Choosing a Cloud Provider

Carl Levine
February 6, 2017

Now that we’ve explored the different types of Cloud architecture available on the market, and discussed some best practices around selecting a SaaS provider to underpin your company’s productivity solutions, it’s time to dive in and look at some best practices around selecting a Cloud provider. Whether you’re choosing to opt for a public Cloud, private Cloud, or a hybrid of the two, there are some key factors to consider in making the decision to go with one (or more) vendors.

Will It Scale?

Regardless of your business’ aspirations for growth, the ability to scale infrastructure should be a fundamental factor that is considered when choosing a Cloud hosting provider. Automation and monitoring technology has afforded even the smallest outfit the resources to remain agile and ready to accommodate an influx of users at the drop of a hat. Being able to leverage automation and monitoring technology to responsibly scale Cloud instances is a sort of technological nirvana, the essence of modern Cloud computing.

Is It Secure?

Security is, and will continue to be, at the forefront of nearly all economic purchasing decisions for the foreseeable future. This is far beyond the notion of physical security, but also envelops the concepts of being impervious to hijack, infiltration, and cyberattack. It’s important to understand the security measures that the Cloud vendor uses to ensure the security of their platform. Does the vendor actively engage in penetration testing to ensure that brute force attacks on their network will be mitigated before it becomes a problem. You have the right as a consumer to ask the vendor for their certifications and best practices around security, so consider all of this when making a choice.

Is It Reliable?

How many 9s is the vendor willing to put on the line? No provider can offer a true 100% Service Level Agreement (SLA), but they can come pretty darn close. The industry recognizes 99.999% (Five Nines) as the most reliable level of service available. A best-of-breed Cloud provider will be able to guarantee their services with this SLA and should be considered first among others with lesser guarantees. Also consider the redundancy strategies that the vendor leverages. We at NS1 keep beating the proverbial drum on the concept of leveraging Dual Redundant DNS to ensure that your online estate is less susceptible to an outage during an attack - as such, we recommend you make sure that any upstream providers and vendors follow suit.

Avoid The “One Stop Shop”

Listen, gas station sushi seems like a good idea when you’re hungry and wanting sushi, but it’s likely not the best choice. In this same vein, many Cloud providers boast the notion of a “one-stop shop” for all your cloud infrastructure needs - convenient, but not the safest choice from a scalability, diversity, and security standpoint. Some of the larger Cloud providers have built a massive ecosystem of complementary services to augment the basic Cloud hosting offering, often at the expense of interoperability between different providers. By leveraging services across many different vendors, the likelihood of there being a full-stack outage due to a cyber attack or other anomaly is greatly reduced.

Bringing It All Home

Whether your organization is undergoing Digital Transformation or you’re a greenfield Cloud-Native team building the next big thing, ensuring that the technology that underpins your production and development environments is widely distributed, scalable, secure and reliable is paramount to your overall success. NS1 has the technology to make any Cloud, hybrid, or on-premise deployment and management a frictionless and easily managed affair.

For a deeper dive on these ideas and some best practices for getting the job done, check out our White Paper on the subject, entitled "Migrating To The Cloud? What You Should Consider". As always, our team is happy to talk shop around making the Cloud work for you, so don't hesitate to reach out.

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