Multiple Clouds vs. Multicloud: What’s the Difference and Why Does It Matter?

By Marc Trouard-Riolle

November 16, 2023 | min

In the first installment of our What If You Could series, we defined hybrid multicloud and showed how Nutanix was the only vendor to make hybrid multicloud simple and cost-effective across on-premises and multiple public clouds. In this article, we take a deeper look into multiple cloud deployments—which often don’t equate to true multicloud—and why they can be a challenge. 

To survive in an increasingly competitive and shifting marketplace, organizations continue to look for ways to increase agility, scalability, and innovation with public and private cloud services. Today the cloud is a vital component of practically every business, regardless of industry and size. And when it comes to the cloud, the concept of “one-stop shop” doesn’t apply. 

Organizations are using multiple clouds to find the right balance between business and technical requirements and varying cloud services for their different workloads, so they can work as efficiently as possible. With the multiple cloud approach quickly becoming the de facto standard for modern enterprises, the term “multicloud” is often used to describe this approach, but that can be a bit of a misnomer. 

Multiple Clouds Doesn’t Mean True Multicloud

Organizations with infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) deployments across multiple clouds aren’t necessarily running a multicloud. Multiple cloud deployments simply means a collection of cloud silos that are not interconnected for management and life-cycle operations tasks, and as such, may not be tightly integrated, increasing cost and complexity. 

Siloed infrastructures create many challenges. They make it difficult to move applications and workloads to different environments. In the 2023 Enterprise Cloud Index study sponsored by Nutanix, 99% of organizations have had to move at least one application to a different infrastructure in the past year. But they agreed it’s tough: 86% said that moving applications can be “complex and costly.”

When considering applications, they are rarely individual VMs, but more likely multiple tiers with potentially many VMs per tier. These might include front-end web servers, middleware application layers, and back-end databases. To move an application will often mean moving associated data with it.

Multiple, unintegrated clouds also lead to siloed data. If you can’t integrate all of your data, you won’t be able to reap the full rewards of data analytics. Copying data from one cloud and moving it to another means having to deal with multiple copies, which can quickly become out-of-date if not managed very closely. Governance and regulatory compliance, especially around data protection, privacy, and residency, can get extremely complicated. 

Silos create more work for IT as each cloud deployment must be implemented, managed, and updated separately—often with completely separate tools, processes, and skillsets. This also compounds the complications in managing networking and security policies. 

True multicloud, on the other hand, eliminates these silos and resolves the challenges and frustrations of multiple cloud deployments. 

What If You Could Manage, Secure, and Protect Workloads from a Single Control Plane?

True multicloud is all about seamless integration between all of an organization’s cloud deployments to provide a level of flexibility siloed clouds never could. 

This seamless integration requires a consistent IT operations model that allows IT teams to easily manage, secure, and protect workloads from anywhere in your IT ecosystem. Whether they’re in your on-premises datacenter, in the cloud, or on the edge, a multicloud platform simplifies intelligent workload placement anywhere, anytime. 

Organizations that have multiple cloud deployments likely have limited siloed integration between some cloud services or applications, for instance, or maybe their clouds work together some of the time but are still siloed from on-premises or other cloud systems. They’re still missing that integration and simplification of the entire IT ecosystem. 

A real need exists for a multicloud platform that turns a collection of siloed clouds into a high-performing, seamless ecosystem with ultimate flexibility. Our Enterprise Cloud Index study found that 94% of organizations felt they would benefit from “having a single, unified place to manage applications and data across clouds.”

A true multicloud platform also helps you: 

  • Reduce complexity by eliminating the extra work and effort caused by silos. Integrating siloed cloud deployments into a common architecture with consistent control greatly simplifies policy-based security, updates, availability, and more. 
  • Manage more efficiently with a consistent platform that gives you complete visibility into all of your workloads, applications, and data and allows for the automation of many cloud operations across all clouds. Reduce or eliminate the need to manage and control via multiple interfaces. 
  • Lower costs by helping IT teams work more efficiently and eliminate the need for numerous siloed skillsets, toolsets, and the need to manage multiple clouds separately. You can also gain cloud spend visibility across all environments to understand cost governance. 

With Nutanix Hybrid Multicloud, You Can!

