What is Multi-Cloud Storage?

Synopsys Editorial Staff

Aug 28, 2022 / 4 min read

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Multi-cloud storage combines the storage services of multiple cloud vendors into a unified architecture. As a result, organizations can experience increased flexibility, security, data durability, and compliance, as well as lower costs.

With multi-cloud storage, users can leverage a variety of cloud storage services to secure their data. To manage data that is distributed across multiple clouds, organizations can choose a private, public, or hybrid approach. Managed Service Providers (MSPs), native public cloud services, and third-party cloud solutions represent the primary options for multi-cloud environments.

Multi-cloud storage service providers fall into the following categories:

  • Native cloud services from large cloud providers such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure. These often include support for database, object, and block storage.  
  • Supplier integrated services, including cloud services providers, cloud service resellers, and managed service providers. You can pre-integrate these services with your cloud provider.  
  • Marketplace services, including virtual machine images or applications from third-party services that you can utilize through a marketplace.

Multi-cloud storage is part of a broader multi-cloud architecture where services from diverse providers are consolidated into an organization’s infrastructure.

Multi-Cloud Storage Advantages

Switching to a multi-cloud storage architecture can provide numerous benefits. Some of the most common include:  


Enhanced Flexibility

  • Utilizing storage from multiple vendors avoids vendor lock-in and allows you to duplicate your data.  
  • With multiple services, users gain access to specialized proprietary services that each vendor provides.  


Cost Efficiency 

  • Administrators can pick and choose bits and pieces of storage services from each vendor.
  • Users can customize what data moves across services, improving accessibility and performance.
Multi-Cloud Storage Advantages | Synopsys Cloud

Additional Security

  • Critical data remains separated across providers. A breach in one provider only affects part of the data, ensuring attacks stay isolated.
  • Users can store backups in various locations.
  • With centralized monitoring and logging, administrators can further reduce the risks of data loss. Users can better target security measures by clarifying the location of the data.


Data Durability

  • Data is backed up off-site, making it more affordable than tape storage.
  • Retention periods improve, increasing overall affordability.


Increased Compliance  

  • With more strict data privacy rules, data must stay stored in specific locations to meet standard requirements.
  • Companies can store most of their data in one country with a subset replication in another country. Each replication complies with individual geographic regulations.

How Multi-Cloud Storage Works

Multi-cloud controllers manage multi-cloud storage by combining all of an organization’s resources under a common API. This process creates a centralized management point, allowing you to monitor and manage services from a unified console.

Multi-cloud controllers typically use a variety of security, cluster, and storage manager agents. They allow for reduced expenses, ensuring optimization and availability. Through centralized  logging and monitoring, users can know their data’s location, so they can maintain control and eliminate risk.

Requirements Before Multi-Cloud Storage Adoption

Requirement 1

For the smooth operation of multi-cloud storage services, the environment must offer high functionality, mobility, and visibility. This includes storage services requiring compatibility across multiple clouds, with the ability to accommodate data structures and allow for integration.


Requirement 2

Multi Cloud storage will require using different APIs. Although there is some standardization, each provider may have different rule structures. Users will need to manage these different applications for cross-service communication.


Requirement 3

Utilization of  services with enterprise-grade functionality. Adopt storage services with high durability and failure rates of less than 0.2%. Furthermore, review your service’s storage level agreement for what events they cover and exclude. Service should be low-latency and have the ability to support tens of thousands of input/output operations per second (IOPS).


Requirement 4

Centralized monitoring of services and federation is required to ensure visibility, including identity and access controls. Without centralization, users will experience more vulnerability and configuration errors.


Requirement 5

Reformatting, re-architecting, and refactoring applications may be necessary before moving data between service providers. Ideally, services should also allow for seamless data transfer and support containerization to further increase mobility.


Requirement 6

Finally, services should be able to integrate with a centralized monitoring dashboard for high visibility. Many of the benefits for multi-cloud storage require visibility, as it is key for smooth and secure operations. Tracking access and movement, logging service and data events, and ensuring optimization and performance are all critical functions of an optimized multi-cloud storage environment.

Synopsys, EDA, and the Cloud

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