10 Tips for a Successful Cloud Computing Implementation – Part 2

In my previous post, I discussed five very important tips to consider when analyzing a potential move to a cloud infrastructure.

 In today’s post, I will continue to shed some insight and provide five additional tips to consider before you make your decision on moving to a cloud infrastructure.

As mentioned in my previous post, please add to the conversation with your ideas and feedback to these!

6. Study the SLA in great detail – The service level agreement (SLA) identifies exactly the capabilities the service provider will offer. It also may impact existing agreements your company has with software and hardware vendors.   The most important terms to focus on when reviewing SLAs include:  availability and uptime, guarantees for system performance, security, data ownership and error resolution.

7. Drill down about security – When evaluating cloud vendors, pay particular attention to security.  Focus on questions such as where your data will be stored, who at the service provider might have access to it, what layers of security are in place, and how the remote connection is protected.

8. Ask about disaster recovery and business continuity – A primary benefit of cloud architecture is the ability for an organization to continue operations in the event of a natural or other type of disaster.  This benefit is only as good as the service provider’s own disaster recovery approach.   Where are the data stored, what form of redundancy is in place and what is the service provider’s disaster recovery plan are all highly-relevant questions.

9. Check the quality and redundancy of network connections –Fast and redundant connections are obviously critical for a successful cloud deployment.  To avoid a single point of failure, always have at least two fully-redundant internet connections from two different providers in place to reduce the risk of downtime and data loss, but factor the cost of these extra connections into your analysis of cloud costs.

10. Ensure a professional review of all contracts before signing – When you sign a contract with a cloud service provider, you are entrusting them with your organization’s information.  For many organizations, information is the most critical asset.  If your organization’s legal team does not have experience negotiating agreements with cloud service providers, consider retaining legal counsel with this expertise.

In conclusion, analyst firm Analysys Mason predicts cloud computing services will grow from approximately $13 billion in annual revenue in 2010 to more than $35 billion in 2015.

However, for IT teams to maximize the benefit, they must take a “let the buyer beware” approach and thoroughly analyze and understand exactly what services they are purchasing and the costs involved prior to taking the plunge.

With that said, I hope you learned a few things from this post as well as my previous post on cloud computing and again,

I look forward to everyone’s feedback and comments!