What you need to know to choose a cloud provider
Today, more and more companies are transitioning to cloud technologies to improve their efficiency and reduce IT infrastructure costs. Choosing the right cloud provider becomes an important decision for both small startups and large businesses. It not only determines the level of reliability and security of services that will be provided but also the company’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions and business needs. In this article, Serverspace cloud provider team discusses key factors to consider when choosing a cloud provider.
When choosing a cloud provider, there are numerous factors to consider, such as reliability, security, flexibility, cost, etc. However, one of the first criteria for selection is the goals and objectives of the company and its project.
Each IT team has its own needs, which may depend on its industry, size, market, and many other factors. For example, a startup company may focus on selecting a provider that offers flexible pricing plans to reduce IT infrastructure costs. At the same time, a large organization may choose a provider with a high level of security and reliability to protect confidential information and ensure uninterrupted business process operations.
Therefore, it is recommended to define the project goals and objectives in advance and understand why cloud is needed. Common tasks include developing and testing new services, storing and backing up server data, hosting websites and applications, migrating from physical infrastructure, etc. In fact, there can be many tasks.
Cost of cloud services
Price is one of the most important factors when choosing a cloud provider. Companies choose providers that offer the most advantageous tariffs for them, while not forgetting about the quality of services. In addition, companies should study tariff plans and choose those that best meet their needs.
The cost of cloud provider services is based on the amount of resources used by the customer. The more resources are consumed or the more visitors come to the user’s site, the more budget will be required. For example, the cost of the standard infrastructure of the Serverspace cloud provider is based on parameters such as the operating system, data center location, CPU quantity, RAM and SSD volume, bandwidth, and additional services. Based on these parameters and cost data, you can calculate the cost for your project.
Availability is one of the most important criteria when choosing a cloud provider. A company must be confident that its data will be stored and accessible at all times. The cloud provider must have reliable backup and data recovery systems, as well as high availability 24/7.
The Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a confirmation of the infrastructure’s availability. It is an agreement between the provider and the client, which fixes guarantees and indicators of the cloud service’s availability.
The work of the cloud provider’s technical support is another guarantee of infrastructure availability. The service processes user requests, notifies about incidents, and is responsible for their resolution. The format of work and time for processing user requests must be fixed in the SLA.
The main criteria in the SLA that technical support must meet and which need to be paid attention to are round-the-clock work 365 days a year, access through different communication channels, the reaction time to incidents declared in the SLA, assistance in solving non-standard requests, timely notification of technical work and incident resolution.
Reliability and safety
The data of any business, from startups to large enterprises, require security, which is why providers must host their equipment in reliable, fault-tolerant data centers. Understanding the reliability of data centers can be achieved through the presence of certificates and standards that confirm they meet operational requirements and are secure for storing data.
There is an international system of standards called Tier by the Uptime Institute for designing, constructing, and operating data centers. Tier levels indicate the degree of reliability and fault tolerance of a data center. There are four levels, each including requirements for the previous one. Levels III and IV are considered the highest for use by companies with complex technical requirements.
Tier III is already equipped with infrastructure with a high level of redundancy. It supports maintenance and equipment replacement without stopping the entire data center’s operation. All infrastructure resources have backups, for example, there are several power and cooling supply channels. Therefore, during maintenance periods (8-12 hours), only one of these elements will be active.
Tier certification is not mandatory. Some data centers are built to Tier III standards but do not receive a specific level. However, the absence of a certificate does not necessarily mean low reliability of the data center. There are other criteria and standards to consider, such as PCI DSS, aimed at protecting credit card data. It is also possible to rely on a series of standards applied to service processes, such as ISO-9000 for general quality management, ISO-27001 for information security, and ISO-14000 for environmental aspects.
Virtual Infrastructure Management
All of the above services can be ordered through the provider’s control panel. Providers that focus on solutions for large customers who require complex IT infrastructure often implement more and more features in the panel, which can be difficult for non-professional specialists from small IT teams to navigate. If there is a specialist in the team who understands system administration, then it is possible to choose a provider with a more expanded panel. Each client chooses the most convenient option for themselves.
The control panel not only allows you to create and manage virtual infrastructure, but also to scale resources, change server configuration, reboot servers, connect remotely, make backups and snapshots of data, as well as track server load statistics.
Various types of payment for services, the history of all financial transactions, management of cabinet settings, changing information about the account owner and company data, the ability to contact technical support, and adding participants for collaboration are all available in the personal account.
On the Internet, data transmission latency is determined by the distance the signal travels from the server to the recipient. Therefore, the physical distance between data centers and the cloud provider’s clients directly affects the speed of applications, sites and services. If an organization launches a project in another country or plans to expand, it needs to find a provider with data centers in these locations close to its clients. For example, at Serverspace, data centers are located all over the world, and clients can easily find a location suitable for their projects.