Do you know anyone with a server and an Internet connection can become a cloud vendor, how do you know what to ask, or who to believe? Cloud providers are prime targets for hack activists and nation state attacks.
The first building block is the home of the solution core—the data center. A quality data center will have a hardened environment with redundant power sources backed up with local generators, redundant carrier access, overbuilt HVAC, etc. This can be a source of significant savings over the cost of self-provisioning and maintaining an equally well-designed internal data center.
However, it is important to verify the quality of the proposed data center, especially since even a large data center has experienced (highly public) service outages. It is important to seek providers that can guarantee availability and reliability; such resiliency usually requires business continuity designs.
Large or sophisticated enterprises may need to seek a partner with multiple geographically separate data centers for the most appropriate solutions to support business continuity. These partners can also help to optimize network traffic between the core services and the external services, which can be critical with bandwidth-intensive solutions
A recent study by IT industry association found that even though many organizations are concerned about the security of their data in the cloud, a minority of companies perform a comprehensive review of their cloud service providers before sealing the deal. It is critical that questions are asked. What kind of questions?
The following is set a questions, or evaluation guide, you can use to cut through the hype and make an informed decision
Architecture review process then extends into an exploration of the overall architecture of the solution. It starts with a robust and scalable infrastructure platform based on reliable components, but it extends into an exploration of the possible points of failure and the impact on your operations.
With any hosted solution, it is natural that questions arise about security issues. The hosted industry has clear awareness of these concerns and capable partners have addressed them. Even though some hosted data centers are more secure than most premises installations, it is still important to ask many questions about end-to-end security.
With cloud solutions, various components are shared among customers, therefore, security needs to extend inside of the cloud, and not just at the perimeter. Questions need to be asked about the partition of customer data, and application level access.
In addition, security impacts many layers of the solution, and you want to find a partner that has addressed the full set of issues.
A solid solution from a quality partner will not brush over your security concerns lightly but instead will share what they do, how they do it, and how you can audit them if necessary.
Reliable, professional, expertise in overseeing a data center is beneficial when looking to maximize PUE and IT performance, and when seeking consultancy about how best to improve the life of each individual asset. In other areas, and for the organizations wanting to remain focused on their core business competencies, a good facilities management team also brings with it the reassurance that the data center infrastructure is resilient; and well maintained.
A number of data center operators are open about the fact that they outsource the ongoing management of their facilities but others are less willing to share how, and by whom, the day-to-day elements of the data center are managed. Don’t assume your operator does it in-house – make sure you ask!
At easySERVICE™ Data Solutions, we fundamentally believe that by entrusting the management of our data center to our in-house teams, we are able retain direct control over our facilities management policies and adhere to best practices. This also provides us with a very real opportunity to build valued long-term relationships with our customers. After all, a data center operator that demonstrates its face market commitment to continually achieving improved levels of performance should surely then become a front-runner when the supplier shortlist is being reviewed by the board.