If your company is like most, you’re no longer satisfied keeping all of your workloads in your own data center. Instead, you look for the best place to host each workload, based on cost and capabilities, whether you’re hosting productivity applications, database servers, or virtual desktops.

There are a variety of reasons you’d take one or another path for different IT tasks. Choosing the right hosting platform to match the needs of your compute resource is the key to building an environment that is powerful, dynamic, scalable, and cost-effective. Increasingly, enterprises are turning to a hybrid-cloud or multi-cloud solution to build out such environments. But, what is the difference between a multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environment?




The Only Difference Between A Hybrid Cloud and Multi-Cloud Environment Is Where You Host Your Recourses

In a hybrid-cloud approach, you retain your investment in your on-premises solutions while bursting or building new workloads in a public cloud, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. You may even use multiple public clouds, but as long as you keep your on-premises infrastructure in the mix, you’re working with a hybrid cloud.

What if you never had an on-premises VDI or hosted resource solution, or if you plan to scrap it and go entirely into the public cloud? Now, you’re potentially looking at a multi-cloud strategy, particularly if you find that utilizing multiple public cloud offerings (instead of just one) works best for you.


When to use Multi-Cloud Over Hybrid Cloud?

Simply put, different public clouds are better at different things, and have different cost structures. With that in mind, perhaps you host task workers’ desktops in one public cloud, but your GPU-intense workloads in another cloud. Analyzing and leveraging the strengths of each public cloud allows you to build an environment that maximizes your benefits.  You may find mixing and matching multiple public cloud offerings will better fit the compute needs of your unique environment.

Do keep in mind that there is more to your environment than where you host your resources. If you want to build a multi-cloud, instead of a hybrid-cloud solution, the trickiest part is figuring out where to put everything else that goes into a complete hosted resource solution. You likely need authentication servers, data base servers, monitoring systems, etc. These can be in the cloud, but if you already have the solutions in-house, perhaps you want to utilize what you already have by leveraging the cloud’s capabilities to integrate with your network.


I’ll say it again, the only difference between a multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud solution should be where you host your resources

The key, whether in a multi-cloud or hybrid-cloud environment, is to never duplicate effort. You don’t want users to access different portals for different clouds, nor do you want to manage independent authentication servers or other infrastructure components. Design your architecture so, as much as possible, you can host desktops in the best cloud based on their performance requirements, while ensuring that you minimize the need to manage other infrastructure components.

That includes minimizing the tools you need to manage the desktops hosted in the different cloud environments, whether on-premises or in the public cloud. Some vendors claim that a multi-cloud solution doesn’t include orchestration, but I strongly disagree. 

You should be able to manage all of your hosted resources from a single pane of glass, and users should have access to everything from a single portal. Otherwise, your exciting new cloud initiative could dissolve into sheer chaos in short order.

Whether you’re going to spread your compute resource load around multiple public clouds in a multi-cloud solution, or between the public cloud and your on-premises solution in a hybrid cloud solution, ensure that you have a single connection broker that can manage capacity in those clouds and connect users to their resources. That the key to a successful hybrid or multi-cloud strategy.