Cloud computing is a result of computer virtualization technologies. They have allowed software and network engineers to create network models of virtualized computer infrastructures. This was the beginning of the Compute Clouds. Their introduction in the web hosting and data center industry started the shift of moving various workloads and data from personal computers and on premise physical servers to data centers. “The Cloud” means actually anything hosted into a data center, but how does one go about choosing the perfect provider for their needs?
- Put the smaller and local Cloud providers first
Never consider the largest corporate Cloud services providers as your first option. AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google and other major providers of cloud services might have the infrastructure, but they don’t have the commitment to you as a customer. How bug your business should be, so you’d be an important customer for them? You should bring them millions on annual basis! If you can spend that much on Cloud services you will not be racing this article, won’t you?
Rather than going with any major Cloud, take 10 minutes of your time to find out is there are local Cloud service provider in your city, county, state or province. It always worth to support local companies.
- Compare the cost of Cloud services
Try to calculate the cost of your cloud services. There are Cloud service comparison tables which compares various cloud services and can help in making a final decision. It is important to invest your time into researching before committing to any one service.
- How much Cloud providers charge for Add-on services?
Be wary regarding charges for additional data transfer per GB or TB, for additional storage space, for IP addresses, monitoring and other services. These services are usually very expensive. There are many large corporate cloud service providers that charge exorbitant prices for additional data transfer, etc.
- Review technical Support plans
Big cloud companies usually charge for technical support. This means that unless you pay them additional monthly fee on top of what you pay for the Cloud service itself, you don’t get technical support. On the AWS there is “Business Plan” for technical support, which costs $100/month. Microsoft Azure customers who want to have an access to technical support also need to pay $100/month to have access to “24×7 access to Support Engineers via email and phone”.
However, it is very likely that your local Cloud service provider will offer a technical support as a part of the service and will not charge additional fees. In fact 95% of the smaller clouds will not charge you for infrastructure support.
- Avoid Vendor Lock-in Cloud Terms and Services
Before signing up, make sure that you read the fine print and make yourself familiar with their interfaces, service dashboards so you’d be able to manage the IT infrastructure yourself. Many people think that they can do that themselves, but eventually find that they don’t have the time, the nerve and the expertise to do it. As a result of that they end up paying both for technical support and for consultancy services, which triples their costs for Cloud infrastructure.
At the same time going with any smaller or middies size Cloud provider would usually help you save on technical support and use industry standard interfaces and IT management service software technologies and graphical interfaces.