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How To Select Cloud Computing Provider In 2020

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You should pick a cloud computing provider based on the business requirements, the value that it brings to your business, and then backing the appropriate technology into those demands. Cloud service providers all differ in features and functions, and so, they do things adversely in terms of how they do storage and compute.

Now, the cloud providers have gone after function and feature wars between themselves, and they’re developing different services that do things differently.

How To Select Cloud Computing Provider

As more and more Information Technologies systems are externalized, picking up the right cloud providers became critical to long-term success.

In the Cloud Computing world, the following three companies are the most popular.

  1. Amazon Web Services(AWS)
  2. Microsoft Azure
  3. Google Cloud Platform(GCP)

They provide networking, storage, compute, platform support, things like that. Now, they’re basically into everything especially in artificial intelligence and machine learning,

They’re typically turning out adding between 10 to 20 services per month, and therefore, it’s up to you as a cloud computing professional to keep up and understand where these things are going.

So you need to look at your needs and if you make a mistake, try again. Ultimately, this is not about you winning some game and that we’re going to iterate through this in the fact that we’re going to try to make the right decisions, and cloud providers in general, elasticity and scalability.

So, it’s vital to evaluate the reliability and capability of a service provider that you plan to commit to your Organization’s applications and data. Some things to consider are the following.

Business health and processes

Financial health

The cloud provider should have a strong track record of endurance and be in a healthy financial position with enough capital to operate successfully over the long term.

The Organization, governance, planning, and risk management

The cloud provider should have atleast formal management structure, established risk management policies, and a legal process for assessing third-party service providers and vendors.

Data policies and protection

Assess the provider’s security policies and data management policies, particularly relating to data privacy regulations.

Ensure there are sufficient guarantees around the data access, data location and jurisdiction, confidentiality, and usage /ownership rights. Scrutinize backup and resilience provisions.

Review the data conversion policies to understand how transferable data maybe if you decide to leave.

Business terms

There is a myriad of terms covered in the training module, and your circumstances will dictate which are essential, but main considerations include:

  1. Contractual and service governance, including to what extent a provider can unilaterally change the terms of contract or service.
  2. What are the policies on contract renewals, exit, or modification notice periods?
  3. What insurance policies, penalties, and guarantees are included and what caveats accompany them.
  4. To what extent is, a provider is willing to expose their company to auditing operations and compliance to policies.

Trust

You should like a company and its core principles. You have to check the provider’s reputation and see who its partners are.

Find out the level of cloud experience. Read online reviews and talk to clients whose situation is similar to yours.

Business knowledge and technical know-how

The cloud provider should understand your business goals and what you want to do and be able to match it up with their technical expertise.

Make sure the cloud provider’s platform and preferred technologies align with your current environment and support your cloud objectives.

Do the provider’s cloud architectures, standards, and services suit your workloads and management preferences? Assess how much recoding or customization you may have to do to make your workloads suitable for the platforms.

Many service providers offer the comprehensive migration services and even provide assistance in the assessment and planning phases. Please ensure that you have an excellent understanding of the support on offer and map this against the project tasks and decide who will do what. Often cloud service providers have technical staff that can fill the skills gaps in your migration teams.

Compliance audit

The provider should be able to validate the compliance with all of your requirements through a third-party audit.

Technical capabilities and processes

Ease of deployment, management, and upgrade

Make sure the cloud provider has mechanisms that make it easy for you to deploy, manage, and upgrade your software and applications.

Standard interfaces

The cloud provider should use standard APIs and data transforms so that your Organization can quickly build connections to the cloud.

Event management

The provider should have the formal system for event management that’s integrated with its monitoring/management system.

Change management

The cloud provider should have documented and formal processes for requesting, approving, logging, testing, and accepting changes.

Hybrid capability

If you don’t plan to use the hybrid cloud initially, you should make sure that cloud provider can support this model. It has advantages that you may wish to exploit at a later time.

Remain flexible to meet new business demands

To stay competitive, businesses today must change and adapt to the latest standards on a nearly real-time basis.  You need this for an increased focus on developing and building the traits of flexibility and versatility to all levels of the workforce hierarchy. As an emerging leader, the duty of cultivating these two traits often falls on your shoulders.

Administration support

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Cloud providers should be able to promise you the basic level of service that you are pleased with.

Performance reporting

The cloud provider should be able to give you performance reports.

