It is important to know your cloud service provider.
When I talk to cloud customers and prospects, I’m often told about bad cloud experiences. This was a hot topic again with the news of MegaCloud’s disappearance this week. Where did MegaCloud go?
Unfortunately, MegaCloud wasn’t the first – and will not be the last. Over the past couple years, our industry exploded with cloud providers, and we are already seeing consolidation. Oftentimes, this comes by way of acquisition for many of the larger managed cloud service providers. For others, consolidation occurs due to the lack of stability within their company. The key takeaway is simple – Get to know who you are working with.
Here are the top 10 questions I advise a technical decision maker to ask. You can build your decision matrix from these:
- How is the cloud service provider financially backed? How long have they been in the space?
- Where is the cloud service provider located? Can you reach them 24/7?
- What customers can I directly speak with from the cloud service provider?
- What SLAs do they provide for their cloud services?
- What network/disk/compute infrastructure do they utilize, and how do they ensure availability for each?
- What are their data retention periods for scenarios such as backup, or even decommissioned devices?
- Is all of the data (production, recovery, replicated) hosted with that cloud service provider?
- What are their cloud change management policies, and how are their customers informed?
- What are the historic availability of the cloud environments?
- Which security/compliance certifications does the cloud service provider maintain? Can your industry vertical take advantage of these certifications?
Once you have asked these questions, the key is to then ask for supporting data. You don’t want to get caught by trusting the cloud service provider to just handle it. It’s your data. You need to know where it is.
Reputable cloud service providers can easily provide you with an understanding of their environment, trends over time, and enthusiasm to connect you with their happy customers.
There are certainly more qualifying questions that you need to explore for your decision matrix, but these will help you begin to narrow the playing field.