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Best Practices for Evaluating Your Multi-Cloud Architecture Options

By: Blair Felter on January 3, 2018

After going through the rigorous process of defining requirements, considering technology and addressing potential challenges, evaluating your multi-cloud options should be the fun part. The good news is you have plenty of options to evaluate, and your greatest advantage is understanding all of them.

In most cases, your multi-cloud architecture will knit together components from three environments — the public cloud, the private cloud and a colocation environment. Let’s take a closer look at considerations and best practices for evaluating each of these three solutions.

Public Cloud

The public cloud gives you a range of options to choose from — everything from big, brand-name players like Amazon, Microsoft and Google to more niche providers that cater to specific industry verticals, technical requirements and business types. This is where thoroughly understanding your multi-cloud goals and requirements is essential to selecting the right public cloud solution to mix with the other components of your architecture.

Private Cloud

Many large organizations require greater control over their infrastructure environments and augment in-house data centers to host their own private clouds. From a technical standpoint, this can be ideal for internal IT staff and mission-critical applications, but it can also be costly. Managing a private cloud environment saddles your IT staff with additional costs and man-hours, which can drive many organizations to balk at the perceived lack of return from running a private cloud. That being said, private clouds certainly offer benefits, but these types of environments may only be financially and operationally feasible up to a certain scale.


Due to how time-, cost- and resource-intensive running a private cloud can be for organizations, many deploy their private cloud environments in colocation data centers — third-party facilities for hosting infrastructure and connecting to the cloud. The right colocation provider will also allow you to take advantage of a variety of benefits to help you optimize performance, prevent downtime and meet compliance/security requirements. In particular, providers of “edge” data centers — colocation data centers located at the edges of networks, closer to customers, end-users and IT staff — can give you a substantial advantage in reducing latency and scaling infrastructure.

Why Colocation for Your Multi-Cloud Architecture?

As companies look to harness cloud environments without adding extra IT costs, colocation is gaining momentum as a key component of multi-cloud architectures — and IT leaders agree.

A recent study of hybrid/multi-cloud IT deployments from Frost & Sullivan found that…

  • 68% of leaders say their hybrid environment includes colocation
  • 70% plan on increasing their colocation investments in the next two years

Whether you include colocation as a core component in your multi-cloud architecture or don’t include it at all, you have a variety of options for making your deployment work. The best thing you can do is evaluate your every option and understand how each one aligns with your needs and goals.

The best part is that evaluating your multi-cloud options sets you up for a smooth, proactive migration process. Stay tuned for the fifth and final entry of our blog series where we’ll walk through how to develop your migration plan.

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