As in any IT deployment or roll out in your organisation, you should have a plan, and perform your due diligence.
Part of this plan should be to interview a minimum of three Cloud Hosts or Providers, but what should you be looking for?
Here are some tips.
1. Data Location
This is at the top of the list for a reason. The location of where your data is going to be stored is the most crucial element to this whole exercise.
Do you need access to your data if systems go offline? If the answer to that is yes, then look for a Host close by, at least within driving distance, so in the event of a major circumstance you know you can go and physically retrieve your data at any time.
If the answer to the above question is no, then you should at least be aware of where your data is, and make sure it is on home soil. Data stored in Australia is subject to stringent Privacy and Data Protection laws.
Sure it will cost more to host your data in Australia, but we have amongst the highest certified data hosts in the World.
Secondly, enquire regarding data security. Not just who has access to your data, but how secure is the Data Centre where your virtual servers are stored.
What are the disaster recovery plans for the Data Centre (DC), what fire and hazard prevention controls are in place? Physically what level of staff and who has access to the Server Floor and Data Halls?
You could also ask the Host for a copy of their Security standards and access lists.
3. Recovery and Disaster Prevention
Further questions to ask revolve around the Recovery of data and what Disaster Prevention and even ask for a copy of their Disaster Recovery Plan. If they are serious about their role as a Cloud Host or Virtual Server Provider then they should have this information readily available for you.
Quiz your potential host on what their Fire Prevention plan is, and how quickly they could get your data back online in the case of a total meltdown.
4. Uptime Certification
As in the earlier days of the internet, Uptime SLA’s were a major selling point for the more professional ISP’s, allowing them to charge a higher fee for a higher Uptime SLA.
Your Cloud Host is no different today.
Even better, ask them what their Uptime Institute Certification level is.
Why put price at the bottom of the list you ask?
Well for good reason. If you are serious about a business Cloud deployment, sure price is a consideration, but really, I think this point speaks for itself.
Look for a Host that fits your Budget certainly, but also one that ticks all the above boxes first.