security and Compliance Policies

In a multicloud environment, ensuring consistent security and compliance across all platforms is a significant challenge. Each cloud provider has its own set of security tools and compliance controls, making it difficult to maintain a uniform security posture. To address this, organizations should adopt a centralized security management approach that applies uniform security policies across all cloud environments. 

This can be achieved through cloud management tools that offer centralized visibility and control over security policies and configurations. Adopting common security standards and frameworks, such as the CIS Benchmarks or NIST frameworks, can help ensure consistency. Regular security assessments and compliance audits across all cloud platforms are also essential to identify and mitigate risks and ensure that security and compliance policies are consistently enforced.

Consistently Deploying Applications Across Target Environments

Deploying applications consistently across multiple cloud environments requires a strategic approach to avoid compatibility issues and ensure seamless operations. 

One effective strategy is to use containerization technologies, such as Docker, and orchestration tools, like Kubernetes, which allow applications to be packaged and run uniformly across different cloud platforms. These technologies abstract the underlying infrastructure, enabling applications to be deployed consistently regardless of the cloud environment. 

Furthermore, implementing Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools, such as Terraform or Ansible, can automate the provisioning and management of cloud resources, ensuring a consistent deployment process across various platforms. Establishing CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment) pipelines that integrate with multiple cloud environments can also streamline deployment.

Federating and Visualizing Events from Logging and Monitoring Tools

In multicloud environments, logging and monitoring become complex due to each cloud provider’s different tools and formats. To overcome this, organizations should implement a centralized logging and monitoring solution to aggregate and normalize data from multiple sources. 

Modern big data and log analytics tools can collect, federate, and visualize logs and metrics across different cloud platforms, providing a unified view of the IT environment. This centralized approach enables IT teams to monitor the performance, security, and health of applications and infrastructure across all cloud environments effectively. 

Additionally, leveraging advanced analytics and AI/ML capabilities can help identify trends, predict potential issues, and automate response actions. Ensuring that logging and monitoring policies are consistently applied across all platforms is crucial for effective incident detection, response, and compliance reporting.

Managing Costs Across Multiple Clouds

Effectively managing costs in a multicloud environment presents challenges due to different cloud providers’ varying pricing models and services. Organizations should implement a comprehensive cost management strategy that includes regular monitoring, analysis, and optimization of cloud spend across all platforms to manage costs effectively.

One approach is to utilize cloud cost management tools that provide visibility into spending patterns, identify inefficiencies, and recommend areas for cost reduction. These tools can help organizations allocate budgets more accurately, set up alerts for budget overruns, and leverage automated policies to scale resources up or down based on demand. 

Moreover, organizations should foster a culture of cost awareness among their teams, encouraging the efficient use of cloud resources. Implementing chargeback or showback models can help attribute cloud costs to specific departments or projects, making stakeholders more accountable for their cloud usage.

Learn more about Anodot for multicloud cost management

Tips for Creating a Multicloud Strategy

Define Your Multicloud Objectives

When embarking on a multicloud strategy, consider what you aim to achieve through multicloud adoption—be it increased resilience, cost optimization, enhanced flexibility, or compliance with specific regulations. Understanding these objectives will guide your decision-making process, from selecting the right cloud service providers to determining the best management tools. It’s also essential to assess your organization’s readiness for multicloud, including technical capabilities, skills within your team, and potential impacts on IT operations.

Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives can help ensure your multicloud strategy is focused and effective. For example, an objective could be to reduce infrastructure costs by 20% within the first year of implementation by leveraging different cloud providers’ pricing models. By clearly defining your goals, you can better communicate and demonstrate the value of multicloud to stakeholders.

Choose the Right Cloud Service Provider

Evaluate providers based on their strengths, services, and compatibility with your specific workload requirements. Consider factors such as geographic coverage for data sovereignty concerns, specialized services for unique application needs, and the provider’s commitment to security and compliance standards. It’s also wise to assess potential providers’ financial health and market position to ensure long-term stability and support.

In addition to technical capabilities, consider the customer service and support providers offer. Strong technical support can significantly reduce the complexities involved in managing multicloud environments. Lastly, pay attention to the community and ecosystem surrounding a provider, including available third-party tools and services, which can enhance your cloud environment’s flexibility.

Use Automation Tools

Automation plays a critical role in effectively managing multicloud environments. It can significantly reduce the complexity, risk, and operational overhead of deploying, managing, and scaling applications across multiple cloud platforms. Invest in automation tools that support infrastructure as code (IaC), enabling you to provision and manage cloud resources through code instead of manual processes. Tools like Terraform, Ansible, and CloudFormation can help maintain consistency, repeatability, and scalability across your multicloud infrastructure.

