Cloud Computing Providers are all over the place these days. Just Google the term “Cloud Computing Providers” and Google will show you over 16 million results! Any type of hosting provider or IT service company with a data center can call themselves a cloud hosting provider. If your firm is evaluating and comparing cloud hosting vendors, you really need to establish a baseline specification for what you want with a cloud hosting service and you need to have a checklist to compare cloud computing provider’s strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we will look at 3 of the most important selection criteria in picking and evaluating cloud computing providers…
(1) Who owns the Data Center? – Does you cloud provider own their own data center or do they lease space from another provider? Leasing space from another provider is not always a negative but you really need to know who they rent the space from. Is the primary data center owner doing OK financially? Sometimes when data centers are feeling the economic pinch, they tend to cut costs in the most important areas. We have seen data centers cut costs be reducing the number of available bandwidth carriers. Others cut cost by not adding necessary data center infrastructure improvements such as cooling and backup generators. All of these cuts can have severe implications on the data center’s up time and integrity.
(2) What are their past experiences with operating Hosting Services? Not all new cloud provider are bad because they came to the market a little “late in the game.” Running a cloud computing service is very similar to managing a dedicated and managed hosting infrastructure. Experienced hosts who have run dedicated and managed hosted platforms understand provisioning, customer service and managed services like security, storage and back ups. Be cautious of “pure play colocation” providers now offering the latest and greatest cloud computing packages. Do they understand how to meet customer install deadlines? Do they have competent 24×7 technicians available to answer your technical questions? Have they really taken the time to really understand your cloud hosting requirements and the goals that you plan to achieve?
(3) Analyze the cloud computing provider’s entire cloud service portfolio. Cloud computing comes in a variety of service options. Public clouds which are shared infrastructure resources are usually the cheapest and most readily available. Private clouds tend to be more costly because they are a single tenant cloud environment for one company or single client. Hybrid clouds are a mixture of public cloud, private cloud and traditional hosting services like dedicated servers and colocation. Even though you may only require an inexpensive public cloud service today, in the future you may need a private cloud service for a specific client or to meet regulatory and compliance requirements.
These are just a few of the things that need to be considered when analyzing cloud computing hosts. Check out our whitepaper below if you want a more detailed list.