From Dropbox to Amazon Web Service to Google Drive and more, cloud storage makes sharing and collaborating easier. But it’s also the backbone of virtualization technologies.
The one problem is keeping it all organized. You might use Google Drive to create spreadsheets and documents but prefer Dropbox for sharing files. Keeping track of which file is where can be annoying, to say the least.
And since all of the cloud providers are rivals, they don’t always work well with each other. Luckily, some solutions solve this struggle to make your life much more comfortable. Here’s what you need to know about them.
What is a Multi-Cloud Approach?
Multi-cloud refers to the combination of different cloud service providers into a single architecture. To achieve this, multi-cloud combines private and hybrid cloud environments that can do more than one public cloud platform.
Public platforms are Dropbox, Google, and many of the other big names you’re likely familiar with already. Private clouds are those you or your use exclusively.
Multi-cloud offers a variety of benefits. More than anything, it allows you greater flexibility in what services you choose to use or not use from a respective provider. For example, you may opt for the share functionalities of Dropbox while still using Google Slides for presentations.
Other benefits include:
- Increased performance and efficiency
- Dynamic pricing
- Avoiding vendor lock-in
- Better disaster recovery
- Data redundancy
How to Combine Cloud Storage?
As you might imagine, there are several methods for adopting a multi-cloud approach. The first step is finding a cloud management platform. You need one that makes it easy to connect your different accounts and ensure there are no incompatibilities during setup.
Before You Get Started: Even if you do find a reliable and easy-to-use multi-cloud provider, you need an IT professional to review the setup. It’s the best way to verify that everything is secure and interoperable. That’s why mostly companies and tech-savvy individuals use this approach.
1. Find an Integration Platform
You’ll want a single point of access for your accounts. While searching for an integration platform, check it has support for common standards like HTML, JSON, and XML. This way, the different interfaces can communicate with each other.
2. Set Permission Appropriately
The single platforms will be the central access point for both data as well as security. You need to set permissions to exactly who can access the data here, make changes to it, etc.
Only you (or in case of a company, system admins) should have admin-level privileges. Otherwise, all other users should be on restricted accounts.
3. Configure The Management Console
Once you’ve determined the permissions and the platform, you need to set up the management console. Everything should be accessible for a single location to make it easy to both control and monitor workflow.
(Multi-) Cloud Security is Imperative:
A multi-cloud approach has many benefits. But it does present an inherent security risk.
Multi-cloud can obscure the usually clear data channels. For example, in the past, you would upload a file to Dropbox. With multi-cloud, you upload a file via your new integration platform, which then uploads to Dropbox. This small additional step increases your exposure to cyber-threats.
For these reasons, you should encrypt all files before uploading them to the cloud. This is something you should be doing now, with any single cloud storage too. In fact, hackers can and do intercept files in transfer on both usual and multi-cloud setups. If you encrypt your data, then even in the unfortunate case of a hack, cybercriminals won’t get their hands on its content.
Likewise, you should also hide your IP address to prevent cybercriminals from monitoring your online activities. You can find a variety of Hide-My-IP-Address tools on Google, but the best option is a VPN. A VPN encrypts your internet connection while concealing your IP address, giving you much higher security than simple proxies and other tools.
Multicloud is the future. It’s not the easiest or cheapest thing to implement, but in most cases, it’s worth the hassle. But make sure you keep security in mind by following these steps. A little investment in time and energy here will go a long way in ensuring your new setup is safe.