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The sky-high rise of multi-cloud

By Simon Michie, Chief Technology Officer

The rapid growth of cloud shows no sign of slowing down with multi-cloud becoming mainstream as more and more organisations see the benefits such a strategy can offer in terms of efficiency, cost-effectiveness and ultimately profitability.

According to the Flexara 2020 State of the Cloud Report, 93% of those using cloud services have a multi-cloud strategy. A Gartner survey also found 81% of public cloud users reported using two or more providers, and looking ahead, IDC has predicted that global spending on public cloud services (including IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS) will approach $500 billion in 2023.

These figures are revealing, but not surprising. At Pulsant, we are increasingly seeing clients choosing multi-cloud as their preferred strategy, combining multiple cloud services with more traditional hosted and on-premise infrastructure. But why the shift and what are the main driving factors behind this trend?

What is driving multi-cloud?

We are seeing a growing recognition that a “best of breed” approach to cloud connectivity can enable the right balance of operating business-critical workloads on a stable platform, whilst allowing access to innovative technologies such as the Internet of things (IoT), machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Organisations may also be looking to avoid putting all their eggs in one vendor’s basket – fearing being locked-in by placing all of their workloads with a single provider or by using proprietary features. There are also commercial concerns about working with a single vendor who may elevate costs later on.

Another factor in the growth of multi-cloud is an increasing need to deploy applications near to those users and devices that require low latency, high bandwidth connections. A multi-cloud strategy ensures that the bulk of workloads are placed where it makes most sense.

Supporting the shift

It’s not just user demand that has driven the shift towards multi-cloud. Several other factors and developments have played a part, including the growing capability within the managed service provider community to provide the necessary transformation skills. Other industry developments include:

  • A maturity of tooling that can provide the data necessary to choose the most cost-efficient architecture and to optimise throughout the lifecycle
  • Applications that are architected deliberately to be able to operate across multiple platforms – for example, by using container technologies to provide an efficient and common abstraction layer
  • The ability to standardise the management of multiple platforms under one managed service provider with a common management and compliance framework
  • Reliable, high capacity global connectivity (to and between clouds) is now cost effective so it is less of a barrier to workload placement.

Taking the complexity out of multi-cloud

Whilst multi-cloud provides a multitude of benefits for organisations, it also brings new challenges. Accessing more public clouds means more complexity, and integrating those services together to enable a seamless operation can be difficult. Connectivity over the public internet is one option, but this brings inherent problems of reliability and lack of end-to-end responsibility.

At Pulsant, our purpose as a managed service provider is to help organisations manage this complexity and to enable businesses to innovate and operate securely and efficiently. We recognise that companies need a fast, reliable, and flexible connectivity to the cloud, but also that every cloud journey is different, so have partnered with Megaport to provide the flexibility and agility to suit all business needs.

Through our Cloud Connect service customers can take advantage of secure, fast and dedicated private connectivity between the Pulsant UK network of 10 data centres and external public cloud providers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud and SAP. Customers can benefit from the peace of mind that a single supplier is responsible for all their connectivity needs and that any issues will be identified and rectified seamlessly and efficiently.

For customers, this means access to new markets and the ability to deliver local services to global clients. For us, this is just another step towards our aim to enable an agile, scalable and reliable data centre edge fabric, providing customers with an assured, reliable, and secure home for their critical business applications for years to come.

Learn how Cloud Connect can enable your businesses to optimise multi-cloud strategies here.

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