What to look for in a cloud services provider
Privately or publicly held, developed by a software company or commercial provider, cloud services are designed to address the challenges that IT departments face. A cloud services provider is a service provider that offers cloud services to business or government agencies. Different providers offer different functionality, depending on the needs of the particular organization. Cloud services are built in accordance with the following:
In a traditional IT infrastructure, an organization either builds its own servers, databases and applications or leases them from a third party. Cloud services are designed to be used on demand, with resources allocated based on the needs of the business. When the user needs more bandwidth or storage space than is required at that time, they can request additional resources. If requirements change, they can decrease their usage. Resources are actually virtualized so that it appears as if all the users are working off of one system. Cloud services are scalable, just as the user’s needs can change.
In order to choose a cloud services provider, you should look for the following:
How to evaluate different providers
Does the service offer disaster recovery?
What is their SLA?
What are their general security requirements?
How do they maintain confidentiality and privacy of data?
The answers to these questions will help you make an informed decision when choosing cloud services.
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The benefits of using a cloud services provider
Cloud services providers offer a range of services, allowing businesses to outsource both software and hardware. A company that needs to manage data storage, for example, can outsource its enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems to a cloud services provider. Cloud services providers also offer the ability to customize the operating systems and applications that run on them. You can choose from a range of servers, operating systems, and applications; you can even decide on which applications you need to run. A cloud services provider can also help train your staff using new technology.
Cloud services providers also offer valuable investment advantages. Some cloud services providers allow you to:
Make low-risk investments in the form of assets that you already own, such as servers, routers and switches.
Transfer your resources between locations: You can use servers in North America but access them from Europe. You can also add new resources at any time. This allows you to scale up or download a new version of your software or hardware in a matter of minutes – if necessary, because demands have suddenly increased.
Reduce operational costs and maintenance headaches by outsourcing your servers, routers and switches.
Use software that already exists: You don’t have to design and implement your own infrastructure. You don’t have to develop and manage software written specifically for the cloud services provider’s platform. And you don’t have to manage complex network management systems (NMS) or perform server management activities that are difficult, time-consuming or error-prone.
To learn more about how a cloud services provider can help your business, please contact your HPE Sales Rep or visit http://www.hpe.com/cloud
Source: HPE Cloud Services Brochure
How to choose the right provider for your needs
a. What are the main services that you need? Do you need to store video, audio and text files? The different providers have different storage capacities. Choose the one that offers more storage space to accommodate your business needs.
b. Is your company considering using the cloud computing service for business continuity purposes? If you choose the provider with redundant data centers, that means, there are at least two facilities that can be used for the storage of your data. This ensures uninterrupted business operation because the storage is not in just one location.
c. Does your company need the latest technology in the field of business? The leading providers have the latest technology that can be used for operations.
d. How many storage devices do you need? It is a good idea to start with an affordable storage capacity to test the proficiency of your provider first. Then, upgrade as needed as your business grows.
e. Does your company have sensitive data that you want to keep confidential? You can make use of encryption for keeping data confidential and secure if necessary. Learn more here: “Storage Encryption”
f. Do you want the cloud computing service to be secure? You will find this information in the provider’s website. If you choose the provider that offers security such as SSL, that means, your data will be encrypted when it is transmitted and stored.
g. What is your budget for storing your data? A storage provider that offers cheap pricing has lower storage capacities and lags behind in technology compared to its competitors.