The Difference Between Multi-Cloud vs. Hybrid Cloud

The terms "multi-cloud" and "hybrid cloud" are sometimes used interchangeably but have different meanings. Learn more ...

The terms "multi-cloud" and "hybrid cloud" are sometimes used interchangeably but have different meanings. Learn more about multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud implementations to accurately define the information technology goals of an organization.

What Is Multi-Cloud vs. Hybrid Cloud?

A multi-cloud implementation involves buying services from more than one cloud provider. A growing majority of large businesses use more than one private or public cloud service. Enterprise market research indicates that multi-cloud utilization rates will rise from 76% to 85% in 2024.

Businesses that maintain on-premises data centers or use edge computing locations in addition to cloud deployments exemplify a hybrid model. Hybrid implementation is less common than multi-cloud architecture. In a recent survey, only 40% of participating organizations reported combining on-premises infrastructure with cloud environments.

A multi-cloud implementation can enable an enterprise to benefit from the best features of various cloud providers. On the other hand, a hybrid implementation may be necessary to store data or run apps on premises, maintain legacy systems, meet regulatory requirements or perform near-the-source processing to reduce latency.

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Is Multi-Cloud the Same as Hybrid Cloud?

The main difference between hybrid cloud and multi-cloud implementations involves the location of servers, storage and networking equipment, and the responsibility for managing and maintaining services. An organization that hosts a private cloud on premises is an example of a hybrid implementation. If the same organization also uses a remotely hosted private or public cloud, it has both hybrid and multi-cloud architecture.

An arrangement that includes remotely hosted public and private clouds is multi-cloud, and could also be described as mixed cloud, but is not hybrid. This can be the best approach for organizations that need a private cloud but are not subject to location requirements for hosting and also want to take advantage of innovative features on public clouds.

There are many reasons why multi-cloud implementations with public or private clouds are more common than hybrid architecture. Cloud service providers can eliminate the need for business customers to acquire, set up and maintain servers, hardware, software and networking equipment. An enterprise that does not need to keep using legacy systems on site temporarily or on an ongoing basis is likely to get more from single- or multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud architecture.

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When Should an Organization Consider a Multi-Cloud Implementation?

Multi-cloud implementations enable organizations to take advantage of a wide range of features and services offered by multiple cloud providers. Here are a few reasons why stakeholders might prefer to pursue a multi-cloud approach rather than a single-cloud stack:

  • Innovations in different cloud environments
  • Reliability for mission-critical workloads
  • Speed and performance for demanding workloads
  • Redundancy to increase resilience
  • Limiting single cloud dependency and lock-in

Two or more public clouds or a mix of private and public clouds meet the infrastructure needs of many organizations. A multi-cloud approach can be particularly useful for distributing workloads across computing environments.

A business could conduct computational or networking operations in one or more cloud environments while using database services on additional clouds. Stakeholders can also pursue different types of implementations to meet regulatory requirements for hosting applications or storing and processing user data.

Whether a business wants to control costs on a single provider or maintain an existing deployment while gaining the benefits of services available through another provider, multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud implementation could be the answer. These are just a few reasons why multi-cloud deployments are the leading approach to enterprise cloud computing.

Cloud in front of city

When Could a Hybrid Cloud Be Ideal?

Hybrid cloud architecture tends to be more complex than single cloud stacks or multi-cloud implementations. This approach could still be the best choice in several scenarios:

  • A gradual approach to transformation
  • Mainframe systems or other infrastructure that is difficult to migrate
  • Edge computing locations
  • Running apps on premises
  • Compliance with location-based data governance regulations

A hybrid approach can present unique challenges in terms of integrating and promoting visibility across systems. Organizations that do not need to retain legacy systems and are not subject to regulatory requirements for running apps or storing and processing user data in specific locations tend to pursue multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud implementations.

Stakeholders should consider whether the reasons for a hybrid implementation are short-term or long-term when making decisions about cloud transformation. Cloudficient offers an array of onboarding and offboarding solutions to facilitate any approach to transformation, including hybrid implementations.

The cost of hybrid cloud deployment can exceed rates for hosted cloud services. On-premises systems require IT spend on purchasing and maintaining hardware and software in addition to maintaining staff with technical expertise. The ability to cut internal IT expenses is often a strong selling point for third-party hosted cloud services.

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What Is the Difference Between Hybrid Cloud and Mixed Cloud?

Some IT professionals use the term "hybrid cloud" when referring to organizations that rely on both public and private clouds. This usage makes it harder to differentiate multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud implementations that involve maintaining on-premises data centers or remote edge locations. The term "mixed cloud" is a better way to describe a combination of public and private clouds.

An organization that uses two or more public and private cloud environments has a mixed cloud implementation. If the private cloud for an organization is physically located in an on-site data center and the organization also uses one or more public clouds, this approach is both hybrid and mixed.

These distinctions go beyond semantics to specify the precise type of implementation that an organization has or plans to have after transformation. Using the correct terms in a vision plan can clarify the internal goals and priorities of an organization and account for external factors, such as compliance with regulations.


How Do Multi-Cloud vs. Hybrid Cloud Implementations Compare?

Deciding on a multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud approach enables a business to benefit from technical innovations made by multiple cloud providers. A hybrid approach can combine on-premises IT infrastructure with private or public cloud environments. Cloudficient helps organizations identify and pursue the best approach to transformation.

With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide experienced services at an affordable price that is scalable, fast and seamless.

If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.

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