What is HybridMultiCloud and why should you care?

This past year, a new term has emerged that appears to be a combination of two terms; hybrid cloud and multi-cloud. Is this a new solution or modification of an existing solution? Or possibly is ‘HybridMultiCloud’ a juxtaposition of marketing and/or a new perspective on existing cloud usage models?


In 2017, I wrote about the differences between hybrid and multi-cloud. In my post, I outlined the differences between the two usage patterns and how each are used. To recap, hybrid cloud is a vertical approach to using public and private cloud-based solutions from a single vendor. While multi-cloud is a horizontal approach to consuming public cloud-based services from multiple cloud providers. The diagrams below depict the different approaches.

It is common that enterprises will use one public cloud provider as their dominant provider and then choose a second for specific reasons. It is less common to see an enterprise using three (or more) cloud providers.

The exception to this is when there are jurisdiction requirements either due to a) regulatory, compliance and/or privacy legislation or b) due to geographic requirements. In any case, the number of public cloud providers is often reduced to the appropriate, minimum number of providers necessary.


It is entirely possible that ‘Hybridmulticloud’ is a term that was intended to create a new degree of buzz around cloud. However, when you take a moment to understand how hybrid and multi-cloud work, you quickly realize the problem. Hybridmulticloud is not a thing on its own, but rather a combination of terms.

One could ask: What if you are using both hybrid and multi-cloud? Without getting into semantics, the hybridmulticloud term is confusing as it joins two very different operating models. The better way to state it would be: You are using both hybrid and multi-cloud approaches…not hybridmulticloud.


Some may say that I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill. Maybe so. But too often marketeers are too focused on new terms, defining them, establishing white-space and creating buzz. I get it.

However, in a world where IT is already complicated and getting more complicated, these extraneous terms just create noise and confusion in the market at a time when we need to focus on value.

Hybrid and multi-cloud are already powerful and significant opportunities for enterprises to understand. More to the point, both provide new business opportunities for different reasons. And each will require a different way of thinking to effectively leverage. Adding the complexity of a nonsense term like hybridmulticloud does nothing to help the enterprise solve their business problems. My best advice is to focus on how hybrid and multi-cloud can provide value. There is a lot of potential in each of those operating models.

Leave a Reply

Discover more from AVOA

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading