4 things to consider when selecting a cloud provider

By Scott Wallace and Marcos Quezada

When choosing cloud providers, we usually pay attention to things like whether the provider has adopted open standards such as OpenStack, whether their cloud computing hybrid approach is dynamic and whether they have integrated platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) offerings.

cloud considerationsWhat we often overlook is the importance of the aspects and features that these providers offer regarding maintenance, administration and troubleshooting. Here are four topics for consideration when you make this leap to the cloud.

Remote updating of layered applications

Once you have deployed a remote component from the cloud service, keeping it updated is critical for the efficient operation of the service. The ability to remotely update this component is something that you might not think of until you have to keep up with hundreds of components spread across your environment. Don’t wait until it gets critical and causes you a lot of pain and effort to maintain.

Remote administration of layered applications

Have you ever needed to stop or start a task, but you find that you can’t? This is frustrating and makes you want to pull your hair out. The analogy that I use here is when I am watching television and my children have moved the remote. I want to change the channel but I have to get up to do this. It is not impossible to change the channel (or, for our purposes, to start an application) but it is more difficult than necessary. Having remote administration is like the TV remote; it allows you to easily stop or start the application without a lot of hassle.

Sending problem determination information

This may never happen to you, but I have had software fail on me. SHOCKER! And when that has happened, I’ve had to send problem determination (PD) information to the support team in order to resolve the issue.

When you’re first getting started, you might not be familiar with where the PD data is located on the system. Having the ability to collect this data and send it to the support team with one click would be amazing, especially since you might be frustrated that the application has encountered a problem. In fact, many would say this feature should be a core functionality.

Streamlining the onboarding process

So you have reached the moment where you begin climbing into the cloud, but nobody has given you a ladder. No one has told you how to prepare your team in order to stay there and avoid pitfalls.

We propose something simple but powerful, like an onboarding wizard. This tool would allow you gauge how ready you and your team are by inspecting your strategies in areas such as:

  • Change management
  • Backup and restore disaster recovery
  • Internet phasing aspect of your environment security
  • Capacity planning

By following a simple checklist, the onboarding wizard would advise you before you take any chances, reducing the risk and making your ride into the cloud a smooth one.

We hope you find these four tips interesting and relevant to your IT shop and that they will help you to choose the best cloud service provider for your infrastructure as a service (IaaS) needs. We see a future where all IT organizations will implement some sort of cloud solution. Hybrid cloud plays a big role in that future, and you’ll need to consider many different factors to adopt it widely and wisely.

What are some of your concerns about the future of cloud? Get involved by joining the conversation under the comments section and tweeting using the hashtag #HassleFreeCloud. Please also follow us on Twitter @swallacertp and @mRcSqZd for more hassle free cloud news.


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