11 dark secrets of multicloud

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In many situations, multicloud architectures make the most sense. But playing the field, baking in agility, and avoiding lock-in can expose your enterprise to hidden costs and issues.

Cloud computing is a digital cornucopia of choices to dazzle the eyes of everyone from the spreadsheet-addled CIO to the container-slinging intern. Those servers with 24GB of RAM look nice and so does that new AI image classification system. Oh, what’s that over there? Long-term object storage? Give me a couple zillion bytes of that too.

If the options from one cloud provider are nice, why not two? Or three? Or N? Everyone knows that homework expands to fill the desk and every recipe grows in complexity to take over every bit of counter space. It’s only natural for the modern architect to entertain the idea of sprawling over the entire internet to take advantage of all that’s available.

There are good practical reasons why multicloud architectures make sense. More clouds mean more options for APIs, more locations for data centers, and an even longer list of clever AI algorithms that just might work. When new improvements come along, a team of architects that’s open to multiple clouds will be agile enough to take full advantage of them.

And there’s also the desire to fight vendor lock-in. When the contract comes up for renewal, the prices go up until you find some competition. Adding multicloud agility into the architecture from the beginning makes it easier to switch when the vendor sales team wants to squeeze you. There’s just something so irresistible about the dream of being able to move your business to another provider in a weekend.

But all these advantages come with a price. Remaining agile enough to enjoy the competition has a dark side that may only become obvious after several weeks, months, or even years. Here are some of the hidden dangers of multicloud that might arise to undercut your experience.

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