Resource monitoring and configuration management

There should be enough controls for the provider to track and monitor services presented to customers and any changes made to their systems.

Billing and accounting

Billing should be automated so that you can monitor what resources you are using and the cost, so you don’t run up to unexpected bills. There should also be the support for billing-related issues.

Security practices

Security infrastructure

There should be a proper security infrastructure for all the levels and types of cloud services.

Security policies

There should be a proper security policies and procedures in place for controlling access to providers and client systems.

Identity management

Changes to any application service or hardware component should be authorized on the personal or group role basis, and authentication should be required for anyone to change the application or data.

Data backup and retention

Policies and procedures to assure the integrity of customer data should be in place and operational.

Physical security

Controls assuring physical security should be in place, including for access to co-located hardware. Also, data centers should have environmental defenses to protect equipment and data from disruptive events. There should be excess networking and power and a documented disaster recovery and business continuity plan.

Disaster recovery

Look to understand the cloud provider’s disaster recovery provisions, processes, and their capacity to support your data preservation expectations (inc. recovery time objectives). This should include the criticalness of data, data sources, backup, scheduling, integrity checks, restore, etc.

Roles and responsibilities, escalation processes, and who has the burden of proof, all must be documented in the service level agreement. This is essential, as in many cases, your team may be responsible for implementing some of these processes.  

Consider the purchasing additional risk insurance if the costs associated with recovery are not covered by the provider’s umbrella terms and conditions.

Compliance

Make sure you choose the cloud architecture platform that can help you meet compliance standards that apply to your company and Organization. Whether you are beholden to GDPR, PCI, SOC 2, DSS, HIPAA, or any other frameworks, make sure you understand what it takes to deliver compliance once your applications and data are living in the public cloud infrastructure.

Be sure you realize where your responsibilities lie, and which aspects of acquiescence the provider will help you check off.

Costs

While it should never be a single or most important factor, there’s no denying that cost will play the vital role in deciding which cloud service provider(s) you choose. It’s helpful to look at both sticker prices and associated costs which includes personnel you may need to hire to manage your instances.

Here’s a look at the pricing structure of the three major players:

AWS: Amazon defines price by rounding up the number of hours used. The minimum use is one hour. Instances can be bought in one of the following three ways:

  1. Pay-as-you-go: Pay for what you use, no upfront cost.
  2. Reserved: Reserve instances for one or three years, with an upfront cost based on utilization.
  3. Volume discounts: Acquire more services as the business grows, and receive the volume discounts for particular services, such as Storage S3.

Google Cloud Platform: GCP bills for instances per second used. Interestingly, Google also offers “sustained-use pricing” and “committed use discounts” for computing services that offer the simpler and more elastic model compared to AWS’s reserved instances. You can read more about how these work here.

Azure: Microsoft Azure bills customers on-demand by the hour, gigabyte, or millions of executions, depending on the specific product. They also provide an option to reserve instances, like AWS.

As you can see, there is no simple toe-to-toe comparison to make when it comes to prices. It’s not like AWS costs $5, and GCP costs $10. Instead, you’ll need to see at your usage patterns (or predicted usage patterns) and decide which of the three best suits your business model, budget, timeline, and so on.

Migration Support, Vendor Lock-in & Exit Planning

Vendor lock-in is a state in which the customer using the product or service cannot easily transition to a competitor. Vendor lock-in is usually a result of proprietary technologies that are incompatible with those of competitors.

However, it can also be caused by ineffective processes, or contract constraints, among other things.

Cloud services that rely heavily on unique proprietary elements may impact your portability to other providers or in-house operations. This is especially true if the applications have to be re-architected to run on the service provider platform.

Avoid the risk of vendor lock-in by securing your chosen provider has minimal use of proprietary technology, or you reduce the use of services that limit your eligibility to migrate or transition away.

Conclusion

Include hard and soft factors in your evaluation of prospective providers: recognize and validate both the certifications and standards they adhere to, but also what their consumers say about them in case studies and client testimonials.

Think long-term to avoid lock-in: avoidance of proprietary technologies and the clearly defined exit strategy will stop a lot of headaches down the line.

Take time to establish the workable SLAs and contractual terms; they are the main form of assurance that the services will be delivered as agreed.

Finally, How To Select Cloud Computing Provider In 2020 article is over.

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