Furthermore, tools that facilitate continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) can streamline the development, testing, and deployment of applications. This accelerates the pace of innovation and ensures that updates and new features can be rolled out more efficiently and reliably across different cloud environments.

Use a Zero Trust Approach

Implementing a zero-trust security model is essential in a multicloud environment. Zero trust operates on the principle that nothing inside or outside the network is trusted by default, and verification is required from everyone trying to access network resources. This approach minimizes the attack surface by ensuring access to resources is granted on a need-to-know basis, with strict identity verification and least privilege access controls.

In a multicloud context, a zero trust model involves integrating identity and access management (IAM) across cloud platforms, enforcing encryption in transit and at rest, and segmenting networks to limit lateral movement in case of a breach. By applying consistent security policies and controls across all cloud environments, organizations can protect sensitive data and applications from unauthorized access and potential threats, regardless of where resources are located.

Integrate Compliance

Ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulations is a complex but critical aspect of a multicloud strategy. Organizations must navigate the different compliance frameworks and controls across cloud providers while maintaining visibility and control over their data and workloads. To manage compliance effectively, integrate automated compliance monitoring and reporting tools to assess and document compliance across multiple clouds.

Adopting a unified compliance framework that maps to multiple regulations and standards can simplify compliance efforts, providing a common set of controls that apply across different environments. It’s important to regularly update your compliance strategy to reflect changes in regulations and changes in your multicloud environment and technology stack.

Implement FinOps

FinOps, or cloud financial management, is a practice that focuses on bringing financial accountability to the cloud’s variable-spend model. Implementing FinOps principles in a multicloud strategy involves establishing processes and utilizing tools to monitor, analyze, and optimize cloud costs across different providers. This requires collaboration across IT, finance, and business units to make informed decisions about cloud usage and investments.

Adopt cloud cost management tools that provide granular visibility into multicloud spending and utilize machine learning to identify optimization opportunities, such as rightsizing instances or selecting more cost-effective services. Establishing policies for resource allocation and decommissioning can prevent unnecessary spending. Regular reviews and adjustments based on consumption and business needs to ensure that multicloud investments deliver maximum value.


Anodot: AI-Based Cloud Management Solves Multicloud Challenges

Leveraging the advantages of AI, advanced cloud management solutions for multicloud deployments are a scalable and flexible method to mitigate the challenges companies face when migrating to multi-cloud deployments. 


Anodot is a multicloud management platform that provides:

Management of Cloud, Business and Revenue Metrics

Advanced AI Monitoring solutions can provide insights into the metrics of end-to-end operations. Simply, you can monitor your operations according to goals and costs.

With numerous metrics in place, an AI-driven cloud management solution can analyze all of the relevant data to provide a true picture of cloud costs. 

Correlation of Metrics and Costs

Specialized algorithms correlate metrics with costs. By monitoring your cloud metrics and your revenue and business metrics — you can understand the true unit economics of your SaaS customers, features, engineering teams, and more.

Real-Time Anomaly Detection and Cost Alerts

Suppose the system is not functioning properly or the cost of a particular activity is beyond the optimum amount. In that case, the system administrator will receive immediate alerts and can take the necessary steps to correct the situation.

This provides value in two important ways: First, detection of operational anomalies can prevent costly downtime and second, keep costs in check.

AI and ML Forecast Cloud Resource Usage

Advanced monitoring solutions provided by Anodot, come with embedded AI and ML features built-in. These can be leveraged to make predictions and forecast the usage of cloud resources across multiple vendors, and geographic locations according to seasonal demand. In this way, Cloud administrators can prepare themselves for the additional load they may face at any given time.

Visualization of End-to-End Cloud Operations

Visibility of all data in real time is an incredible advantage for solving many challenges in multi-cloud management.  Anodot’s AI-based cloud management solution provides a complete visual of cloud operations, making it clear to administrators how to optimize cloud resources according to business requirements and budgetary constraints.

Implementing Anodot’s cloud cost management solution has significant benefits for administrators, including:  

  •     Full control over multi-cloud costs
  •     Granular visibility into operations
  •     Correlation and insight on key cloud and business metrics
  •     Constant infrastructure optimization

Learn more about Anodot’s AI-based cloud cost management solution

Written by Perry Tapiero

Perry Tapiero is an experienced marketer specializing in demand generation across diverse B2B verticals such as AdTech, FinTech, and Cyber. With a focus on driving revenue and growth, Perry excels in developing and executing effective Go-To-Market strategies.

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