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Choosing the Right Cloud Provider is a Must for your Business

"Cloud" has acquired a ton of myths in the world of information technology. Not only is it an issue that comes up in almost every technology conversation, but the term is also used abusively by some and wrong for others, which affects the security of data and can lead to problems of governance in the future. The issue is that too many of the so-called cloud providers are not opportunists. IT teams with little or no experience in processing the tender process of cloud computing need to be especially careful to navigate this minefield, especially the first time.

In my new position as president of the new Cloud hosting Industry Forum, a group with special emphasis on security, I have heard many comments on industry leading IT vendors say they can handle and manage the "journey" to the cloud, but a second approach has been found that some of those promises amount to little more than marketing hype and "cheating." This is a problem that is more common among manufacturers of smaller clouds, although the size of the organization is not necessarily related to the quality of service.

When choosing a company, it is important to note that it is a financially stable company that offers a secure cloud package that allows data to be easily released when the contract ends. This, obviously, is easier said than done, and will be discussed later in more detail in the section on "best practices" to achieve it.

Challenges and Potential dangers associated with choosing the right supplier:

Regulatory compliance is one of the most laborious tasks for the IT team and bringing the data to the cloud is not going to make it go away suddenly. Therefore, it is necessary to be careful and know exactly how safe the provider's data center is depending on which sector the company develops its activity-and even where they will hold the data geographically.

The legal field is increasingly being more expensive, in fact. The reforms of the Data Protection Act, which is expected to take effect in 2014 as part of the new European regulation will prepare the ground for penalties of up to one million euros or up to 2% of global annual turnover for a company in the event that there is a serious violation. The impact of a breach of sensitive customer data or intellectual property related, it can also, of course, make a dent in a company's brand and possibly cause an outflow of customers, which will be even more damaging.

Equally important is to find a stable cloud provider and trust from the financial standpoint. The possibility of signing a contract with a company just to get out of business or be acquired by a competitor is unsettling, for IT administrators might assume that critical information is suddenly unavailable. The contracts should be drafted to ensure that, if this happens, there is an alternative, simple transparent migration, allowing corporate data can quickly recover and can dispose of them or change to another provider.

Diligence should prevail above all. It is alarming that IT is forced to deal with data management in the cloud because the cloud provider is not doing its job properly. Obviously, this is a false economy. Making the journey to the cloud should generate a number of business benefits around greater flexibility, lower costs and more efficient use of resources-human resources being one of these key resources. The alternative of the cloud should release certain IT functions for reuse these organizational resources elsewhere - and not increase the load.

Useful tips For Choosing The Right Cloud Computing Provider:

The journey to the cloud can sometimes be like walking through a minefield because of unscrupulous service providers and integrators of services with service offerings that aim to respond to all your needs, but it turns out they are little more than marketing hype and false promises. It may seem a daunting task for some, especially for smaller organizations with fewer resources and less experience in the choice of cloud providers. But this is not impossible and therefore, it is important to consider some tips that may be helpful to ease the burden and make sure you take the right decision.

When looking for a cloud provider, the most important thing to remember is that undertaking the journey to the cloud does not mean forget all about the data just because someone else is storing and managing it. It is critical to remember that no matter what the cloud provider can say, responsibility for the security and integration of our information is always up to the customer essentially.

With this in mind, it is time to act with diligence. It's all about finding a supplier able to meet customer demands. Now these will depend on what it is you are using the cloud. If a company uses it to run a transactional database, for example, latency is an important issue and you may need to find a supplier with data centers located nearby. The same applies if the regulatory requirements stipulate that the data cannot leave the country or if there are some strict safety standards that must be met, then they should be referred to in service level agreements (SLA).

On the other hand, we also need a different set of requirements if the organization is using a cloud platform to a production environment or development, or whether it is one of proof. In the latter case, for example, sensitive IPs should be extracted from the cloud securely in small steps and then moved to the premises of the company, which some providers may not be able to do successfully.

The two biggest areas of concern are probably data security and performance, but the billing and support are also important to ensure trouble-free service. The turnover, in particular, needs to be automated and transparent to avoid any impact on the line, while support options must meet standards own IT team.

You also need to ensure that the supplier uses strictly controlled access role-based directory services that can be moved without problem from their local environment to the cloud. In this regard, it is essential that systems can interact seamlessly with the cloud provider. System administrators will seek the opportunity to manage through a single control panel, which will also benefit the customer maximize their IT resources.

One of the major problems with cloud projects is that there is not a universal framework of standards by which to help select the right provider. In fact, cloud computing is often not a single, limited definition, making it doubly important to set plenty of time making that list of requirements for IT and business. Then, confirm that these requirements must be strictly applied and impose tough sanctions that should be included in the contract in the event that the SLA is not met.

However, there are helpful tips. Several independent cloud agencies, such as the Cloud Industry Forum, provide a wealth of information and useful tips. Another good idea is to visit as many industry events as possible and engage in networking with professional colleagues, find out what their needs are, what suppliers they are using and get those references. At least, there are between 4 or 5 conferences a month on cloud and cloud security, so my advice is to go and gather as much information as possible before making a decision.


About the Author

Asher Ross is an expert technical writer from the UK web hosting company eUkhost LTD. eUkhost has completed 11 successful years in the Web hosting industry and specializes in deploying Cloud hosting solutions, Dedicated hosting and many more with free tech support and complete web hosting satisfaction.

Published Thursday, January 09, 2014 7:03 AM by David Marshall
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