By Lauren Fritsky
Clouds are meant to deliver benefits back to your organisation such as agility, flexibility, capital cost reduction and economy of scale. That’s why you should avoid a cloud services provider that locks away your data or equipment with limited flexibility.
You should be able to craft your own cloud solution that integrates other services and infrastructure if you need to, plus have the option to opt out of the service if it suits you. Here are the main pitfalls to avoid in a cloud services provider.
1. Far away data
Do you want your data stored overseas, or worse, to not know exactly where your data is or goes? If not, choose a provider with local data centres that will contractually commit to storing your data in a place of your choosing. Having a say in where your data is to reside and how your data is to be transmitted will give you enhanced confidence in areas such as: data access if something goes wrong, compliance with local laws such as the privacy act and security concerns from opportunists and organised threat actors.
2. Anyone can join
Public clouds allow anybody to join with the swipe of a card, which is excellent for start-up or small organisations or a cheap place to host non-mission-critical websites. More significant, enterprise-grade organisations need to understand that their cloud services provider knows the importance of service levels and is prepared to share in the pain if they are not met.
3. Chasing a low-cost cloud solution
Chasing a low-cost per virtual machine (VM) is not always best when it comes to the cloud, because it may mean the company does not take the security of your data and the performance of your workloads that seriously. In addition, a focus purely on the cost per VM may take your attention off things like term commitment, up-front charges, storage fees, backup costs and software licensing charges the provider may levy upon you. Enterprise-grade providers understand the full range of services required by the enterprise and will likely offer a more complete, all-encompassing solution.
4. No flexibility
A good provider permits deployment flexibility, minus the costly capital expenditure overhead. The ability to integrate your cloud with systems on- or offsite is paramount to creating the best cloud services solution for your business. Without flexibility, you might get locked into up-front costs or year-long agreements. The Australian Government has endorsed the use of the NIST V15 definition, which clearly describes the flexibility promised by the cloud and to which providers should adhere.
5. Limited services
It is widely thought that a move to the cloud is simple for an organisation. This is not the case in most instances. Unravelling decades of networking spaghetti, virtual private networks, VLANs, firewall rules, hard-coded IP addresses, DNS and other legacy design attributes to work in a highly standardised cloud environment takes time and careful planning — especially if the systems being migrated are expected to be highly available. A good cloud services provider can help migrate infrastructure, equipment and data and provide additional IT management options that can fully integrate various services and equipment.
Datacom can help you create a unique cloud services solution for your enterprise. Our professional services group can walk you through each step of the process and provide additional management options as needed to bring your workloads into a flexible, robust, secure and local cloud platform.