Multi-cloud architectures make sense for a number of practical reasons. More clouds mean more APIs to choose from, more data center locations, and an even longer list of clever AI algorithms to try. However, playing the field, avoiding lock-in, and baking in agility can expose the company to unexpected costs and issues.
It’s only natural for a modern architect to consider shopping smart for cloud solutions, to take advantage of all that the market has to offer. Moreover, a team of architects who are open to multiple clouds can take advantage of new features as they become available.
Organizations can also prevent cloud vendor lock-in by developing portable applications. Businesses would be locked into a cloud service provider if they create a business-critical application whose core functionality is dependent on a platform-specific feature.
All of these benefits, however, come at a cost. Maintaining enough agility to enjoy the competition has a downside that may not become apparent for weeks, months, or even years. Here are some of the hidden risks of multi-clouds that could derail the business experience.
Missing out on exclusive excellence
Many aspects of today’s cloud are pure commodities. However, there are some unique and effective tools that are mostly proprietary in between all of these standard choices.
Since it’s impossible to replicate these resources in another cloud, the multi-cloud imperative will make it difficult to take full advantage of what these tools have to offer. If the aim of the company is to ensure that other solutions are available to be swapped into production at any time, they may not be able to leverage the genuinely innovative options that emerge. Exceptions can also be made for one element of the stack. The greatest cost of being able to play the field, however, is never being attached to a single outstanding tool.
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Many aspects of the cloud are automated commodities that are nearly interchangeable, but the team must still be aware of minor variations. One cloud could have upgraded to PHP 8 ahead of the other. Another option is to change the pricing model so that outgoing bandwidth is penalized.
More suppliers and partners mean more email announcements and videoconferences. The cost of multi-cloud freedom is constant vigilance over vendor updates, press releases, and emails.
Losing out on bulk pricing
Cloud vendors provide significant discounts to businesses that buy in bulk, particularly if they make long-term agreements in advance. If businesses want to be agile and shift to a new cloud means they lose out on discounted prices that come with this kind of lock-in.