The Many Definitions of Multicloud

The cloud. Hybrid cloud. Multicloud. Even if you’re a seasoned IT professional, you may have trouble conversing about cloud options without first defining terms. It seems that everyone is using these interchangeably and using each of them without much adherence to any agreed-upon boundaries.

New technology is disrupting business efficiency, agility, and customer experiences, but when people discuss multicloud, they rarely agree on what exactly it means. And it’s simply an extension of the problem around the cloud itself. It used to be that there was only on-premise and cloud, so it was understood what the cloud was: not on-premises. But now premises-based solutions have expanded to private clouds and then private clouds moved out to public cloud infrastructures.

Every provider is focused on cloud technology, but when they talk about multicloud, what does that mean?

Multicloud Versus Hybrid

Multicloud can’t be interpreted simply as multiple clouds because that description is really the definition of IT. IT has traditionally been a group of servers running applications. Today’s reality is a little different, with fewer services relying more heavily on services delivered through the cloud.

Multicloud is also not used to describe an application that is accessed through both public and private cloud services. The deployment of an application over more than one cloud platform is better labeled as hybrid. Don’t worry if this is new information because the term “hybrid” also has many definitions. A hybrid solution can be anything that mixes two platforms to support the environment.

Another popular interpretation of multicloud is the use of a single provider to obtain multiple services, such as a combination of unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and contact center as a service (CCaaS), which can include more than one private or public data centers.

The definition of multicloud may look more closely at portability, such as a variety of infrastructure providers through modern orchestration and container technologies. Containers allow for portability between different providers of infrastructure and their private data centers. This can be a valuable approach as enterprises realize a need to evaluate what will reside in an on-premise data center and what can be stored in a public cloud setting. Containerization makes it possible to move applications between clouds as they deem appropriate to their strategies. 

Yet another interpretation is for the service to be created across more than one private or public cloud, and this option can also include legacy solutions or software as a service (SaaS) applications. Enterprises can set this up as a centralized solution or one that uses distributed architectures.

Multicloud solutions are particularly helpful to contact centers because the technology generally includes many different features and tools for analytics, scheduling, recording, and reporting. Even when the tools are all from a single provider, they are usually delivered from multiple clouds.

Mind Your Multicloud

Multicloud solutions do add some complexity when it comes to storage management, orchestration, compliance, and a variety of other aspects. It also has a few tradeoffs, so enterprise must weigh benefits like portability and flexibility against the efficiencies of a proprietary infrastructure.

What often drives the pursuit of multicloud is the flexibility and agility that it offers. Enterprises can run applications in their contact center and deliver exactly the experience their customers demand.

If your enterprise is considering a multicloud approach to your contact center or other applications, contact us at One Connect. We can assist you throughout the process, from defining terms to implementation of the right multicloud solution for you.