Multi-cloud environments are quickly becoming the next step in the evolution of cloud computing.
That’s according to Dan Lahl, Vice President of Product Marketing at SAP, who recently suggested “this new phase of cloud computing is an improved strategy for companies who need options and flexibility when it comes to bringing together applications in such a complex landscape.”
In his view, understanding how multi-cloud got here means recognizing where it came from.
“The evolution of cloud computing began as far back as the 1960s and 70s,” he explains, “with mainframe computing providing remote access to multiple users with shared access to a single resource, . . . or private access to computing resources.”
Over time, the industry embraced the concept of virtual machines as well as virtualized private network connections in the 90s. “From grid computing to SaaS to public cloud and hybrid cloud computing, technology has come a long way from the days of mainframes, although interestingly many concepts today are very similar to what was envisioned in the 60s and 70s.”
As for what’s driving the multi-cloud “movement,” Lahl says that “as organizations face digital transformation, they’re faced with an influx of process AND data-intensive applications and services. This movement complicates their infrastructure and makes it difficult to streamline.”
Hybrid cloud is one solution, he says, but many organizations are looking for even more flexibility when it comes to their cloud makeup. “At the same time, digital transformation projects and agile development are pushing companies towards running multiple cloud applications on different infrastructures due to different workloads that necessitate unique requirements.”
But before jumping on the latest and greatest cloud technologies for technology’s sake, Lahl says “organizations should assess their infrastructure and deploy a balance between on-premises legacy apps and the latest cutting-edge cloud technologies that best meet their needs.”
To make the move to multi-cloud easier, there are platforms that bring together the different applications on one user interface, rather than going through different infrastructure systems, particularly Platform as a Service (PaaS), which “provides customers and partners with capabilities that allow for building and extending personalized, collaborative, mobile-enabled cloud applications above the infrastructure – giving companies the flexibility they want.”
Looking at the year ahead and beyond, Lahl predicts newfound “multi-cloud agility for rapid app delivery will lead to new innovations and business model transformations in 2018, as organizations will have more freedom to create and reinvent than ever before.”