Is Multi-Cloud a Solution for High Availability?

With the average cost of downtime estimated at $8,850 per minute, businesses can’t afford to risk system failure. Full access to services and data anytime, anywhere is one of the main benefits of cloud computing.

By design, many of the core services with the public cloud and its underlying infrastructure are replicated across different geographic zones. This helps ensure the durability and availability of your data and services and protects against downtime. However, outages happen. To protect against costly downtime, many companies spread their services across multiple providers to reduce the chances of failure.

But is a multi-cloud strategy the only solution for ensuring high availability?

In February 2017, an engineer’s typo caused a major service disruption on Amazon S3 in its US East region. The outage impacted many companies that relied on S3, and specifically those that relied on S3 exclusively in the region.

Workloads impacted by the S3 disruption fell into two categories: those considered “not mission critical” and those that lacked sufficient architecture and chaos testing. Companies who lacked a robust architecture sufficient for testing felt the impact most acutely. In this instance, replicating files on another cloud provider could have mitigated the effects of the disruption. However, cross-cloud replication would also add more complexity, perhaps unnecessarily. Using a single cloud provider with cross-region replication is another solution.

Let’s explore the technical feasibility of using multiple cloud providers to achieve high availability in three scenarios:

Application Distribution:
Teams will have to work to abstract away vendor-specific functionality if they want to achieve high availability for the same functionality across different cloud providers. This means that you will be limited to the features that are common to your selected platforms. At the individual service level, the differences between various cloud providers’ implementations can create a lot of extra work in the form of abstraction layers.

Containers:
At the application level, due to IaaS implementation differences across providers, containers could serve as a viable abstraction. This approach would require running the same container orchestrator on multiple platforms and limiting the use of underlying functionality (or accessing underlying functionality through a common interface). While using containers to run the same application across providers may be technically possible, the implementation is far from practical, making it more prone to human error and potential outages down the road. The potential increase in errors may be caused by differences in how data is replicated and differences in the IaaS offerings themselves.

Security and Compliance:
Managing security for any single deployment across multiple public clouds will not be easy. Serving up virtual networks, firewall rules, monitoring, logging, and identity and access management can be difficult and time-consuming. Ensuring compliance across multiple providers adds a whole new level of complexity, especially at the rate that cloud providers release updates. Additional tooling, processes, and training will be required to ensure cross-platform consistency.

Is multi-cloud a solution for high availability?

Not necessarily.

New tooling or processes should be added to solve problems, not side effects of other problems. Adding the tooling required to implement a multi-cloud deployment is solving a side effect of using multiple platforms to accomplish what could be done with a single platform.

The bottom line is this: Multi-cloud could theoretically solve certain high availability issues, but it’s more likely to add undue complexity. Instead, a better understanding of technology and implementing best practices should be your starting point before looking for a multi-cloud solution.

This post is excerpted from our new whitepaper, Separating Multi-Cloud Strategy from Hype: An Objective Analysis of Arguments in Favor of Multi-Cloud.

You will learn:

  • The reality vs. hype of multi-cloud deployments
  • How to achieve high availability while avoiding vendor lock-in
  • The advantages of a best-fit technology approach
  • The arguments that should be driving your multi-cloud strategy

Discover the best approach for your multi-cloud strategy in our new whitepaper, download now.
Discover the best approach for your multi-cloud strategy in our new whitepaper.

Avatar

Written by

Ben Lambert

Ben is a software engineer with years of experience building web and mobile apps. He learned about DevOps some time ago, and hasn’t stopped talking about it since. In addition to DevOps, he’s passionate about information security, as well as virtual and augmented reality systems. When he’s not working he’s hiking, camping, or creating video games.


Related Posts

Avatar
Cloud Academy Team
— July 9, 2020

Which Certifications Should I Get?

