5 key considerations for choosing an IaaS provider

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Key considerations IaaSIs it finally time to get that new car? Where are you spending the holidays this year? Who gets the last slice of pizza? You have enough difficult decisions in your life. Your choice of an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider shouldn’t be one of them.

The decision you make for your cloud needs will have a profound outcome. It is not always an easy task to decide when you don’t know the measurable factors to compare.

Luckily, the absence of those factors shouldn’t be a problem if you’re looking to invest in an IaaS solution. With the explosion of cloud computing maturation, organizations that are seeking a cloud service provider (CSP) to host and manage core computing infrastructure are learning that there are a set of standards they can review when making their decision.

KuppingerCole, a European analyst firm specializing in digital transformation, has provided what analysts perceive as the primary evaluation criteria to consider when choosing an IaaS solution to support your business in their IaaS Leadership Compass Report.

The principal elements to consider are as follows:

1. Security

Security is a top concern in the cloud and is shared between clients and IaaS providers. Clients must take the onus of making sure they are compliant with the laws and regulations governing the processing of  data. The cloud provider is responsible for the management, security and compliance of the infrastructure providing the service, enabling clients to hand over some degree of control of how data and IT resources are managed. It’s important that the cloud you choose can protect access to data through features such as identity and access management and encryption. It’s also important to make sure your CSP is well protected against cybersecurity risks.

2. Functionality

Next, you’ll want to make sure your cloud infrastructure has basic compute and storage support, as well as support for public, private and hybrid cloud delivery models. This is a must have for an IaaS solution. Cloud providers with greater functionality offer consulting services to help migrate and run  enterprise workloads, along with development tools that enable quick delivery of applications and services.

3. Integration

When choosing a cloud, think about how your IaaS offering will be incorporated into workflows now and in the future. If your IaaS solution requires you to use different databases or different administration tools with inconsistent user interfaces, it’s not well integrated. Ideally, you want a product that has one single credential that will enable your admin to deal with all aspects of the product suite.

4. Interoperability

It’s also important to determine if you can exchange data between any number of systems and other cloud service providers. This key feature builds upon how well an IaaS solution’s own individual product and services are integrated with other cloud products and standards that help with overall performance, flexibility and scalability.

5. Usability

Usability is an essential characteristic for both administrators and users. It’s paramount that your admin operates with products that stay compatible with the latest releases of hardware, operating systems and related software applications that are dependent on your business. IaaS user interfaces should be logically and intuitively designed so it’s easy for users to interact with products. Having consistent user interfaces for the different products and services your cloud provider offers is another key component.

If your IaaS solution has bad usability, it will require more people to help deploy and maintain your IT systems, which will cost you more money. Needing additional personnel to operate will not only increase costs but ultimately lead to mistakes and breakdowns.

These criteria laid out by KuppingerCole are of the highest importance when choosing an IaaS provider. Weakness in any one of these critical areas will cause a ripple effect that could break down your IT endeavor.

IBM Cloud is a leader in infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

In addition to analyzing what it takes for companies to be successful with IaaS, KuppingerCole identified and ranked the top global IaaS vendors in the market using this list of criteria for IaaS offerings. KupperingCole also ranked its selected leading global IaaS vendors on grounds of market reach and innovation.

IBM Cloud was selected as an overall leader in the report by ranking high in each category: product, innovation and market reach.

The author of the KuppingerCole report, Mike Small, wrote, “IBM Cloud infrastructure offers a high level of security based on IBM’s long experience in this area together with the option of managed security services for those areas that remain the responsibility of the customer.”

Read the full KuppingerCole Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Leadership Compass Report to learn how IBM Cloud is a leading global IaaS provider.

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