Hybrid Multi-Cloud …mashup of the decade

By Neil Thurston

A decade ago when cloud was beginning to take off, the predictions were that we would all be 100% in a cloud within 10 years. Next cloud was so good that one wasn’t enough and so multi-cloud was the way to go. After that, the prediction changed again and hybrid cloud was going to be the architecture of choice for the next 10 years. Today, with a whole raft of second-generation cloud services coming from both the cloud providers and technology vendors, it looks like we are in fact heading to a hybrid multi-cloud world.

What is hybrid multi-cloud?

At a simplistic level it’s a mashup of the hybrid cloud and multi-cloud models. What’s new is that the integrations are now many-to-many between public and private clouds, meaning hybrid cloud is no longer a single integration or overlay to a single cloud provider. This maximises flexibility, enabling workloads to be hosted anywhere based on their required characteristics, but more importantly without the need to be transformed where it doesn’t make business sense.

Why?

Because there has been a shift from cloud-first to cloud-smart strategies. In other words, the recognition is that it doesn’t make commercial sense to blindly transform every app when the benefits of cloud can now be taken advantage of through a simpler transition journey for some workloads – it only makes sense to transform where there is clear business value in doing so, otherwise workloads can transition to hybrid cloud or even just to being cloud-enabled and integrated with cloud services. Clouds and the data centre aren’t as binary as they used to be.

So what?

The hybrid multi-cloud approach still delivers the benefits of cloud, without the need to transform every app. That doesn’t preclude 100% app transformation happening at a future point when it makes clear business sense to do so – but it gives you the flexibility today to make the right investments while not constraining your digital transformation.

Sounds pretty smart to me.