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8 things to consider before choosing a cloud service provider in 2021

MA
Michael Anderson
October 21, 2020
8 things to consider before choosing a cloud service provider in 2021

There is not an ounce of doubt in the fact that cloud computing is the future of human civilization. Ask random business owners or engineers anywhere in the world on the importance of cloud computing and you will get a euphony of replies that will blow your mind. Generally, cloud computing is a gamechanger, but one computing component owns immense transformative power. Cloud infrastructure. It enables business owners and developers to change the world by giving them edge-cut computing power without having to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to IDC, the cloud infrastructure market grew earlier in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, the long-term projection of IT infrastructure is expected to hit a $105.6 billion (9.6%) CAGR (compound annual growth rate ) in 5 years.

Blake Murray, a business analyst with Canalys, states that the demand for cloud services will accelerate in 2020 as many businesses fight to capitalize on new opportunities while adapting to emerging business models. This will create massive competition in cloud service providers. It will also increase indecision among business owners and developers, on which cloud infrastructure providers would give them the best solutions to achieve their goals. To help you select a provider that will fit your needs, here are 8 factors you should consider before choosing a cloud infrastructure provider in 2021.

The Technical

This is the most important factor to consider when laying a strategy to help you integrate cloud infrastructure into your business. Before deciding to use Cloud infrastructure, make sure to study your IT environment, and understand what you are trying to accomplish in your business. You can then research on cloud infrastructure providers by looking at these components:

Computing

This is a vital component of cloud infrastructure and is made up of the CPU and the memory. When looking at computing, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Are there physical servers or is it Virtual Machines? And Are they single-tenant or multi-tenant
  • What is the memory speed, type, and are there options to choose from
  • How many CPUs can be dedicated to a server? Single-core or Multi-core.

Networking

This is the pillar of cloud infrastructure as it provides the gateway for access to the infrastructure. Thus, you should choose a provider that has the networking capabilities to help you achieve your goals. You should thus consider:

  • What bandwidth best suits your workload
  • The type of access needed and its purpose
  • How is the integration of the on-premise network with the provider’s data centers?
  • Possible Processing speed between storage and VMS

This is a critical part of the process, and you may be better of seeking technical support before making a decision.

Storage

This component is an important variable to consider before choosing a cloud infrastructure service provider. You can consider the following before making a choice:

  • Shared storage type ( CIFS, iSCSI, SAN, NASx AoE, FC, FCoE)
  • Storage billing
  • Scalability
  • Types of storage classes
  • Failover-concept (Failover cluster, Active-Active, Active-passive)

This component relates to the scalability of your business and should be chosen with deep consideration.

Data recovery

Data is critical to the operation of any business, and it’s important to choose a provider that offers the best data recovery functionality. Some of the questions you should be asking include:

  • Local fail-over mechanism (manual or automatic)?
  • The providers mean-time-to-repair (MTTR), and what do other providers have to offer?
  • What are the Terms and conditions revolving around penalties associated with business-critical workloads?
  • Does the provider offer replication services? And what is the cost?

Compliance and Security

The nature of cloud computing makes it vulnerable to all sorts of cyber threats, and it is important to consider what precautions service providers put in place to counter these threats. Here are some questions you need to ask:

  • What is the data center classification model and how are they customized to meet your needs?
  • Is your provider certified?
  • What security clearance is offered to the technical team managing your servers and VMs?
  • Where are the datacenter locations, and what laws govern them?
  • Do the service providers meet all regulatory laws or policies? (GDPR, PCCI, and HIPAA) If yes, is there proof?

This part is crucial and must have the most time dedicated to it. It will be wise to seek help if you don’t have access to on-premise professionals.

The Non-Technical

While the technical important should be your main guide, this part should help you cut out the list. The non-technical is all about the business and management side of the process. Here are some things you should consider before making the decision:

Technical Support

As we all know, the cloud is eternal, and the downtown of a minute may cost you thousands of dollars. It is therefore important to research and ask about the providers’ support system.

  • What kind of support system is available? (Email, chat, phone)
  • How long does it take to get a reply?
  • Is the support 24/7?
  • What reporting tools does the provider offer, and what is their reliability? What is their ease of use?

Pricing Structure

While this shouldn’t be a major concern, it is important to understand how you get charged, and the services you get in return. You should rank functionality over cost. Research about the fees charged, the ability to change subscriptions, refunds e.t.c. This will help you decide on a pricing structure for your business.

Provider Reputation

As the saying goes “no one knows a business better than the customer”. Most service providers let rating platforms (Trustpilot, Geekbench, etc) and customers rate their services. It will be a great idea to go through these reviews before making a decision.

Geekbench score
Compare Geekbench score of Serverspace VMs with the others cloud providers. Implementation of real tasks on servers with 1 vCPU and 1 GB memory

Food For Thought

The integration of cloud IT infrastructure into your business mechanism is a big step in your business transformation journey and may bring you closer to your goals. But, with many providers available, choosing the wrong provider may impact your business negatively. It is therefore important to put serious thought before choosing a cloud infrastructure provider.

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