July 16, 2019 by Siobhan Climer and Mike Czerniak
There’s a reason 85% of enterprises operate in a multicloud environment today. The cloud offers numerous benefits to businesses, including improved data retrieval, collaboration, subscription-based expenditures (OpEx), carbon footprint metrics, and features and capabilities.
The key to using the cloud effectively is to strategically migrate specific applications and workloads to an optimized cloud model.
But how do you do that?
Choosing A Cloud Deployment Model
Depending on your business, you may choose either private, public, hybrid, or multicloud deployment model. Your choice is based entirely on your business’ needs.
The infrastructure of a private cloud resides either on-premise or with a third party vendor and offers additional control – and responsibility – to the organization.
Public cloud providers, like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, own and manage all the cloud architecture – hardware, software, and other infrastructure – and deliver it as a cloud service over the internet.
Hybrid IT is the most common deployment model today and describes a mix of both on-premise infrastructure and either public or private cloud deployment.
Occasionally conflated with hybrid IT, multicloud refers to the utilization of two or more cloud deployment models (i.e. Public + Private, Private + Private, or Public + Public).
Learn more about cloud architecture with our three-part guide to cloud storage:
What Is Cloud Storage Part 1: An Overview Of Cloud Computing Basics
5 Factors To Consider When Choosing A Cloud Provider
Business Objectives and Technology Roadmap
The best cloud service provider in the world is worthless if it doesn’t match your business goals and broader technology roadmap strategies. Analyzing everything from workload migration practices to application management operations is key to determining which cloud provider is the right fit for your organization.
Certifications and Standards
Certifications exist for a reason. Use a providers’ certifications to help you eliminate providers who do not have your best interests at heart. Standards vary by industry and desired priorities (i.e. security), but the NIST, IEEE, and ISO are generally considered top-tier.
Reliability and Performance
You will want a cloud provider that is both reliable and performs as expected. Surprises are not what you want. Verify the legitimacy of the provider’s SLAs for the last year and understand what the provider does when downtime occurs. Be sure to ensure you have a disaster recovery strategy and that your chosen provider integrates clearly with your protocols.
Migration Support, Vendor Lock-in, and Exit Planning
Most cloud providers offer useful migration services, but make sure you understand what services and support are available during your cloud migration. You do not want to be in a position where a cloud deployment is delayed by months due to a lack of support.
By the same token, avoid vendor lock-in by ensuring the cloud provider does not use non-standardized data formats, proprietary cloud APIs, or customized cloud web services. Develop and document a clear exit strategy should changes cause you to need a different cloud provider.
Data Security and Governance
Information security is now more important than ever. Finding a cloud provider that not only has ideal tools for ensuring the security of your data, but also clearly supports your own internal security policies and processes.
In addition, depending on the location of the providers’ servers, geographic-specific laws and regulations may impact your choice. Ensure the jurisdiction in which your data is stored or through which it is transferred matches your expectations.
Find Reliable Expertise
Cloud migrations are increasingly complex. Ensure you have considered everything with the outside perspective of an expert. Mindsight’s cloud design and deployment experts offer weekly whiteboard sessions where business leaders can seek guidance on the next steps in a cloud migration. Reach out to schedule your whiteboard session today.
Like what you read?
Contact us today to discuss choosing a cloud provider right for you.
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About The Authors
Siobhan Climer, Science and Technology Writer for Mindsight, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. She previously taught STEM programs in elementary classrooms and museums, and writes extensively about cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud services, backups, data storage, network infrastructure, and the contact center. When she’s not writing tech, she’s writing fantasy, gardening, and exploring the world with her twin daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.
Mike Czerniak is the Cloud Practice Manager at Mindsight, an IT Services and Consulting firm located in the Chicago area. With 20 years of experience in information technology and the cloud, Mike has helped hundreds of organizations with architecting, implementing, and deploying cloud solutions. For the last 5 years, Mike has focused on providing Mindsight’s customers with guidance in approaching – and managing – the cloud. Mike is AWS, Microsoft Azure, VMware certified, and remains deeply invested in providing an agnostic, consultative voice for organizations on their cloud journey. In his free time, Mike enjoys biking with his 9-year old son, recently completing a 50-mile bike ride!