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7 Things to Consider When Selecting a Cloud Service Provider

The original version of this post was contributed by Avnet’s Director of Cloud Offerings, Dan Allaby, and featured on the Avnet Cloud Solutions Blog

Choosing a cloud solutions provider might not be the most critical life decision you make, though it may be one of the most vital for your company. We understand it can be discouraging to identify a company that you can trust with your sensitive data and crucial workloads – let alone a risky one without enough research. Regardless if you’re a small company or a large enterprise, an end user or value-added reseller, many things should be considered when looking for the best cloud provider for you.

This blog contains a checklist that might not mirror your own rank of importance, but can be leveraged as a jumping off point in the journey to determine the appropriate cloud provider that will meet your business requirements.

Pricing

Does the cost of core services and variable consumption model satisfy your business? Are there constraints with the cloud providers in how services can be consumed? Are you able to purchase by the hour? Are you able to pay ahead of time for the month? What are the pricing models and do they meet your workloads?

Performance

What are the SLAs in place for availability of the cloud provider’s services? Are there cases of downtime? Try to reference past trends and stats. Ensure your future cloud services provider has data centers and services that have simple infrastructure to architect for logical and physical redundancy models.

Service Offerings

Cloud providers today offer a large range of services, from Platform as a Service, (PaaS) all the way down to raw infrastructure. Ensure the provider you go with delivers a robust set of offerings and services across PaaS ( i.e. database, content delivery, and business intelligence) and IaaS (infrastructure as a service) – i.e. network security, compute, and storage.

Managed Services

Do you seek a provider who will help you with management, configuration and installation of applications? Inquire about the services offered by each provider in addition to the core infrastructure that can expand or replace your abilities and/or needs.

Governance

Infrastructure requirements may vary around batch-processing needs and periods of peak access demand. Find out if the cloud provider has means to automate provisioning and deprovisioning of infrastructure in an effort to increase performance and cut costs.

Security

This is one of the most significant things to consider when selecting a cloud provider. Ensure they offer customizable security services for deploying, accessing and managing cloud IaaS for your workloads. Evaluate each cloud provider’s procedures and policies, in addition to compliance and governance certifications.

High Availability

Many companies today service clients and key stakeholders around the world. Are you able to simply migrate and/or provision workloads to various regions from one place? Ensure they are able to meet your global requirements and that the cloud provider offers coverage in those areas.

Other things to consider might be how your cloud will be accessed and what support services they offer, in addition to if they will be able to scale with your business. These should be qualified based on your business needs and workloads required to successfully operate.

While this covers at a high level the areas to focus on when assessing a new cloud provider, it is a good starting point. Leverage this blog to identify the important items to consider, though you should know your company’s business priorities. If you have questions in regards to transitioning to the cloud, or believe a key consideration is missing, you can reach me at Dan.Allaby@avnet.com.