Multicloud is a cloud computing strategy that uses the best services from more than one cloud provider to deploy a solution. The strategy is typically driven by workload, business, and data governance requirements. A multicloud solution integrates IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS in a tightly or loosely coupled architecture. A well-designed multicloud solution should consider the network, performance, security, operational management, and total cost of ownership.
Cloud providers often offer managed services and self-service tools to facilitate multicloud delivery. They simplify the design and deployment of multicloud solutions by abstracting the complexity of implementing a particular layer of technology that requires expert knowledge, such as networking.
For organizations seeking to optimize cloud infrastructure capabilities and spending, a multicloud solution may be the best approach. It gives organizations access across cloud providers so workloads and data can be placed in an environment best suited to their capabilities. The following solution patterns show how multicloud computing can be used most effectively.
In a multicloud single-stack architecture, services from two different cloud providers run alongside each other as native services under one cloud. For instance, organizations can connect their data analytics platform to the immediately adjacent data source. This architecture eliminates the complexity and cost of moving large amounts of data around. For example, when running in Azure or AWS as a native service, Oracle Exadata Database Service combines with Microsoft Power BI and Azure Synapse or Amazon RedShift Analytics to deliver the highest performance, availability, and scalability.
In a multicloud analytics split-stack architecture, the data analytics and database are deployed on different clouds with a low-latency and high-bandwidth network connecting the stacks. Organizations can leverage existing data analytics to connect to the database close to the data source. This architecture reduces the logistical complexity and cost of moving around large amounts of data. Microsoft Power BI and Azure Synapse Analytics or Amazon Redshift together with OCI Exadata Database Service or Oracle Autonomous Database is an example. A dedicated private network connection between the cloud providers is recommended unless a network cross-connect exists between the cloud providers.
In this multicloud architecture, the SaaS or ERP application and the data analytics or custom application are deployed on different clouds with a low-latency and high-bandwidth network connection. The SaaS or ERP is often the mission-critical application of an organization that must be seamlessly integrated with upstream and downstream applications, along with analytics and AI/machine learning (ML). This architecture enables the organization to be flexible to retrofit custom applications and innovate beyond the cloud boundary. An Oracle E-Business Suite, SAP, or Microsoft Dynamics integration with custom applications or a cloud data lakehouse is a good example. A dedicated private network connection between the cloud providers is recommended unless a network cross-connect exists between the cloud providers.
A distributed multicloud solution packages the application with or without a database in Kubernetes or virtual machines (VMs). This solution is flexible to run on any cloud. Use cases include on-demand workloads, such as high performance computing (HPC) for animation rendering, artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics jobs, and video games. PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and MySQL are commonly used if the database is required. The workloads are dynamically distributed horizontally to the Kubernetes clusters or VMs on different clouds based on performance, availability, and cost. A dedicated private network connection or virtual provide network (VPN) between the cloud providers is recommended.
The production and development are deployed in different clouds with a VPN to connect the environments. The organization keeps the current development and testing environment in one cloud while running production in multiple clouds for performance, data residency/proximity, and cost reasons. The workload can be applications. A VPN between the cloud providers is recommended.
The 2023 S&P Global multicloud survey shows that 97% of organizations use more than one cloud provider. According to the survey, the leading factors behind the multicloud approach are cost optimization, data residency, and business agility. A multicloud strategy provides several benefits, including the following:
|Cost optimization||Data residency||Business agility|
|Best-in-class products and services||Regulatory compliance||High performance|
|No vendor lock-in||Disaster recovery||High availability|
A strong provider for your multicloud needs should have the ability to run enterprise workloads while offering flexibility and versatility. This includes operating high-performance workloads or specific database or virtualization stacks. In a best-case scenario, enterprises engaging in a multicloud strategy can optimize service, price, and resources while maintaining flexibility and ensuring data security and interoperability. Getting there takes some considerations, but a multicloud deployment can power an organization’s ability to thrive when done correctly.
When designing a multicloud solution, it’s essential to consider network latency, data movements, security, orchestration, and operation management, which ultimately drive the architectural decisions.
