Cloud Q&A: Shaping Clouds in Today’s IT Atmosphere


cloud computing Businesses lacking cloud computing expertise could be sacrificing more than $250 million annually in terms of lost revenues and/or operational savings, per research cited by the tech news site CIO Dive. In addition, the same study found about seven in 10 IT pros polled believe a “cloud skills gap” hurts their organization’s innovation and creativity.

As bloggers dedicated to supporting the “tech innovators” leading companies through digital transformation, those statistics caught our attention. Why? Because we believe education is a critical factor in coping successfully with the challenges swirling around today’s IT atmosphere, especially cloud computing. The business case for cloud computing is solid, substantiated by a few years of real world cost savings and numerous other benefits for businesses of every shape and size.

So, in this spirit, we reviewed recent tech journals, looking for new developments in cloud practices. We found an excellent InfoWorld column by cloud guru David Linthicum that not only covers the latest buzzwords. In Q&A form, here are key insights we gleaned:

What is a “multicloud” environment?

As Linthicum explains, most cloud names relate to patterns of use. Here are three “basic shapes” of cloud services for business:

  • Private Cloud – Cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple customers (e.g., employees.) Private clouds may be owned, managed, and operated by the organization, a third party, or some combination of the two and exist on or off premises.
  • Public Cloud – Cloud infrastructure is provisioned for open use by any customer. A “public” cloud may be owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or government organization, or some combination of them. The physical infrastructure exists on the premises of a cloud provider.
  • Hybrid Cloud –Cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and applications to move relatively freely from one cloud state to another.

Per Linthicum, “multicloud” means using more than one public cloud, often to avoid dependence on a single public cloud provider or to reap the greatest benefits from multiple clouds with diverse advantages.

Then, isn’t multicloud just like hybrid cloud?

No. But the distinction between multicloud and hybrid cloud environments is simple, as Linthicum writes:

“A hybrid cloud is the pairing of a private cloud (an on-premises datacenter built on cloud technologies) and a public cloud. If you use multiple public clouds with a private cloud, that is still a multicloud. (Some people might call it a hybrid multicloud, which is fine.)”

Does my business need a multicloud environment?

Maybe. As we’ve counseled in the past, assessing cloud computing requirements takes a deliberate, phased approach, which accounts for needs that vary by industry and the markets you serve. We can help with this long-cycle process – and, meantime, fill any cloud skills gaps you have.