Picking a Cloud provider is a critical business decision that will have a far-reaching impact on your organization. Recently, Quick Cloud Computing put together these 10 Tips for Picking a Cloud Provider. While we thought these were great pieces of advice, we thought you might benefit from a little more information, so we put together this follow-up response:
1) Evaluate the Cloud Providers Data Center Infrastructure. Ask about data center physical security, cooling infrastructure, redundant power, back-up power, stand- by generators and IP network redundancy. You should request documentation supporting their data center. Private cloud providers should offer redundant data centers outside of their primary data center location. Socius Cloud Services co-locates at Expedient data centers.
2) Ask about Data Center Certifications. If you are looking for a quality provider, the data center must be SSAE16 compliant. Socius Cloud Services data center is SSAE16.
3) Technical Support. A responsive support team is what is required for any Cloud environment to be successful. Make sure you know how to contact support when needed. At Socius, we take pride in getting to know our clients and making sure they do not feel like a number. Our technical support team is ready help you.
4) Past Experience with Cloud Services and Dynamics products. New cloud providers are entering the market every day. While the term “Cloud” is fairly new, the problems it solves are not. Seek a Cloud provider who is versed in Dynamics products, like Socius. Some companies look at pure co-location because it may appear cheaper on paper. When you have a Cloud provider who also knows the applications, you save time and money resolving any issues. Most often, application and server issues go hand in hand. Make sure you have the best provider ready to support your applications and infrastructure.
5) Make Sure You Know What is Included. Is there a per user fee or per server fee? Will you incur additional fees for restoring a database? If you have any questions, are you billed for consulting time? Read the fine print to know what is included. Local providers may offer more options and flexibility than the big national cloud options. Many provide cloud services all in one package.
6) Ask About Migration Services. Many of the larger co-location cloud providers only provide “do-it-yourself” migration services. If you have any issues or need help doing this service, cost can add up. You may even have to pay for additional Consulting services. Look for a Cloud provider that offers professional consulting services and a strategy to migrate your data to the Cloud.
7) Make Sure You Know Who Owns the Data. What happens if you do not pay your bill? Will your provider remove access and delete your data? What happens to the customizations you have spent a lot of money developing? There are many providers who state in their Agreement that they own the data once it is put into their data center. Be sure you know your rights to the data.
8) Analyze the Cloud Providers Entire Cloud Portfolio. Do they offer both public and private cloud options? Do they offer hybrid cloud options? Even though you may only want a single private cloud server today, tomorrow you may require a more complicated cloud solution because of requirements. Socius is ready to help you develop a road map to move all of your applications to the Cloud or just a few of your mission critical applications.
9) Pick a Provider Who Uses Well-Known Technology Vendors. Cloud infrastructure is only as good as the hardware and network gear it resides on. Pick a provider who uses industry leading vendors for their infrastructure and is partnered with the right support system.
10) Go With Your Gut and Work With Someone You Like and Trust. Make sure you are comfortable with your Cloud provider. Depending upon your requirements, implementing a cloud project may leave you feeling like you have lost control of your own business. Pick a provider that you trust, one that you are comfortable with and one that understands your business and specific cloud requirements. Look for the trusted advisor you want as an extension to your business. Learn more about Socius and our Cloud services today.
For a better understanding of how Cloud applications will affect your business, request a Cloud Impact Assessment today!