Cloud computing, as more and more organizations are coming to realize, is not going away anytime soon. It’s here to stay, and those who understand how to leverage it are going to be sitting pretty in short order. One of the ways in which the cloud’s often leveraged is through Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) Providers, which provide hardware through the cloud. Of course, you already know all of this, and you know the general process that’s involved in seeking out a vendor.
Really, it’s all about due diligence. You need to know what you’re getting yourself into before you commit to a business relationship with another organization, after all – you already understand which questions you need to ask a vendor before committing(unless that vendor is Amazon – then the only real question is whether or not you w. But what about the questions you need to ask yourself?
Today, we’re going to take a closer look at what you should be taking into consideration about your own organization.
What do you need?
Obviously, the first question you’re going to have to answer is what you need an IAAS provider for. Are you going to periodically use the service for load balancing, or are you going to make use of cloud storage? Do you need a single instance, or do you require multiple instances? What about multicasting? Public IPS? Before you begin, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for. Considering what features you absolutely need, and which features are just fluff could be helpful, as well. For all you know, based on your requirements, you might be better off going with a PAAS solution.
Can you do it yourself?
While it’s not an attractive solution to everybody, some organizations might prefer to attempt an implementation of a cloud platform on their own. If your business operates more than one data center, and you feel like your staff has the IT expertise and your facilities have the hardware, feel free. It’s up to you whether or not you accept the aid of a cloud provider, or forge your own path into the wide world of cloud data.
What are your expectations of a provider?
What sort of contract are you looking to sign? How much freedom do you want with your service? Consider very carefully exactly what you’re looking for in a cloud provider before selecting one – even if you’re selecting a platform like Amazon Web Services, it’s worth considering that there might be another out there that’s a better fit.
How often do you intend to make use of the service?
Here’s another important one. How often, and for how long? Are you going to be constantly connected to your provider, or are you just going to use it infrequently when you require cloud storage or load balancing? Consider how things look in your facility on a month-to-month basis. You might find yourself using the IAAS provider heavily one week, then hardly use it at all the next. You’re going to need to do a bit of homework to figure out just when and for how long you’ll need to deploy the service.
What does your current hardware infrastructure look like?
If you’re signing on with an IAAS provider, it should go without saying that you need to know your own hardware intimately. What does your network infrastructure look like? What about your hardware? Will everything you’ve currently got play nice if you add a new service to the mix? Before bringing in a provider, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got everything organized, first.
What other applications and services are you running?
This is the same deal as with your hardware. You need to make sure your application infrastructure isn’t an unmitigated disaster before you bring in even more software to the mix. Know exactly what you’re running, how you’re running it, and any conflicts your applications might cause – make sure you’ve solved any problems you have with your application infrastructure before muddying the waters further.
How much bandwidth can you spare?
Speaking of network infrastructure, you need to know how much bandwidth you’re using on a day to day basis- and how much more you can spare. Cloud computing tends to be a bit heavy on network resources, after all , so you need to be sure your network can handle it before you plop it on.
What’s your budget?
Again, this is a pretty basic one. You need to budget out how much your able to spend vs. how much you’re willing to spend. Work out every minute detail of your financial situation, then start looking for a provider after you’re certain you can afford one.
Where are you located?
Naturally, where the facility you’re trying to equip with an IAAS provider is located will have an impact on which provider you choose, in the long run. Consider which providers are available in your area, and ask yourself whether or not any of them are ones you want to work with. Keep an eye on the larger, more reputable providers, too – if they’re not well-established where you are, they might decide to become established in the future.
Develop or Pre-Deploy?
Finally, do you want to design your own application infrastructure for their platform, or do you want to let them handle it? While some claim that it’s better to let the vendor handle matters such as the database software, some enterprise organizations nevertheless like to take things into their own hands. This one’s up to you – if you think you’d be better served doing it yourself, that’s your choice. Just make sure you know why you want to do it – and what the drawbacks might be over simply letting your vendor do the heavy lifting.