Last updated on January 6th, 2023

Global cloud adoption rate has been expanding rapidly especially in the past few years since it distinctively provides more security than local servers and eliminates the need to worry about losing your crucial data in case of an unpredictable disaster.

However, rapid growth of cloud technologies is particularly confusing to businesses new to cloud adoption, and they sometimes go wrong while choosing the right cloud model. Since there is no single best cloud computing model, enterprises need to understand their requirements before opting for one because as the technologies change, they continuously try to adopt the right cloud to achieve their business goals over time.

Apart from maintaining data on only a private or a public cloud server, the other two cloud models — hybrid cloud and multi-cloud — offer flexibility, ease to deploy tailored infrastructures and provide the benefits of both private cloud and public cloud. However, both these architectures have a distinct definition and purpose.

As per Gartner, over 85% of enterprises are going to shift to a cloud-first strategy before 2025 and without the use of cloud-native technologies and architecture, it is impossible to execute their digital strategies.

According to Statista, hybrid cloud’s market share ($52 million dollars in 2020) will reach $145 billion dollars in 2026, which is almost a 200% increase. It is also estimated that Asia Pacific region will see the highest growth rate.

hybrid cloud vs multi cloudFig 1- Hybrid cloud market size worldwide in 2020 and 2026 (expected)

Read on further to learn more about both hybrid and multi-cloud architecture in detail, know the difference between them and understand which approach to use when.

What is Hybrid Cloud?

A hybrid cloud is a computing environment offering greater flexibility and more data deployment options by helping organizations connect at least one private cloud and one public cloud.

This approach is widespread since it enables users to carry on with their private cloud servers while also taking advantage of public cloud options.

Enterprises deploy workloads in private environments and public clouds allowing them to switch between them as their computing needs and costs change, enabling flexibility.

Switching to hybrid cloud computing enables organizations to scale computing resources, saves the need to invest huge capital in purchasing additional resources and provides the organization an opportunity to multiply their cloud computing capacity.

hybrid cloud vs multi cloud
Fig.2- Hybrid Cloud Basic Structure

5 Reasons why Businesses Should Switch to a Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud hosting offers the benefits of both private and public clouds to enterprises while taking advantage of the existing infrastructure. By choosing the right combination of private and public cloud for your tasks at hand, you can eliminate the disadvantages associated with using either public or private cloud public or private cloud exclusively.

Hybrid cloud benefits organizations in many ways. Let’s look at the major ones:

  1. Cost Management: Shifting to a hybrid cloud model eliminates the need to purchase your own data center equipment. Organizations with hybrid cloud technology can save huge capital costs by only paying for the cloud services and resources they use.
  2. Business continuity: By putting in place a hybrid cloud architecture, the downtime for maintenance or repair can be significantly lowered as a hybrid cloud set-up typically comprises multiple servers which are often located in physically separate data centers. So, in case of failure of one server, business operations will continue to function due to the availability of backup servers. Furthermore, as hybrid clouds are highly scalable, in case there is a surge in the number of users, they can be scaled instantly to meet the requirements.
  3. Security: A hybrid cloud provides consistent security by storing sensitive information in a private environment and non-sensitive information in a public cloud environment. Thus, organizations can comply with various data privacy rules and regulations such as HIPAA and GDPR. Also, the risk of private and confidential information getting exposed in security breaches —which are, unfortunately all too common these days — is eliminated.
  4. Scalability: A hybrid cloud set-up enables better resource allocation and control to businesses. The storage, RAM, CPU and GPU resources are all scalable just like on a public cloud and can cater to more demand when needed.
  5. Reliability: Since the data is securely stored across multiple data centers, it is less prone to data failure or any security breach, as data is encrypted, and IDS is used with multiple security layers. Even if one of the servers fails, you would not lose the data and its copy will be available on other available servers. This is helpful especially when you are using a third-party backup service as you will not be able to retrieve the data instantaneously. Moreover, the data centers are kept physically secure as well.

Hence, hybrid cloud is ideal for those organizations that want to avoid the cost of setting up a private cloud infrastructure and reduce their dependence on it. By adding public cloud to your private setup, you can expand your computing capacity and leverage speed and security of private cloud, combined with the scalability of public cloud.

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What is Multi Cloud?

In multi-cloud computing, organizations distribute applications and services across multiple clouds (either public clouds, private clouds, or a combination of public, private, and edge clouds).

Why Multi-Cloud is Important for your Business?

The one major difference which makes multi-cloud distinct from hybrid cloud is that it consists of two or more clouds (either public or private cloud) from different cloud vendors to perform a distinct pre-defined task, unlike a hybrid cloud where at least one private and one public cloud works in unison to perform the same job.

Additionally, we primarily use hybrid cloud to store diverse types of data, however, we use different cloud models in multi-cloud, for a specific task.

For example, if a cloud provider has the best GPU performance, we subscribe to that provider’s GPU service and likewise other services from another provider and assemble our multi-cloud server.

A multi-cloud solution refers to the combination of Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) model. You can also convert your hybrid cloud to a multi-cloud if more than one public cloud model is combined along with private cloud resources.

Multi-cloud offers different cloud services from more than one provider; for instance, Cloud A for enterprise databases and Cloud B for application workloads.

multi cloud vs hybrid cloudFig.3- Multi-Cloud Basic Structure

De-mystifying how Multi-cloud Approach can Boost your Business Strategy?

A multi-cloud approach presents enterprises with a wide range of benefits, from choice of options when it comes to selecting vendors, flexibility, and more technical benefits, as well as other benefits including:

  • Avoid vendor-lock in: Instead of relying on one vendor for all software requirements, a multi-cloud approach enables businesses to deploy multiple specialist services to avoid being locked into one vendor or service provider.
  • Security and risk reduction: Since multi-cloud solution is a combination of more than one service, if one of your cloud providers has a temporary failure, you can temporarily switch to another setup and pay as per use or you can choose to permanently shift to a new cloud provider if the existing cloud service does not meet your expectations.
  • Scalability: A multi-cloud setup offers almost unlimited scalability as there is always an option to increase or decrease the number of cloud servers depending on the number of visitors you’re getting on your website. As workload on your servers increases, you can simply opt for more servers to balance the workload instead of over-burdening the existing servers.
  • Business Agility: A multi-cloud approach empowers organizations to easily resize their compute and other resources according to their unique requirements, along with letting them manage everything remotely. For example, if you are unable to keep up with the growing resource demands of your company in-house, some of the tasks can be outsourced to other cloud providers and if there are too many tasks outsourced, you can simply cancel some of the services and transfer those tasks on-premises.

Multi-cloud is particularly beneficial for those organizations that want to distribute computing workloads, minimize the risk of data loss, want to avoid vendor lock-in, want to replicate and split their workloads and have their offices across multiple locations.

Why do organizations use hybrid and multi-cloud approach, and which one should you go for?

Both hybrid cloud and multi-cloud mean more than one cloud is deployed and integrated. The only difference lies in the kind of cloud infrastructure they provide.

  • A multi-cloud system can be built with any combination of cloud architecture. An on-premises server can also be included in the multi-cloud model.
  • A hybrid cloud model will always include public and on-premises infrastructure setup or a privately hosted cloud.

Now that we have covered some of the fundamental differences between hybrid cloud and multi-cloud, let us look at a summary of these differences in the table below.

You can choose a suitable cloud model for your organization by comparing these two cloud deployment models using different points of consideration.

hybrid cloud vs multi cloud
Fig no.4- Hybrid Cloud vs Multi-Cloud

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