As majority of businesses these days are dependent on IT and scaling to the next level of cloud based computing to run the business, selecting the right cloud providers has become critical to their long-term success. Cloud computing suppliers offering Azure, Google and AWS managed services are plentiful. However, the market is vast, with many suppliers offering an even greater variety of services from market behemoths like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google to smaller niche firms.
The lack of a uniform methodology for evaluating Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and the reality that no two CSPs are alike complicates the process of picking the correct one for your firm. So, how can you choose the best cloud service from so many?
Simply put, with a well-defined selection and procurement procedure weighted correctly for your specific requirements. However, if the necessity is pressing, don’t rush into a decision or alter your current CSP.
This post will outline critical variables you may utilize to pick a supplier that can best fit your commercial, technical, and operational demands.
Knowing Your Options In The Current Market
The sector is crowded, with the big three: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). There are a slew of smaller or specialized firms as well. But, of course, AWS, GCP, and Azure reign supreme. AWS has been in the game the longest and has the most significant market share, with 33 percent of all apps operating on AWS.
According to Synergy Research research, Microsoft has 13% of the market, while Google controls 6%. Rackspace and IBM Cloud are two other suppliers to consider. They are often smaller and more specialized, yet they may provide services that meet your requirements.
As the numbers above show, AWS has long dominated the cloud platform market. However, more and more businesses are expanding out and utilizing additional sources. Furthermore, many firms that use Windows are given complimentary Azure credits. Therefore, taking advantage of such promos may make sense, although it should not be your first or only priority.
So, to clarify things, we’ll go through some of the main elements to consider when determining which way to go.
Key Factors To Consider When Choosing a CSP
- Cloud Security
Because security is a primary priority in the cloud (and everywhere else these days), it’s vital to ask precise and explicit questions about your specific use cases, industry, legal needs, and any other issues you may have. Ensure that you properly grasp the exact areas for which each party is accountable. Consider factors like what security measures are provided free of charge by each vendor you’re reviewing, what extra premium services are available from the providers themselves, etc.
AWS and Google Cloud, for example, make that procedure reasonably straightforward by detailing their security features, premium solutions, and partner integrations on their respective websites’ security sections.
- Technologies and Services Roadmap
Check if the provider’s platform and chosen technologies are compatible with your present environment and/or meet your cloud goals. Do the cloud architectures, standards, and services the provider offers match your workloads and management preferences? Determine how much re-coding or customization is required to make your workloads compatible with their platforms. Inquire about the provider’s service development roadmap.
Commitments to specific technologies or suppliers and maintaining interoperability are essential issues. A roadmap of products, services, and integrations is valuable for SaaS businesses. Depending on your particular cloud plan, you may want to consider the full array of services providers may supply. Those service providers must give a diverse selection of compatible services.
- Service Availability
This aspect is critical when firms have rigorous availability, reaction time, capacity, and support requirements (which, let’s be honest, practically all have these days). Cloud Service Level Agreements (Cloud SLAs) are essential when selecting a provider. A clear contractual connection (read: legally enforceable) between a cloud service customer and a cloud service provider is critical.
Legal considerations for the security of data hosted in the cloud service, particularly in light of GDPR rules, should also be given special care. You must be able to trust your cloud provider to do the right thing and have a legal agreement to protect you if something goes wrong.
Consider how the architecture will be integrated into your processes/systems today and in the future when selecting a cloud provider. For example, if your company has already invested extensively in the Microsoft ecosystem, it may make sense to move forward with Azure because Microsoft provides licenses to its clients. On the other hand, if your company depends heavily on Amazon or Google services, it could be wise to go to such providers for easy integration and consolidation.
When making your selection, you should also consider cloud storage designs. When it comes to storage, the three significant suppliers have comparable architectures and offer a variety of storage options to meet a variety of demands. Still, they all have various forms of archive storage.
While cost should never be the sole or most essential consideration, there is no disputing that price will significantly influence which cloud service provider you select. It’s a good idea to consider both the sticker price and the accompanying expenditures, such as the employees you’ll need to manage your cases. When it comes to costs, there is no such thing as an apples-to-apples comparison.
It’s not like AWS is only $5, and GCP is $10. Instead, examine your current or expected usage patterns to determine which of the three best matches your company model, budget, timeframe, and so on.
You should also establish what different cloud platforms will need you to handle. Each service supports several orchestration tools and interfaces with various other services. If your firm relies heavily on specific services, ensure that the cloud provider you select has a simple method to interface with them or that your organization is comfortable porting over to a similar service that is supported. Before making a final selection, you should assess how much time and effort your team will take to handle various components of the cloud infrastructure.
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