Cloud computing has gained a lot of popularity in the recent past. Essentially cloud computing is a cost-saving approach to a company’s IT needs. This involves a third-party providing software, platforms, or infrastructure to clients over the internet known as cloud service providers.
However, choosing the best cloud service is not always an easy task, but the process is less hectic with adequate knowledge of your business needs. Below are some considerations to help you select the best cloud service for your business needs.
When a client has needs that are specific and a must-have, the service levels of a cloud service provider matter a lot. Cost-saving approaches such as the AWS savings plan are vital for a tight-budget client. Unlike on-demand services, committing to consistent usage for a specific amount of time can see a client realize up to seventy percent cost savings with AWS.
Response time, support, availability, and capacity are other important service considerations to put in mind. Support, however, cuts across the board as almost all cloud service providers are committed to this nowadays. Having a contractual agreement between a client and a CSP is also essential and is part and parcel of good customer service. A legally enforceable agreement serves to build trust in a cloud service provider.
Cloud service providers eliminate the need to purchase hardware such as servers, leading to cost savings. CSPs offer pricing structures that are flexible and customer-centric. These third parties provide their clients with time-based payment options either by the month, hour, or second.
Azure has three payment options. These include; pay-as-you-go option without upfront costs, a reserved model for one or three years with an upfront cost tied to it depending on the amount of time a client plans on utilizing AWS services, and a discount model. On the other hand, GCP bills by seconds while Azure bills by the hour and has a reserved model similar to AWS. It is essential to evaluate whether you have the budget to pay upfront or over time.
Cloud security is one of the essential considerations when choosing a cloud service strategy for your business. Identifying your security goals and ensuring that the cloud services you are subscribing to align with your security needs are crucial. Having a clear understanding of the security responsibilities of each party is also essential. For instance, AWS adopts a Shared Responsibility Model, where both the CSP and the client have their fair share of security responsibilities.
While AWS provides and manages the host operating system and the physical security of the infrastructure where the service is being sourced from, the client is responsible for updates in the operating system and security patches. If you are using Google’s or Azure’s platforms, on the other hand, understanding how they approach security is vital. Lastly, knowing the security features that come at no extra cost from the CSP and additional paid features from the third party is essential.
Before choosing a cloud service, it is essential to consider how it fits into your workflow. A client may, for example, be used to Microsoft services. Going with Azure would be a wise decision as Microsoft provides its clients with free credits and licenses. On the other hand, if your business is heavily reliant on Google or Amazon services, choosing Google Cloud Platform or AWS respectively would ease the incorporation of the cloud services into your workflows.
The storage architecture is also critical when selecting a particular cloud service provider. Azure, AWS, and GCP have similar storage architectures and offer various storage options in line with varying customer needs. Each service provider provides hot vs. cool storage, which determines the frequency of data storage and retrieval.
While most CSPs provide support via a call center or a chat, this may not suit all customers. Some may require a dedicated resource to cater to their needs. Being clear about the kind of support you need and evaluating what your CSP can provide is an essential factor in choosing the right cloud service.
Cloud computing is revolutionizing how businesses access computer applications and store their data. The technology has eliminated hardware purchase, set-up and installation costs, and maintenance costs. Choosing the right cloud service providers is essential in the seamless running of business operations.
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