Since 2020, the cloud has taken center stage in a company’s IT strategy and budgeting. One popular strategy utilized by organizations is the adoption of multi-cloud. It was recently reported by Flexera in their State of the Cloud Report 2022, that 89% of organizations use a multi-cloud strategy. We thought we could take a look at the latest trends that IT leaders such as you can look at to maximize your returns from multi-cloud strategy.

What is multi-cloud?

A multi-cloud environment is where organizations use services from multiple public cloud providers, such as AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, etc simultaneously. Enterprises usually test and match cloud services to meet different workload needs, to realize cost advantages, and to ensure network availability.

Multi-cloud combines multiple cloud computing and storage resources into a single network architecture.

Why do organizations go for multi-cloud?

Multi-cloud environments offer number of benefits, including:

  • Fostering innovation by aligning workloads with the cloud service that best fits the use case.
  • Providing failover capabilities for better redundancy and disaster recovery.
  • Reducing the dependency on a single vendor by avoiding vendor lock in.
  • Providing pay-as-you-go models, where you don’t have to pay anything in advance.

The growth of multi-cloud environment

The growth of multi-cloud is happening already. Flexera’s 2022 State of the Cloud Report shows that more than one-third of enterprises (37%) report more than $12 million in annual spending on cloud computing. SMBs who run smaller workloads on the cloud usually have lower cloud bills. Yet 53% say they spend more than $1.2 million per year – up from 38 percent last year.

Multi-cloud trends to watch out for in 2022

1. Cost Management

Due to the COVID 19 lockdown, 2020 saw the shift of work from the office to the home, fueling an acceleration in cloud adoption. As a greater number of applications and data were made available to remote employees, multi-cloud solutions became essential for day-to-day operations. With the increase in cloud computing usage, the expense of adopting, managing and maintaining cloud environments also grew. Organizations are struggling to forecast spending accurately.

Cloud spends are more dynamic and need proper governance. To manage cloud costs, you need to monitor cloud usage and provider capabilities on a continuous basis in order to ensure you are getting optimal usage. Just as unused software and SaaS platforms are removed from the budget, you need to drill down and get a complete picture of your cloud workloads and usage before making decisions.

Cloud providers offer different pricing models depending on usage and types of services as shown below:

Pricing Strategy How it works
Pay as you go Suitable for workloads that have volatile peaks or special scalability needs. You will only pay for the computing resources that are utilized. Fees are calculated by the hour.
Save more when you commit Savings plans that offer 30% to 50% discount when instances are paid in advance for 1-3 years.
Pay less by using more This is a tiered pricing model where the more you use the less you pay. The data transfer into the cloud is free of charge and the price reduces following the principle of economies of scale.

It will take a more vigorous approach to managing cloud costs. Multi-cloud trends in 2022 will see the offloading of some workloads to a less expensive public cloud tier, and aggressive pricing negotiations with cloud providers. You can read more about how to optimize your cloud costs here.

2. Matching the right applications and cloud services

One of the biggest advantages of multi-cloud computing is the ability to select the cloud providers that provide the best environment for your applications.

Cloud providers are rolling out new capabilities every day in order to stay ahead of the competition and provide a more attractive solution for their customers. This flexibility lets you select the provider that can deliver the maximum support and capability for the organization. The 2022 trend to watch out for is the mixing of capabilities and cost points to get the best output from applications.

3. Using containers for faster deployment

One of the fastest-growing multi-cloud trends is the use of containers to deploy applications faster. Container technologies, such as Dockers and Kubernetes, allow developers to build, package and deploy applications faster.

As containers are a self-contained environment, they allow developers to focus on the logic and application dependencies, while the operations team can focus on deploying and managing applications. There is no need to worry about the configurations and platform versions.

This versatile ability to transport workloads, data, applications, and microservices between clouds, is the reason why the container market is expected to grow at a 30% rate at $4.2 billion by this year, according to 451 Research.

4. Serverless Computing

Another multi-cloud trend is the growing use of serverless computing. With serverless architecture, you can outsource the physical hardware, virtual machine operating systems, and web server management. The outsourced partner also manages other tasks, such as upscaling or downscaling servers and patching of applications. All you need to do is work on the application code.

With serverless computing, you only pay for the resources you use. Scaling up or down of infrastructure is done automatically and allows you to avoid managing the cloud infrastructure.

5. Cross-Cloud Integration

As a multi-cloud infrastructure involves multiple cloud service providers, integrated your applications or data across cloud platforms can be challenging. Containerization and cloud-native applications help in reducing the integration challenges to a certain degree. Looking ahead, we can expect to see companies focus on better integration and more workload sharing in multi-cloud environments at lower costs.

6. Multi-Cloud Security

Working with multiple cloud providers can ensure business continuity and provide additional failover options. If your primary cloud provider suffers an attack, you can switch over to another provider and continue to operate.

Organizations that adopt multi-cloud environments look for security tools that are native to the cloud provider. With this in mind, over the last few years cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services(AWS) and Microsoft have made strategic acquisitions to improve their security features. Some of the acquisitions include:

  • AWS acquired Sqrrl, a security startup from Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2018. The tool acquires data from several data points and collates them into a dashboard. It uses machine learning to determine potential security threats, enabling the IT security team to take corrective action.
  • Microsoft bought Blue Talon to help simplify data privacy and governance.
  • Google brought its enterprise security company, Chronicle, into Google Cloud and acquired Actifio to protect critical workloads.

The more cloud services providers you add to your portfolios, the greater the complexity of managing configuration and governance. We will see a rise in Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) which will help to unify compliance and configuration management across platforms.

Final words

Multi-cloud has many advantages that companies can leverage to get the most out of their cloud spending, but without proper planning, it can hamper your business growth. Many organizations are already using different cloud providers for various workloads, but they did this on an ad hoc basis. Combining multiple cloud services without the required planning and strategy can complicate your cloud architecture and dependencies.

We at Ziffity, are dedicated to transforming complex multi-cloud environments into simple and accessible infrastructure that helps you get the maximum from your data. Get in touch with us for a free consultation and let us show you how we can transform your data strategy.