What To Focus On When Choosing An Infrastructure As A Service Provider

In an earlier blog we focused on the criteria for selecting a Managed Services Provider.  Today, we will discuss what to look for when choosing an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider.

A thorough selection process for finding a provider that is responsible for handling your servers, networking and storage is critical. A network failure, for example, could affect many aspects of your organization’s operations and, therefore, you need to choose a vendor that not only offers the features, functionality and the right price for your organization, but is also reliable.

The following are some of the criteria that you should evaluate when selecting an IaaS provider:

  • Features – develop a list of the features you need for your cloud-based infrastructure and what you may want in the future.  Make sure your provider offers both the basic features and the more advanced functionality you may need down the road.
  • Scalable – businesses change.  Evaluate the provider’s scalability options.  Will you be able to increase capacity if needed or decrease your level of service if business slows down or your needs change?
  • Monitoring – make sure the vendor offers indicator and alert tools as part of their service.
  • Support – the best option would be a provider that offers multiple types of support services (i.e. phone, online chat, online forums) 24×7.
  • Provider Expertise – check with references about the provider’s level of expertise with your specific type of environment; and verify that they have the necessary compliance and security-related certifications (i.e. SAS 70).
  • Provider Viability – it is important to make sure that the provider will be there in the future.  Check to make sure they are profitable now and they have a roadmap for the future.
  • Uptime Guarantee – they should offer a Service Level Agreement that provides a guaranteed level of uptime.
  • Support – many service providers specialize in certain platforms. Make sure the provider you select supports all the platforms (i.e. Intel, IBMi, Linux, Windows) that run your mission-critical applications.
  • Pricing – last, but not least.  The price has to be right, so ask about the provider’s pricing options and double check what is included in the cost.

Selecting an IaaS provider is an important decision and needs to be well thought out.  Asking the right questions of the provider, as well as their references, is essential to the process.

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