Nutanix makes multicloud simple and cost-effective. The unified multicloud control plane of the Nutanix Cloud Platform™ solution enables management of data and applications wherever they are. It helps remove complexity from day-to-day operations and makes it simple to seamlessly access, protect, secure, and manage your apps and data in one place. 

Nutanix believes the future of enterprise IT is all about hybrid multicloud, which extends that same seamlessness across on-premises and edge infrastructures as well. Now it’s not only your clouds integrated to form a single ecosystem, it’s all of your infrastructure, across your entire organization, that you can manage and control from a single platform. 

Increase efficiency of management and operations

Managing datacenters, clouds, and edge endpoints as one system provides a consistent, secure operating environment. With one-click capabilities such as life-cycle management operations on-premises and in the public cloud, you can make your IT infrastructure management more efficient. That frees you up to focus on what’s most important. 

In the public cloud, Nutanix Cloud Platform deployments leverage bare-metal instance types. According to IDC1, this can dramatically increase IT efficiency by up to 53% with the reduction of microwaste, the wasted resources of underutilized workloads—such as those built up in native-VM deployments—with granular on-the-fly workload right-sizing. High-performance NVMe-based storage ensures that applications are fast and responsive. And infrastructure and application automation accelerate your delivery of IT services.

Maintain workload portability

With the ability to quickly and easily move workloads wherever you need them, you can eliminate long application retooling or refactoring development cycles, which also increase business risk and costs. Workload portability is made possible by the identical software stack running across datacenters, clouds, and the edge, meaning that no changes are required to workloads as you choose to intelligently place them anywhere in your hybrid multicloud. 

Accelerate transformation initiatives

Now you can build a hybrid cloud in hours—not days, weeks, or months. This allows a just-in-time (JIT) approach to infrastructure demands, with the ability to automatically scale out to public clouds when required, or scale back when no longer required. Not only does this fit for a variety of cloud infrastructure burst use cases, such as for seasonal workloads, mergers and acquisitions, and dev/test requirements, it also helps reduce disaster recovery (DR) solution costs by starting small and scaling out if, and only when, there is a DR failover event. Applications designed for linear scaling can also be automated to dynamically scale on-demand into new public cloud capacity. 

Reduce cloud costs and improve cost governance

With true hybrid multicloud from Nutanix, you can save money across numerous vectors of managing cloud environments. Reduce costs by right-sizing resources and reducing IT time and effort spent simply managing cloud deployments, or by scaling on-demand to consume only the required amount of cloud resources.  You can also save on costs with a more resilient infrastructure that keeps availability high and reduces unplanned downtime. 

A report from Nutanix and IDC2 found that organizations that used Nutanix Cloud Platform were able to achieve:

  • 43% reduced total cost of operations
  • 36% reduced infrastructure cost
  • 97% reduction in unplanned downtime 

These and other savings led to an average 365% five-year return on investment (ROI) and an average of just 12 months to payback. 

Nutanix also features cost governance, which provides visibility, showback, and chargeback for the spend across all of your cloud and datacenter environments, including those resources deployed natively into the public cloud, such as with the AWS®, Azure®, and GCP® public clouds. 

Increase security across the enterprise

Nutanix Cloud Platform has built-in security that not only prevents and detects security threats but also helps to prevent data loss and ensure continuous business operations. The platform also enables strong cloud infrastructure resilience at all software layers, including protection across hosts, racks, and availability zones.

Simplify disaster recovery and business continuity

With scalable, one-click business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities that are consistent across your entire infrastructure, you can eliminate the complexity, costs, and unreliability that disparate, siloed backup and disaster recovery solutions lead to. Nutanix Cloud Platform protects on-premises datacenters and the cloud on a minimal footprint—which can scale on demand when required. 

Streamline and Simplify with a Nutanix Hybrid Multicloud

As you continue in your cloud journey, make sure you’re setting your organization up for success. The cloud can keep you competitive and offer the capabilities and services that allow you to meet today’s evolving customer demands—if you have the right tools and solutions. Don’t let multiple cloud deployments make things harder for IT. With Nutanix Cloud Platform, your true hybrid multicloud will be steps ahead of the competition. 

Stay tuned for the next installment in our What If You Could series, where we’ll discuss the ins and outs of simplifying cloud-native app deployment and native cloud services. 

1 IDC, The Business Value of Nutanix Cloud Platform, Oct 2022
2 IDC, The Business Value of Nutanix Cloud Platform, Oct 2022

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