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What Are Some of the Major Criteria for Evaluating and Selecting a Cloud Provider?

Les Williams
April 3, 2014

The benefits of the cloud are many. The cloud is flexible, scalable, and generally cost-efficient, which is why it makes sense for a lot of businesses.

But those benefits are only true if you select a trustworthy, reliable cloud provider. There are many cloud providers to choose from, and not all of them are created equal. Luckily, there are certain things you should look out for when selecting a provider, all of which can tell you whether or not that provider is someone you should entrust your data to.

In evaluating and eventually selecting a cloud provider, there are a number of factors that you should take into account:

  • Security: Security should be a major factor in selecting your provider. What does this provider do to keep your data secure? Is it up to major standards for security? Private clouds are typically more secure than public clouds, but in both cases, there are ways to measure security. Find out what your cloud provider offers to keep your data secure.
  • Access: How will you access your data in the cloud? Do you have a direct connection? What happens should your cloud provider go down? The cloud and accessibility go hand-in-hand, so it’s essential that you find out how exactly you’ll access your data.
  • Reliability: How reliable is the cloud provider? You can measure this with the SLA from the cloud provider, but it’s also sometimes useful to look at past history. If the provider has a history of uptime and reliability and they offer an SLA with reasonable guarantees of uptime, they’re probably a good cloud provider.
  • Regulation: Going back to the question of security, there’s also the question of regulation. Is the cloud provider audited by a third-party service? Is it up to industry standards for compliance? Can you trust your secure data with this cloud provider? If not, it’s certainly time to look somewhere else.
  • Performance: Performance is also understandably a concern with cloud services. Are there guaranteed speeds that come along with your contract with this provider? What happens if those promises aren’t met? Performance can affect your end user dramatically; so pay close attention to what a provider has to say about it.
  • Scalability: Finally, scalability is absolutely essential in a cloud provider. What does the process look like should you want to expand your services in the future? Is it seamless, or does it require restructuring that may be difficult? Look for a provider that makes it easy to scale up or down, as your business needs change.
  • Support & Service Assurance: Finally, comprehensive customer support is essential for you to get optimal benefits from the cloud. What are the kinds of proactive service support available? Who will you talk to if you have a question? Look out for a cloud provider that will provide you with upfront consultation and expert services through your initial cloud setup and migrations. Make sure you have a clear picture of their capability to provide a sustained high level of support and service assurance throughout the service lifecycle your deployed cloud solution.

Although these factors don’t cover every single facet of what you should consider in evaluating and selecting a cloud provider, all of them are major enough that they should serve as a good starting point for getting your services started. There are a lot of options out there for selecting a cloud provider, and these factors should weigh heavily on which one your business chooses.

Telx offers a variety of cloud and connectivity services that give you access to carriers, content providers, cloud services, and other value add resources, all of which help your business quickly respond to an ever-changing environment. With our connections to cloud providers like Peak and AWS, your businesses will get all of the benefits that come along with cloud services.

To learn more, get in touch via the contact page of our site, or by Facebook or Twitter.

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