Many businesses today rely on cloud service providers to get support infrastructure (servers, storage, databases, networking) or software to enhance flexibility, performance, scalability, innovation, and cost-efficiency. Looking for a cloud service provider to manage your cloud infrastructure? Where do you begin? No worries! You are not the only business owner trying to make the right choice for their company.
We know that every business is different and no one size fits all solution exists. We have provided services to many business owners, like you. Making the right decision is not easy, but we are here to help. Its purpose is to help readers like you make the best decision based on their unique needs and spot the red flags before signing a contract that locks them into a deal.
What is a Cloud Service Provider?
An organization that provides clients with cloud-based platforms, infrastructure, and storage is a cloud service provider. Cloud hosting service offers one of the most cost-effective options because you only pay for what you need/use each month.
Cloud providers allow businesses to pay only for what they need. They have more flexibility in how their offices are organized. But, clouds are not all the same. Let’s talk about the four types of cloud services, so you know which will work best for you.
What is a Cloud Service?
Generally, a cloud service provider offers four different categories of cloud services, functionalities, or cloud strategies. They are:
1. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
Organizations use resources such as servers, virtual machines, storage, networks, operating systems, and other resources to build and manage their operating systems, data storage, and network infrastructure. AWS and Azure are two popular options.
2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
PaaS provides a platform, which includes servers, storage, networks, and databases, to develop, test, deliver, and manage software. Google App Engine and OpenShift are examples.
3. Serverless computing
Using serverless computing, users can manage infrastructure and services, including setting up and maintaining servers, based on PaaS. Examples include Google App Engine, Amazon Web Services Lambda, IBM OpenWhisk, and Microsoft Azure Functions.
4. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
Software as a service (SaaS) allows users to access a software application and an underlying infrastructure over the Internet.
Is a Cloud Provider Right For Me?
When choosing a Cloud Service Provider, you may wonder if you will be a good match. This kind of service provider is not for everyone. If you need a server for your business, you may need to purchase it. Below are some key considerations on how to decide if hiring a cloud hosting company will benefit you.
Buying a Server
Many industries work with a lot of data all the time and may choose to buy a server. Engineers and architects may choose to purchase their servers.
A server purchase may also involve some hidden expenses, such as:
- Extra air conditioning
- Extra internet connection to account for the server
If you are considering buying a server, you should also consider how long you intend to use it. The average server lasts for seven years. If you are considering a long-term investment in your business or industry that is heavily dependent on large volumes of data, it may make sense to consider purchasing one.
Hiring a Cloud Service Provider
There are pros and cons to buying a server. Many cloud providers can charge as low as a few hundred dollars a month for companies without a large server. The flexibility of a provider allows you to pay only for the services and storage you need. In this way, hidden costs are minimized.
Since more and more people are working remotely. Therefore, hiring a cloud provider makes working remotely simpler by allowing employees to access information and store it anywhere and anytime.
Here are 7 factors that you help you choose the right cloud service provider:
1. Your IT needs and MSP Offerings
Before doing any business, you need to check this first. Identify the gaps, inefficiencies, and improvement opportunities before choosing a provider. This exercise will help you find the perfect fit for your IT needs.
Make sure the MSP offering and your needs are compatible. The right IT services provider will perform a technology audit, identifying gaps, and areas for improvement, and outlining the path for the future.
Cloud computing requires a high level of security. Ask questions specific to your industry, use cases, regulatory requirements, and other concerns. So, consider all the security features offered by the vendors free of charge, which additional paid services they may offer, and where you may require third-party plugins. Most tools simplify the process by listing their security features, paid products, and integrations with partners in their security sections.
Plan everything out before selecting your cloud provider. Consider how you will incorporate the architectures into your current workflow, for instance. Microsoft Azure provides its customers with free credit and the ability to buy licenses if they have invested a lot in the Microsoft universe.
If your organization uses Amazon, it is best to explore its ease of integration. Furthermore, when making these decisions, consider cloud storage architectures as well. AWS and Azure both offer multiple types of storage and have similar structures when it comes to storage. Archival storage differs between the two, however.
4. Technology Advancements
Go for a provider who has the solid technical expertise and operational capabilities in the particular field. So, make sure their technology matches your requirements. Ensure that the platform you wish to use has certified professionals. Most cloud providers outsource the technology, but there are pros and cons.
5. Look for standardized services
A standardization of cloud providers’ capabilities will provide clarity and make it easier to understand what’s on offer. Industrialized cloud-based services cost 40 percent less than ad hoc models. Standardization and bundles allow you to simplify complexity while retaining flexibility.
If you can make reservations on service, as well as the type of billing (e.g. hourly/monthly, execution, user, or gigabyte), determine how much the service will cost (up front, pay-as-you-go). Consider other factors as well as the cost. AWS, for example, offers the best price/performance ratio among all its competitors due to its innovative CPU design. If you’re a first-time customer of a cloud provider, be aware of an aggressive pricing.
It’s always best to choose a service provider with 24 x 7 support. Complete support allows you to operate smoothly and concentrate on the core factors of upbringing your organization. Migration and deployment require professional assistance. Not only that, we’ll make it easier for you to resolve third-party ERP issues, server downtime, and a lot more. Know what to expect from your future suppliers before you sign a contract.
A perfect cloud service provider can customize the service to meet the peculiar requirements of businesses. An effective plan must have well-defined implementation milestones and clear business objectives. But it is equally important to have a plan filled with well-defined implementation milestones. To build a perfect cloud transition model, you must start somewhere, experiment fearlessly, fail fast, and learn as your business scales.