Ready to start cloudhopping? As with other types of technology services, cloud providers vary in what they offer. But some features are must-haves for any business.
When evaluating providers for backup service, look for these essential traits:
- Strong reporting and performance measures. Transparency is key when making sure you can get a strong return on investment with cloud backup services. Providers deliver different application performance results depending on their architecture and geographical location. They should be able to articulate how theyve served other companies of your size and with your needs, and what level of business continuity they provide.
- Reality checks. Not all companies are ready to switch to cloud computing. Some may find the strategy would actually decrease productivity and increase management issues. A good provider will help you determine whether cloud-computing storage fits your organization. Often, theyll do this through a pilot project with your enterprise applications, which will target operations management, networking and security.
- Preparation assistance. Several steps must be taken to switch to cloud computing for backup. These may include hardware upgrades, implementation of new management tools, better encryption solutions and training. Reputable cloud providers have numerous resources for preparation, such as consulting services and webinars.
- Support. Cloud-computing providers have gotten better at support in recent years, and now expectations are high for 24/7 assistance. Some providers vary their support based on different packages, but a reputable company will provide basic support without high fees.
- Security assurance. Your data is your business. A good cloud provider understands that and knows how to offer protection. It should have its security safeguards in place while helping you create better encryption measures. Another aspect to security is compliance, so be sure a provider understands the data regulations that affect your industry generally, and your business specifically.
- Service-level agreements (SLAs). Cloud providers each have a certain level of service delivery; some may offer 99.5 percent computing availability, while others may offer 99.9 percent. If you have mission-critical operations, the higher level of availability will be vital. A reputable provider will give you a strong SLA, detailing what type of service credits youll receive in the event (however unlikely) of a service outage.
By knowing these basics, youll find it easier to compare providers and choose the one thats right for your business. Then you can spend more time enjoying the cloud and its benefits.