The advent of cloud computing, coupled with the rise of remote work, has made a number of technological innovations more accessible. Among those innovations, multi-cloud databases are quickly emerging as a resilient option for businesses transitioning into a cloud-native environment.
A multi-cloud database is a strategy to distribute database infrastructure over a number of cloud vendors. Database clusters can have nodes deployed on multiple servers or even have the entire cluster replicated across multiple regions or clouds.
Multi-cloud is a useful strategy for organizations for a number of reasons. For starters, utilizing multiple providers prevents reliance on a single vendor, meaning organizations are in a better position to avoid vendor lock-in. Furthermore, multi-cloud strategies can provide better leverage in terms of security since some of the major cloud vendors already have huge security teams, secure infrastructure, and tools in place to ensure cloud workloads are sufficiently protected unlike on-premises/private cloud setups, where the cost of securing workloads is an overhead.
As cloud-based infrastructures grow in popularity, so too does the reliance on the vendors that provide the services. Providers like Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft Azure all provide open source and proprietary database services, but they can work differently on the back end, unbeknownst to the user.
When services people are using are not available on other clouds, users are essentially reliant on that vendor. Lock-in gives the vendor too much leverage in the relationship and can leave businesses stuck with a provider whose services may not be the best fit for eight to 12 months down the line.
In extreme cases, some vendors have gone out of business, leaving their customers scrambling to migrate to a new provider.
The high availability and scalability of storing multiple databases in several locations across different platforms means greater protection against unexpected outages. It can also improve the user experience. Service performance is often dependent on the database’s geographical location, which the end user sees in terms of costs, support, and latency. For the end user, the ideal user experience and lowest latency are achieved when data is served from the closest cloud provider in terms of physical distance. This can be achieved through multi-cloud deployments coupled with advanced load balancing.
Embracing the Trend
While many larger enterprises are already capitalizing on the advantages of a multi-cloud approach, many SaaS startups are following suit as well. The cost-effectiveness, efficiency, performance, and automation options are key motivators for any organization looking to optimize their use of the cloud.