Multicloud is becoming the de facto standard. Really, a strong 84 percent of the respondents in the RightScale report use more than four cloud providers, including both public and private clouds. (Notice, RightScale is now part of Flexera.) However, not only are companies changing to multicloud, but to more than one public cloud too. That usually means using Google, Microsoft, and AWS–three or two suppliers, typically, and sometimes more.
This was also shown in the RightScale report, with public cloud being the top priority, indicated by 31% of those respondents. Firms plan to spend 24 percent over the public cloud in 2019 than they did last year.
The battle cry of multicloud is choice and the ability to avoid lock-in. Though decision is certainly a benefit, such as being able to select best-of-breed cloud services, avoiding lock-in isn’t. You’re still writing applications using cloud-native systems, also by default which causes a lock-in into a particular public cloud platform.
What exactly does this choice cost? I have a brief list of problems that many don’t think about when going multicloud.
First, the cost of complexity. As stated here before complexity has a rather significant financial impact on security, operations, and governance. The more public clouds being employed, the greater complexity. The greater complexity, the larger the costs throughout the board, but mostly in surgeries.
Prices include tools to reduce the complexity, such as cloud management systems and cloud services brokers, in addition to additional staff required for security operations (secops) and cloud management and operations (cloudops). The expense is typically 30 percent more in operational costs for each additional cloud, even when employing a sound toolset.
Secondly, the cost of greater training and hiring. Most organizations expect a high price tag here, even moving to a single cloud. But moving towards a multicloud, I am finding that ventures tend to be blindsided by the expense.
Think about the simple fact that multicloud people do not really exist. Rather you have folks with AWS skills and certifications, or together with Microsoft or Google. You’ll need to hire a few times what you would need with one cloud supplier, as a rule of thumb.
Many provide counterarguments about efficiency, but that’s perhaps less than a linear price increase as the number of public clouds have been utilized. I have not seen that to be the situation yet, so I’m sticking to my story.