Typically, every online business comes to face the challenge of vendor lock-in. It happens when you have developed a product or service with a certain vendor, but you are locked-in from moving to a competitive vendor because of the proprietary technologies that have been used. These technologies are incompatible with those of the competitor, thus rendering a change, impossible. As a solution to such vendor lock-in in cloud computing, emerged the paradigm of multi-clouds.
The Fear of Vendor Lock-In
In a survey conducted by Stratoscale, more than 80% of the participants (business enterprises) clearly expressed concerns over subscribing to a single cloud platform and the resultant vendor lock-in. Flexibility and portability become far cries when you are tied to a single vendor. Also, there is a concern of placing all your data and storing them onto to the infrastructure provided by a single vendor. Multi-cloud computing tries to dray away vendor-specific functionalities.
Giving Up Unique Vendor Functionality
Multi-cloud computing develops vendor-independent Cloud Computing Services. You can enjoy the flexibility and variety of more than one cloud provider in your IT basket. However, another concern is that vendor lock-out can force enterprises to bear with the loss of some amount of unique vendor functionality. In many cases, this fear becomes a road block to opt out of native clouds and go in multi-cloud computing. To this extent, multi-cloud computing can reduce the dependence of any business on a single vendor and allow smooth working relationships with different vendors.
Addressing the Portability Trade-Off
Some businesses prefer the ease and flexibility of multi-clouding and the autonomy and competiveness when you work with multiple vendors. However, there are some business who prefer to stick to a same vendor. One thing is that they do not want to risk losing vendor specific features. Another is that time and complexity are more when moving multi-cloud for the first time. These businesses willingly accept the portability trade-off, in exchange for the freedom to move applications to any other framework or platform that they desire.
Remaining Flexible Without Multi-Cloud Computing
Multi-cloud computing surely ends vendor-lock in by abstracting away the proportion of vendor-dependent features in applications. But it is possible to enjoy flexibility working with single vendor and still retain autonomy and flexibility. Patience, presence of mind and maintaining discipline in workflow and design will ensure that flexibility is retained even when you work with a single platform. However, considering the multiple advantages of multi-cloud computing, they outweigh the insecurities of vendor lock-out and stress the need for businesses to scale up their apps with the next level cloud computing technologies.
There are divided views among software experts regarding the usage of multi-cloud as an elimination strategy for vendor lock-in. True enough, when working with multiple vendors you get the advantage of price competitiveness and this can reduce cost. Though vendor lock-out can go on and bring more diversity in your panel of vendors, this does not mean that every such vendor will bring in service differentiation. In this sense, vendor lock-out may not bring the perceived advantages. Because you tend to benefit substantially from the service provided a single vendor, vendor lock-in may not be such a bad thing after all.