You’ve made the decision to use a cloud service. Great. But there’s still work to be done — including determining what kind will work best for your organization. So how do you go about doing that?
First, determine what your organization’s business requirements are. Do you know what kind of workloads you will be running in the cloud? Does your company have specific regulatory requirements or security needs that you need to consider? Are you clear on the differences between public, private, recovery and hybrid clouds, their advantages and disadvantages and how each cloud type can possibly meet your needs?
Compiling a list of your requirements for cloud services can help ensure you’re considering all the relevant issues. (We’ve put together a free checklist below to help get you started.)
Of course, choosing the right cloud service provider (CSP) matters too. You want to choose a CSP that work with you as a partner — one you can trust and that will be able to accommodate your needs, even if they change.
Consider using a Gartner magic quadrant as a starting point for compiling a list of prospective CSPs. Gartner magic quadrants are a culmination of research in a specific market, such as cloud-enabled hosting, and offer a broad view of the relative positions of the market’s competitors. By applying a graphical treatment and consistent evaluation criteria, a magic quadrant can help you quickly assess how well various providers are executing against their stated visions.
You can also consult any number of Internet resources and industry publications out there. Keep in mind, however, that most will tend to focus on the big name CSPs. Depending on your business requirements, the less well known CSPs may be better aligned with what you really need. Recommendations from your peers can’t hurt either.
Making the move to the cloud is a big undertaking so do your due diligence. Equip yourself with as much information upfront so the move you make will be the right one.