Multi-cloud: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

January 10, 2022

“The days of single cloud deployments are gone”, according to David Linthicum, Chief Cloud Strategy Officer at Deloitte and I couldn’t agree more: Flexera’s 2021 State of the Cloud Report states that 93% of businesses are already moving to a multi-cloud architecture.

If at first this number seems hard to believe, it’s important to take a step back and understand what multi-cloud actually means: Multi-cloud can consist of either several public clouds or a hybrid scenario that combines on-premises data centers with one or more public clouds. The often cited article “The Cost of Cloud, a Trillion Dollar Paradox” makes a strong case for the latter, arguing that while public clouds enable businesses to optimize for innovation, agility and growth, scaling over a longer period has a cost implication and is often underestimated when growth slows.

Take Dropbox, for example, which has reported savings of $75M over two years by repatriating parts of their workloads from public cloud back into their own hardware. This circumstance clearly shows that despite the huge potential of hybrid and multi-cloud, things are not as easy as they often appear at first glance and it’s a big mistake to look at your cloud strategy in a one-dimensional and simplistic way. In this blog post I’ll highlight the good, the bad and the ugly, to provide some guidance on how to build your multi-cloud strategy. Let’s take a look at the sunny side of multi-cloud first.

The Good: Making the Case for Multi-Cloud

The fact that others are doing it has never been a good reason to act. But in a world where your IT builds the backbone of business operations, multi-cloud yields a lot of must-have benefits including:

The Bad: Nothing Is Perfect

With all of these benefits, the value is huge. But from our experience with our customers, we see that many businesses are facing tremendous challenges that can not only eliminate those benefits, but in the worst case scenario even put business operations at risk. The most common of these that our team is encountering are:

The Ugly: Complexity Will Kill You

And here it is, the final boss in every multi-cloud deployment:

Don’t Shoot Without a Clear Target

Looking at the tremendous impact that not succeeding on your multi-cloud strategy can have, it’s no surprise that the “The Cost of Cloud, a Trillion Dollar Paradox” article concludes that “the largest opportunity in infrastructure right now is sitting somewhere between cloud hardware and the unoptimized code running on it.” The truth is that only a central abstraction layer with a high degree of automation can remove the ever increasing operational complexity of multi-cloud environments. And while you want to make sure that such a platform spans all of your environments end-to-end, you also need to protect the existing systems you have in place. A target that clearly requires thorough planning.

At Kubermatic, we have always considered multi-cloud as a clear business imperative. That’s why we have designed Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform as the world’s most adaptable and autonomous software delivery platform: KKP makes it easy for you to provide a harmonized abstraction layer with one consistent set of tooling while protecting your existing systems. If you would like to discuss how we can help you build for multi-cloud success in more detail, feel free to reach out. We are happy to help you conquer the final boss and hit the target.

Sebastian Scheele

Sebastian Scheele

Co-founder and CEO