Network latency and processing power directly affect application performance. Applications have different latency requirements. Some require very low single-digit milliseconds latency, and others can tolerate double-digit milliseconds latency. Chatty applications such as E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, Siebel, and Hyperion require optimal low latency—less than two milliseconds—between the application and database. Typically, Java EE and Fusion Middleware applications can tolerate up to 10 milliseconds between the middle tier and the database.
All these applications require a dedicated network connection for consistently low latency. The physical distance of cloud data centers is a factor—they must be within 40 miles. Co-located data centers are the best for these types of workloads. Integrations such as API or database links can tolerate longer latency. The traffic can go over the internet or a virtual private network. In loosely coupled architecture, the physical distance of cloud data centers is less critical.
If large-scale data is transferred across the cloud boundary frequently, the direction of data flow becomes essential. Cloud providers typically don’t charge data ingress, but all charge a data egress fee. The data egress rates vary among cloud providers. It’s crucial to take egress cost into multicloud design considerations. In addition, data residency must be considered when moving data. For example, the EU General Data Protection Regulation requires all EU data to remain within European Union countries. Some industries—including telecommunications; manufacturing; healthcare; insurance; and software, IT, and computer services—have stringent data locality requirements.
In a multicloud environment, disparate security tools and multiple vendors can result in complex security operations and increased security headcount, leading to costly inefficiencies, ineffectiveness, and unnecessary security risk. As organizations reevaluate their technology stack to strengthen their cybersecurity and improve agility, scalability, and efficiency, they’re seeking cloud providers that offer products and services with built-in security and the ability to integrate with third-party vendors seamlessly. A layered security strategy can simplify the approach by using built-in cloud security services offered by the cloud provider combined with prebuilt APIs and cloud provider partnerships that integrate providers and common event models to process alerts at scale.
How you deploy and manage the multicloud architecture matters. Each cloud has its own set of tools and workflows. That puts tremendous pressure on IT teams to be experts in various technologies. Choosing automation tools to work across clouds is essential. Automated tools are available for networking, security, continuous integration, and continuous delivery (CI/CD). Infrastructure as code, for example, is essential to maximizing availability, scalability, flexibility, and cost optimization. At the same time, security tools are crucial to zero-trust security implementation, access controls, and session management.
An automation tool is a critical component in multicloud deployment and operation management. When choosing an automation tool, you should consider your current on-premises technology stacks, tools, and IT team skillsets. The tool should work in multicloud and hybrid cloud environments. Adding it into workflows usually requires your most skilled personnel.
Operation management includes support access, monitoring and alerting, patching updates, regulatory compliance, and governance. Establishing standard practices and procedures across cloud platforms is vital. Standardizing the cloud operating model can help organizations efficiently address the multicloud barriers around people, processes, and tools; doing so is essential for productivity, ongoing security, consistency, and faster incident resolution. For example, support personnel use a single sign-on (SSO) account and access point to access all clouds, alert auto-ticketing, and integrate with one ticketing system.
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) provides several products and services to simplify the deployment of a multicloud solution.
Oracle and Microsoft are expanding their partnership to deliver Oracle database services running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, collocated in Microsoft data centers. Oracle Database@Azure will be available in the East US region starting in December 2023. Azure customers will be able to procure, deploy, and use Oracle database services running on OCI within the native Azure portal and APIs, giving them an OCI-in-Azure-like experience.
Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure
Oracle Interconnect for Azure provides organizations with a straightforward migration path to a multicloud environment that includes Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services and Microsoft Azure services interoperability. From basic IaaS to PaaS and Oracle Database, the seamless integration lets customers innovate using the best of OCI and Microsoft Azure. This low-latency private connection between two leading cloud providers brings flexible innovation while maximizing return on investment. Interconnect pricing is port-based, and there are no additional charges for bandwidth consumed.
Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure
Oracle Database Service for Azure is an Oracle-managed service for Azure customers to quickly provision, access, and operate enterprise-grade Oracle database services in OCI with a familiar Azure-like experience. Users can seamlessly build Azure applications with the high performance, high availability, and automated management of Oracle database services running on OCI. Oracle Database Service for Azure offers Exadata Database Service, Autonomous Database, Oracle Base Database Service, and MySQL HeatWave.
