I thought it was weird to see “multi-cloud” as a type of cloud. Luckily, the write-up defines it:
A multicloud strategy builds systems that run across multiple cloud providers. Hybrid cloud goes even farther, incorporating private cloud infrastructure (on-premises or hosted) running cloud APIs. When done correctly, multiclouds and hybrid clouds can provide continuity in the face of provider outages, the ability to use “the best tool for the job” on different application workloads (for example, leveraging Google Cloud’s AI facilities), and easier regulatory compliance (because sensitive workloads can stay on private systems).
When I think about those two app architectures, I’d call both of these uses “hybrid cloud.” That said, I haven’t really heard the phrase “hybrid cloud” in a long time. To me, “multi-cloud” simply means that your apps don’t all run on one cloud: one app might run in AWS, another app in Azure, more on-premises.
This seems like overthinking it. However, with the surge in the use of “multi-cloud,” if you’re looking at all the options, you should should always ask “are we talking about individual apps that run on multiple devices clouds and use services from multiple clouds, or just the fact that we run apps everywhere?” The first is what I’d call “hybrid,” the second the more general “multi-cloud.”
Over the years, the definition of the various types of"cloud" has gone back and forth. I remember a long meeting back around 2014 when I was at 451 Research where we tried to find the de facto meaning of hybrid, bursting (remember that one?!), public, private, and so forth. And before that, when I was doing cloud M&A at Dell, we had a long meeting on the topic…and before that, when I was at RedMonk there was much discussion.
Always ask people what they mean with a cloud term.