The old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and companies.With all that in mind, the s...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Computing
  • Google Cloud Platform
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— July 2, 2020

New Content: AWS, Azure, Typescript, Java, Docker, 13 New Labs, and Much More

This month, our Content Team released a whopping 13 new labs in real cloud environments! If you haven't tried out our labs, you might not understand why we think that number is so impressive. Our labs are not “simulated” experiences — they are real cloud environments using accounts on A...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— June 19, 2020

Kickstart Your Tech Training With a Free Week on Cloud Academy

Are you looking to make a jump in your technical career? Want to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Kubernetes, Python, or another in-demand skill?Then you'll want to mark your calendar. Starting Monday, June 22 at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • cloud academy content
  • complimentary access
  • GCP
  • on the house
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— June 11, 2020

New Content: AZ-500 and AZ-400 Updates, 3 Google Professional Exam Preps, Practical ML Learning Path, C# Programming, and More

This month, our Content Team released tons of new content and labs in real cloud environments. Not only that, but we introduced our very first highly interactive "Office Hours" webinar. This webinar, Acing the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification, started with a quick overvie...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Rebecca Willis
Rebecca Willis
— June 3, 2020

Azure vs. AWS: Which Certification Provides the Brighter Future?

More and more companies are using cloud services, prompting more and more people to switch their current IT position to something cloud-related. The problem is most people only have that much time after work to learn new technologies, and there are plenty of cloud services that you can ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • certification
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— June 2, 2020

Blog Digest: 5 Reasons to Get AWS Certified, OWASP Top 10, Getting Started with VPCs, Top 10 Soft Skills, and More

Thank you for being a valued member of our community! We recently sent out a short survey to understand what type of content you would like us to add to Cloud Academy, and we want to thank everyone who gave us their input. If you would like to complete the survey, it's not too late. It ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • blog digest
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Academy
  • OWASP
  • OWASP Top 10
  • Security
  • VPCs
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— May 11, 2020

New Content: Alibaba, Azure Cert Prep: AI-100, AZ-104, AZ-204 & AZ-400, Amazon Athena Playground, Google Cloud Developer Challenge, and much more

This month, our Content Team released 8 new learning paths, 4 courses, 7 labs in real cloud environments, and 4 new knowledge check assessments. Not only that, but we introduced our very first course on Alibaba Cloud, and our expert instructors are working 'round the clock to create 6 n...

Read more
  • alibaba
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • gitops
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • lab playground
  • programming
Avatar
Rhonda Martinez
— May 4, 2020

Top 5 Reasons to Get AWS Certified Right Now

Cloud computing trends are on the rise and have been for some time already. Fortunately, it’s never too late to start learning cloud computing. Skills like AWS and others associated with cloud computing are in high demand because cloud technologies have become crucial for many businesse...

Read more
  • Amazon Elastic Book Store
  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
  • Glacier
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— May 1, 2020

Introducing Our Newest Lab Environments: Lab Playgrounds

Want to train in a real cloud environment, but feel slowed down by spinning up your own deployments? When you consider security or pricing costs, it can be costly and challenging to get up to speed quickly for self-training. To solve this problem, Cloud Academy created a new suite of la...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Docker
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Java
  • lab playgrounds
  • Python
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— April 30, 2020

Blog Digest: AWS Breaking News, Azure DevOps, AWS Study Guide, 8 Ways to Prevent a Ransomware Attack, and More

  New articles by topicAWS Azure Data Science Google Cloud  Cloud Adoption Platform Updates & New Content Security Women in TechAWSBreaking News: All AWS Certification Exams Now Available Online As an Advanced AWS Technology Partner, C...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • blog digest
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Academy
  • programming
  • Security
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— April 27, 2020

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate: A Study Guide

Want to take a really impactful step in your technical career? Explore the AWS Solutions Architect Associate certificate. Its new version (SAA-C02) was released on March 23, 2020, though you can still take SAA-C01 through July 1, 2020. This post will focus on version SAA-C02.The AWS...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— April 9, 2020

New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solutions Architect Exam Prep, Azure Courses, GCP Engineer Exam Prep, Programming, and More

Free content on Cloud Academy More and more customers are relying on our technology and content to keep upskilling their people in these months, and we are doing our best to keep supporting them. While the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to make a small contribution to he...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • programming