How to Choose a Cloud Provider in 6 Easy Steps
So you’ve finally decided that the cloud is right for your business. Congratulations! The cloud can be a great asset for businesses of all sizes, offering scalability, flexibility, and cost savings.
But now comes the hard part: choosing a cloud provider. There are hundreds of cloud providers out there, each offering different services at different price points. From the AWS support, and security to the simple user interface, how do you know which one is right for you?
How to choose cloud providers: Key Factors to Consider
Here are the key factors you should consider when choosing a cloud provider:
When your business uses cloud-based applications, you need to know that there will be someone you can call if something goes wrong. Find out what kind of support each provider offers and how easy it is to get in touch with someone if you need help.
For example, AWS offers 24/7 support via phone, chat, and email, as well as a wealth of online resources. Microsoft Azure also has 24/7 support, though you may have to pay extra.
Security is always a top concern for businesses, especially regarding data storage. Make sure you understand how each provider handles security in terms of physical security (such as data centers) and logical security (such as access controls).
AWS, for example, offers several features to help keep your data safe, including encryption, identity and access management, and disaster recovery. There is also cloud management software like CAMS that provide an extra layer of security on top of what the cloud providers offer. Check out AWS management for more information on CAMS.
Part of the reason people migrate to the cloud is because of cost-effectiveness. But not all cloud providers are created equal in this regard. Make sure you understand the pricing structure of each provider before making a decision.
AWS, for example, uses a pay-as-you-go model, which can be very cost-effective if you only use the services you need. Azure also has a pay-as-you-go model, but it also offers discounts for prepaying for services.
4. User interface:
The cloud can be a complex beast, so you’ll want to make sure that the provider you choose has a user interface that is easy to use and understand. Some providers, such as AWS, offer various tools to help you manage your cloud resources, while others, such as Azure, have a more simplified interface.
Before settling on a provider, ensure they’re compatible with the applications and systems you are using. For example, AWS offers a wide range of compatibility with different tools and platforms, while Azure has more limited compatibility.
Another important consideration is the location of the data centers where your data will be stored. If you have customers in Europe, for example, you’ll want to make sure that your provider has data centers in that region.
If you’re already using on-premises applications, you’ll need to consider how easy it will be to migrate those apps to the cloud. Some providers, such as AWS, offer migration services to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
One of the main benefits of the cloud is scalability, so it only makes sense that this would be a key factor to consider when choosing a provider. Make sure that the provider you choose can easily scale up or down to meet your needs.
AWS, for example, offers auto-scaling, which makes it easy to scale your resources up or down as needed. Azure also offers auto-scaling, as well as the ability to manually scale your resources.
When you’re looking at different providers, pay attention to the services they offer and whether those services meet your needs. For example, if you need a provider that offers Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), then you’ll want to make sure that the provider you choose offers both of those services.
AWS, for example, offers a wide range of services, including IaaS, PaaS, and even software as a service (SaaS).
How to choose cloud providers: 6 Easy Steps
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you choose the best cloud provider for your business:
1. Define your needs.
The first step in choosing a cloud provider is to define your needs. What exactly are you looking for in a provider? Do you need support? What about security? Consider all of the factors that are important to you before moving on to the next step.
2. Research providers.
Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to start researching different providers. Look at the websites of the major providers and read through their features and pricing structures. Some critical things to look at are support, security, and pricing.
3. Compare providers.
After you’ve done your research, it’s time to start comparing different providers. Make a list of the pros and cons of each provider and see how they stack up against each other.
Measure them against your defined needs to see which ones come out on top. Some providers also offer free trials, so be sure to take advantage of those as well. The more you can try before you buy, the better.
4. Make a decision.
After you’ve compared all of the different providers, choose the one that best meets your needs and offers the features you’re looking for. Make sure you’ve read all of the fine print before making your final decision.
5. Implement your plan.
Now that you’ve chosen a provider, it’s time to implement your plan. Follow the instructions provided by the provider to get started.
If you’re migrating existing applications, take advantage of any migration services that are offered. And finally, keep an eye on your usage and costs to make sure you’re getting the most out of your provider.
6. Monitor your usage.
Once you’ve chosen a provider and migrated your applications, monitor your usage and costs. The last thing you want is to get caught off guard by an unexpectedly high bill. Most providers offer some form of monitoring or billing alerts that can help you keep track of your usage and costs.
Cloud management software like CAMS can also help you keep an eye on your environment and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your cloud investment.
Popular cloud providers
Now that you know how to choose a cloud provider, let’s take a look at some of the most popular providers to get you started on your search.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
AWS is one of the most popular cloud providers and offers a wide range of services, including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. AWS is a good choice for businesses that need a flexible and scalable provider.
Pricing for AWS can be pay-as-you-go or subscription-based, and discounts are available for long-term commitments. AWS is a particularly good option for businesses that are already using other Amazon services, such as Amazon S3 or Amazon DynamoDB.
Azure is a popular choice for businesses that need hybrid cloud capabilities. Azure offers a wide range of services, including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.
Pricing for Azure is pay-as-you-go, and discounts are available for long-term commitments. Azure is a good choice for businesses that are already using other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Exchange.
Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
GCP is a good choice for businesses that need a flexible and scalable cloud provider. GCP offers a wide range of services, including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.
Like AWS and Azure, pricing for GCP is pay-as-you-go, and discounts are available for long-term commitments. GCP is a particularly good option for businesses that are already using other Google products, such as Gmail or Google Docs.
With all of the different cloud providers out there, it can be difficult to know how to choose the right one for your business. But by following these steps, you can be sure to find a provider that meets your needs and offers the features you’re looking for.