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Articles & Insights

What’s the difference between multi, hybrid and specialty cloud?

Companies are migrating to the cloud to improve efficiency, innovation and productivity. With so many different types of cloud solutions in the marketplace today, choosing the one that best suits your organisation’s needs is crucial.  

It’s helpful to explore the differences between multicloud, hybrid cloud and specialty cloud architectures to make an informed decision for your business. 

What is multicloud?

Multicloud architectures include two or more public cloud services, usually from different cloud providers. These deployments connect services across environments without physically connecting the clouds. The main objective of implementing multicloud is to give businesses the flexibility to leverage the most suitable computing environment for each of their workloads. 

Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IasS) all fall into the multicloud category. Most companies use these products daily, including Microsoft 365, Salesforce, AWS, etc. 

Multicloud infographic | Service Express

Benefits of multicloud

Cloud providers all have their own advantages and disadvantages; a multicloud solution allows you to use best-in-class services for each app or task. Partnering with multiple providers can help businesses avoid vendor lock-in and reduce expenses by opting for more affordable options. 

If your business is thinking about switching to cloud computing, multicloud offers an easy and efficient setup process and can also help you:

  • Minimise spending by exploring pricing options between providers
  • Scale on demand to fit your organisation’s growing needs 
  • Reduce downtime by routing computing between clouds

What is hybrid cloud?

Both multicloud and hybrid cloud integrate more than one cloud service, but they differ in several ways. Whereas multicloud systems only use public cloud services, hybrid cloud environments combine elements of public cloud with either a private cloud or on-premises infrastructure, enabling data and application sharing between them. 

Another key difference between multicloud and hybrid cloud is architecture. Those with hybrid cloud solutions own and manage a private cloud as part of their infrastructure, usually hosted on-premises or on dedicated servers within a third-party data centre. They sync their private cloud with their public cloud workloads to create a single solution. 

Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud, Public Cloud Infographic | Service Express

Benefits of hybrid cloud

Some organisations prefer to have their infrastructure solely onsite and don’t want to host it elsewhere. A hybrid cloud solution lets you have infrastructure in one location while using a public cloud provider to get the best parts of both worlds. It’s ideal for businesses looking to optimise their resources and manage costs. 

Hybrid cloud allows organisations to transition to cloud computing gradually, as well as:

  • Freedom to manage tasks across private or public clouds
  • Public cloud scalability combined with private infrastructure security
  • The ability to manage high-demand and fluctuating workloads efficiently

What is specialty cloud?

Specialty cloud solutions involve a cloud provider specialising in a particular area, industry or application. If you consider Microsoft 356, Salesforce and IBM Power, they each have a specific use case. Specialty cloud providers can create custom solutions to increase scalability and flexibility around business-critical applications. 

Specialty Cloud for IBM Power is one example. Since some workloads and applications don’t fit most public cloud architectures, it can be challenging for companies to adopt cloud solutions. This specialty cloud solution is built on IBM Power to integrate with mission-critical applications without rearchitecting workloads. 

Multicloud infographic | Service Express
Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud, Public Cloud Infographic | Service Express

Benefits of specialty cloud

If a company doesn’t want to host their architecture on-premises, it can entrust a managed service provider to run its entire IT infrastructure stack in a specialty cloud environment. This requires total trust and transparency between the business and the managed service provider.

Specialty cloud also allows you to:

  • Benefit from cloud solutions without rearchitecting
  • Integrate technologies and tailor your environment to your needs
  • Protect sensitive data that isn’t safe in a shared environment

What are most companies using for their infrastructure?

Today, a vast mix of companies use multi and hybrid cloud. Nearly every business is using a public cloud provider of some type. For example, Microsoft requires cloud access for Office 365 products. Most enterprises or large companies still have their IT footprint and haven’t fully migrated to the cloud. While specialty cloud is a fairly new cloud computing platform, it has gained momentum over the last few years. 

Which solution is the best fit for your business?

Multi, hybrid and specialty cloud all create easy access to cloud computing. However, when choosing a cloud model for your workload or migrating your data to a new cloud, compare the pros and cons across cloud strategies to find the best fit for your specific business needs. 

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