Unlocking the Mysteries of Multi-Cloud Formation

Jane Shurtleff


Enterprises are discovering that not just one cloud, or even one type of cloud, is enough to meet their needs to compete in the digital economy. They need a private cloud to access sensitive data. They need public clouds to access IT and application services that they otherwise cannot cost-effectively or quickly provide for themselves. And, they need to form hybrid clouds to securely combine their private data with those public cloud services that add value to it. Hence, the emergence of multi-clouds.

How multi-clouds form

Multi-clouds form when enterprises connect their IT infrastructures to various cloud services within a single, heterogeneous architecture (be they public, private or hybrid). They enable companies to access various types of cloud-based services (e.g., IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, etc.) and can provide backup, recovery and redundancy in the event of a disaster. Some examples of how you can protect your sensitive data using hybrid multi-clouds can be found in our blog article Hybrid Cloud Scenarios: Control the Data.

Multi-clouds also prevent single-vendor lock-in and provide enterprises with the flexibility to match the best cloud service to their workloads and applications. And those are just a few of their many benefits.

The rise of the intercloud

Multi-clouds also have given rise to interclouds. An intercloud takes shape when multiple cloud services are interconnected together, again within a heterogeneous architecture, to support specific business solutions that depend on those multi-cloud services working together.

For example, in a recent blog post written about the Equinix-Cisco partnership, we talk about providing a unified, intercloud architecture for the Uber taxi/shuttle services that is composed of multiple cloud-based services, including 1) credit card processing; 2) analytics on passenger/driver data; and 3) data services to access live traffic and event schedule data. These services all mash together to deliver a personal “uber” transportation service that has revolutionized (and antagonized) the taxi industry.

As the Internet of All Things (IoT) grows, interclouds will become more and more critical to businesses’ ability to gather mobile device or sensor data, securely store it, analyze it and then take some action based on the results of that analysis ̶ all in real-time speeds.

The interconnected cloud

The underlying infrastructure for multi-clouds is interconnectivity and not just any garden variety interconnection will do. It needs to be secure, reliable, high-performance and automated for real-time orchestration and control across all of the cloud services within the multi-cloud architecture.

Remember, we said that not just one cloud, or even one type of cloud will meet all of the enterprises’ needs in the digital economy? The same holds true for interconnections. One type of interconnection does not fit all cloud scenarios, but one destination can be the source of all kinds of interconnection.

Equinix is the home of a wide range of interconnection and connectivity options for private, public and hybrid cloud architectures. The flagship platform for multi-clouds is the Equinix Cloud Exchange, an advanced interconnection solution that enables seamless, on-demand, direct access to multiple clouds from multiple networks.

The Equinix Cloud Exchange provides a flexible foundation for creating rich multi-cloud and intercloud architectures, while maintaining a scalable and cost-effective deployment model through network and cloud peering. And the Equinix Cloud Exchange API and Portal make it even easier and faster for cloud service providers to make their cloud services available and for cloud services consumers to access them.

As your business requirements for different cloud services multiply, don’t despair. When it comes to cloud, the old adage “the more the merrier” is proving to be truer than ever.