Oracle MySQL HeatWave on AWS
Oracle MySQL HeatWave on AWS is an OCI fully managed database on AWS compute with machine learning–powered automation and built-in advanced security features. It enables OLTP and OLAP in one MySQL Database service—without ETL duplication. MySQL HeatWave provides automated in-database ML with an explanation of models and results. It’s fully compatible with applications developed on Amazon Ads, Amazon Aurora, AQUA for Amazon Redshift, and Snowflake.
OCI integration services
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure integration services connect any application and data source to automate end-to-end processes and centralize management. The broad array of integrations, with prebuilt adapters and low-code customization, simplify migration to the cloud while streamlining hybrid and multicloud operations.
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure GoldenGate
OCI GoldenGate is a real-time service for migrating, integrating, or off-loading data from databases across multicloud and hybrid cloud environments. These databases include Oracle Database Cloud Service, Oracle Big Data Cloud Service, Oracle MySQL Cloud Service, and any database supported by OCI GoldenGate. With OCI GoldenGate, you can quickly configure a GoldenGate environment in the cloud without setting up the infrastructure or platform requirements.
Oracle API Gateway
The API Gateway service enables you to publish APIs with private endpoints that are accessible from within your network and that you can expose with public IP addresses if you want them to accept internet traffic. You can use a single API gateway to link multiple back-end services (such as load balancers, compute instances, and OCI Functions) into a single consolidated API endpoint. The Oracle API Gateway service is integrated with OCI Identity and Access Management. You can use Oracle API Gateway to expose services to other service clients in multicloud and hybrid cloud deployments.
Oracle Data Safe
Oracle Data Safe empowers organizations to understand data sensitivity, evaluate data risks, mask sensitive data, implement and monitor security controls, assess user security, and monitor user activity—all in a unified console. These capabilities help manage Oracle databases' day-to-day security and compliance requirements in multicloud and hybrid cloud environments.
Oracle Cloud Observability and Management Platform
Oracle Cloud Observability and Management Platform lets customers monitor, analyze, and manage multicloud applications and infrastructure environments with full-stack visibility, prebuilt analytics, and automation. Functionalities include application and infrastructure monitoring, logging, and troubleshooting; database monitoring and management; and infrastructure resource management.
Organizations of all sizes with unique needs have used Oracle’s cloud infrastructure to deliver an IaaS platform as part of their multicloud strategy. Below are just a few of Oracle’s multicloud customer success stories.
Veritas Technologies, a leader in multicloud data management, delivers resilience against cyberattacks by helping to ensure data protection, recoverability, and compliance for more than 80,000 customers. Veritas ingests 2 petabytes of data from numerous sources, with the majority of the structured data on Oracle databases. Veritas uses OCI multicloud managed services to analyze the data at the source to deliver real-time insights and achieve 20X better performance with daily incremental data copy.
Murad, a globally recognized skincare brand, distinguishes itself with science-based treatments and products. The company realized its complex business model needed faster back-office operations across its ERP, supply chain management, planning, and business intelligence platforms. Murad also sought to lower costs and offload hardware management while enhancing business continuity. Ultimately, Murad integrated Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as part of a multicloud solution to work with AWS, resulting in performance improvement of 20% to 30%.
TIM Brasil is a leading telecommunications firm that offers high-speed mobile and broadband services for more than 50 million citizens throughout Brazil. TIM chose a multicloud approach to drive the transformation of applications directly affecting customer experience. It selected Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure to take advantage of the best of both OCI and Azure. TIM migrated 8,000 workloads and 16 petabytes of storage to the cloud, resulting in a 50% reduction in the time required to handle customer service inquiries.
A multicloud environment is often the right choice for organizations to balance price, performance, and agility in a world with many cloud-based services and solutions. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure supports robust multicloud solutions, enabling simpler management while minimizing integration complications and security risks.