Multicloud is a type of cloud computing architecture where companies leverage the processing and storage from two or more cloud vendors. The result is a unified, heterogeneous cloud architecture that combines the resources of multiple types of cloud.
The use of multicloud environments is cost-effective and allows the entity to hire the best resources and platforms from their best provider on the market, customizing their own cloud solution.
See below to learn all about the multicloud market:
The multicloud market had an estimated market value of $6.37 billion in 2021. It’s expected to maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.3% over the period from 2021 to 2028, reaching $32.75 billion by the end of it.
Regionally, here’s how the global multicloud market is forecast to grow.
- The U.S. segment held the biggest market share at 29.98% in 2020, worth $578.3 million and forecast to maintain a CAGR of 27.3% through 2027
- The Chinese segment is forecast to follow a CAGR of 27.2%, reaching a market value of $1.9 billion by 2027
- Canada and Japan are each forecast to grow at a CAGR of 24% and 25.1% over the period from 2020 to 2027
- Within Europe, Germany has one of the highest CAGRs at 19.7%
- The rest of the European multicloud market is set to reach $1.9 billion by 2027
By industry vertical, the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) segment accounted for over 25% of the multicloud market in 2020, closely followed by IT and telecommunications.
Other notable industry verticals include:
- Consumer goods and retail
- Health care
- Media and entertainment
Multicloud in enterprise cloud architecture
Multicloud solutions are on the rise as enterprises use more cloud services, such as SaaS, PaaS, and MSP. The solutions also work in tandem with the roll out of high-speed 5G networks and the use of AI and machine learning in optimizing and automating multicloud management.
The remote-work boom caused by the pandemic is expected to accelerate the growth of the multicloud management market, with the need for reliable remote access to enterprise cloud environments.
“According to Gartner, 81% of organizations are working with two or more public cloud providers. A multicloud strategy gives companies the freedom to use the best possible cloud for each workload,” says Urs Hölzle, SVP, cloud infrastructure, Google.
“We’re confident that history is on the side of open-source-based multicloud APIs. Years ago, open source was condemned, and sometimes forked, to preserve a provider’s power over customers. … Now it’s multicloud’s turn to move from rejection to acceptance and eventually, ubiquity.”
In most cases, multicloud is used alongside hybrid cloud. A part of including multiple cloud environments into one oftentimes includes the use of both public and private cloud services, usually from different vendors.
A primary part of the multicloud architecture is the centralized application where the numerous cloud resources meet, also known as shadow IT. The employees and contractors of a company don’t need managed IT skills to access all the capabilities and resources of the cloud.
All they need is access to the application or platform front, where they can send and receive data from the cloud environment.
There are different deployment approaches to multicloud environments, such as:
A partitioned multicloud deployment allows you to distribute applications and services across different providers as needed. By segregating specific data to specific cloud providers, you optimize for performance, pricing, or security and privacy regulations based on cloud service type.
The public-private multicloud deployment strategy is an architecture that runs on private and public cloud servers. Requiring different levels of security, using the public-private multicloud model means allocating a bigger portion of cybersecurity resources towards the public cloud, such as firewalls and identity verification.
As a type of redundant multicloud architecture, active-active cloud deployment includes a version of the end-user application across multiple cloud providers.
Each cloud uses its own load balancer to manage user traffic. This model offers an automatic failover capability where users are directed to the next functioning cloud if one goes down or reaches capacity.
The setup of an active-passive multicloud is similar to that of an active-active cloud. However, instead of dividing the end-user traffic between multiple cloud servers, only one server actively handles the traffic while the other remains unused until there’s a failure in the first.
Active-passive multicloud architecture is less costly than its active-active counterpart, without compromising the reliability of the cloud environment.
Benefits of multicloud
As a cloud architecture, multicloud environments combine the advantages of numerous cloud types used by the end-user entity.
Notable benefits of multicloud architectures include:
- High flexibility and scalability
- Reduce single-vendor reliance
- Built-in fail-over precautions
- Boosted performance
- Ease of meeting security and privacy regulation compliance
- A more tailored approach to the cloud
“A multicloud strategy works well for organizations with advanced needs and those that require greater flexibility, security, global coverage, among others,” says John Hernandez for Forbes.
“A multicloud approach with an open architecture can avoid vendor lock-in and reduce risk by providing the ability to choose where and how you want to deploy and who manages it. There’s also opportunity to mix-and-match different technologies as needed.”
Multicloud use cases
The following case studies show organizations in various industries are using multicloud solutions by multiple vendors to boost performance and reduce costs:
Provident Mexico is a financial services company that offers personal and business loans. Based in Puebla, Mexico, Provident has made over $10 million in loans in 26 different states across the nation.
Looking to boost business growth, Provident sought a cloud adoption strategy to move its central and satellite applications to the cloud. Working with VMware Cloud and AWS, the company decided on running workloads and apps on both cloud solutions.
“It’s intimidating to think about putting high-value workloads in the cloud, especially in financial services, but adopting cloud is both necessary and practical to achieve IT and business goals,” says Néstor Rodríguex, director of technology and change, Provident Mexico.
“It used to take me around a year and a half just to place an application in production. With VMware vRealize Cloud Management, I now do it within months. It’s a game changer.”
Deploying a multicloud solution, Provident was able to save two years on cloud migration and was able to process the same workload with a 30% reduced capacity in the cloud.
Moderna is an American biotechnology and pharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Focusing on RNA therapy, medications, and vaccine manufacturing, the company has been providing advancements in its field since it was founded in 2010.
As a research-driven facility, data processing and storage are critical to Moderna. Having centralized its data in Amazon Redshift for years prior, Moderna sought a multicloud approach using Google Cloud.
“Looker fits well with our multicloud philosophy because we can choose our preferred database and leverage integrations to make our data accessible and actionable. Overall, Google is making a lot of progress in multicloud, which allows you to not have to think about the vendor and just adopt what you need to do the job well,” says Dave Johnson, VP of informatics, data science, and AI, Moderna.
“Now that research data is in the data warehouse, scientists can easily build reports and it’s all safeguarded and integrated.”
Moderna was able to integrate internal and external data sets into a unified cloud environment and drastically reduce the time its scientists spend on manual data manipulation.
Airtel Holdings is a multinational company that provides telecommunications and IT services. Based in New Delhi, India, it works with clients in 18 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Channel Islands.
To keep up with business growth and client demands, Airtel was looking to shift to an open cloud architecture with a hybrid cloud solutions from multiple providers. Using Red Hat OpenStack Platform alongside IBM’s hybrid cloud solutions, Airtel created a hybrid multicloud network that suited its needs.
“IBM is a valued collaborator to many of the world’s largest and most innovative communications service providers like Airtel as they transform their networks into open and secure hybrid multicloud platforms and prepare for the 5G and edge computing era,” says Steve Canepa, global managing director and worldwide head of telecommunications, media and entertainment industry, IBM.
With solutions from both IBM and Red Hat’s portfolios, Airtel was able to build an agile platform that’s future-ready to meet the growing needs of its business and clients.
Some of the leading players in the multicloud market include:
- Dell Technologies
- CloudBolt Software
- BMC Software