What multicloud really costs

By | September 9, 2019

Multicloud is becoming the de facto standard. Really, a solid 84 percent of the respondents at the RightScale report use more than four cloud suppliers, including both public and private clouds. (Notice, RightScale is now a part of Flexera.) But not only are companies changing to multicloud, but to over one public cloud as well. That means using Google, Microsoft, and AWS–two or three suppliers, typically, and sometimes more.

This was also shown from the RightScale report, together with public cloud being the top priority, suggested 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, for example being able to pick best-of-breed cloud services, averting lock-in is not. You’re still writing applications using cloud-native systems, also by default that causes a lock-in to a particular public cloud platform.

What does this choice cost? I have a brief list of issues that many don’t think about when moving multicloud.

First, the Price of complexity. According to here before complexity has a fairly significant financial impact on security, operations, and governance. The more public clouds being employed, the greater complexity. The more complexity, the greater the prices throughout the board, but mostly in operations.

Costs include tools to reduce the complexity, such as cloud management platforms 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 every extra cloud, even when employing a sound toolset.

Second, 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 discovering that enterprises tend to be blindsided by the expense.

Think about the fact that multicloud individuals don’t 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 want with a single cloud provider, as a rule of thumb.

Many provide counterarguments about efficiency, but that is perhaps under a linear cost growth as the number of public clouds have been used. I’ve not found that to be the situation yet, so I’m sticking to my story.

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