What is a multi-Cloud? Multi-Clouds allow the deployment of applications across different Clouds. The application may be called up from a public to a private or a private to a public Cloud or even across Cloud service provider Clouds. The application has to evolve to accommodate new Clouds as they appear within the enterprise or it must have the capacity to move from one server to another to utilize excess capacity available in any Cloud. All this must happen seamlessly and appear highly integrated to the end user. So, multi-Cloud is all about choosing multiple Cloud services or Cloud types with a focus on portability.

Multi-Cloud infrastrucutres benefit organizations in a number of ways. Multiplicity of Clouds means redundancy, instant disaster recovery and valuable geo presence. The unique features of a Cloud service can be harnessed without sacrificing the capabilities offered by another Cloud service. Public and private Clouds can be made to interact efficiently and integratively. Existing investments can be exploited effectively in the private Cloud while bursty applications can be relegated to a public Cloud. Finally, varied security requirements can be addressed by deploying different Clouds for different applications.

But, multi-Clouds are not without pain points. Each Cloud may have different Application programming interfaces. The resources used may vary, just as formats and encodings can vary between Clouds. There may be several versions of a Cloud in use at any given point in time. The network and storage architectures may be different, the hypervisor and images may vary, versioning protocols may differ.

As a result, organizations that want to use multi-Clouds must think through the process if they want to be successful. Cloud specifics should be considered important, but the multi-Cloud design should be generic. It would be best to use tools that translate business requirements into Cloud definitions. If your organization is geographically dispersed, the design should take this into consideration. You must plan for data sharing and collaboration. You should have clarity on whether high availability or portability is your primary concern.

If you are wondering why you should be concerned with multi-Cloud, remember, that is where the Cloud has been heading. Portability and interoperability issues are being discussed because the multi-Cloud is becoming important. If you are just starting out with the Cloud, it is the right time to think it through. If you are already in the Cloud, you should explore the possibilities and keep it in mind while selecting vendors for your public, private or hybrid deployments.