Cloud infrastructure is one of today’s most important technology tools, especially for companies looking for flexibility and scalability. A study published by IDC on April 20th, 2023 shows that this year, at the European level, spending associated with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will increase by 26.8%, fuelled by the need that more and more organisations to be more flexible and to limit investments in expensive equipment (servers, storage).
The IDC forecast aligns with a CIO Insight analysis that identifies among the top reasons for adopting public cloud services: increased agility/flexibility to respond to business requirements (27% of participants) and cost savings (26% of participants).
While many IT managers see the public cloud as an obvious option, choosing the right provider can be a difficult task. There are many cloud services available for small businesses, but many offerings are not transparent enough in terms of the technologies used and the level of performance offered.
That’s why in this article we’ll discuss some of the things to consider when choosing a public cloud provider, whether it’s Infrastructure as a Service, business cloud storage or Backup as a Service.
Service availability when choosing a public cloud provider
Availability is a key factor in choosing a public cloud provider. First of all, you need to know the availability contractually guaranteed (by Service Level Agreement/SLA) by the provider. For example, M247 offers a guaranteed availability of 99.95% for all public cloud services. This figure is based on having a high-performance data centre with a high level of IT redundancy, power supply and cooling. Built to TIER 3 standard requirements, the M247 Data Centre has an N+1 redundancy architecture, which allows maintenance and/or replacement of equipment without stopping service delivery.
Latency affects performance
You also need to consider data access speed, which can vary depending on the location of the servers and the processing capacity of the provider. The performance of a public cloud is affected by latency, the time it takes for data to get from one point to another in a network, which is conditioned by both distance and network performance.
Because they are delivered from outside Romania, public cloud services from global providers such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google have higher latency. This has little relevance for an email service for example, but matters a lot for an ERP system, where users expect a quick response to any click. High latency can seriously affect user experience and productivity. To reduce latency, M247 operates a Data Centre in Romania and uses a mega high-performance 1Tbps network.
Security always remains important
Security is another important aspect to consider carefully when choosing a public cloud provider. Since your company data are stored in the public cloud, you need to make sure they are protected against external threats such as hacking or malware.
From this perspective, the M247 Data Centre is internationally ISO 27001 certified for information security management and uses the most advanced firewall solutions, encryption, suspicious activity monitoring, anti-DDoS protection, etc. On this level, compliance with GPDR requirements, which explicitly call for national data storage, also counts.
Scalability makes the difference
One of the major advantages of the public cloud is scalability, i.e. the ability to quickly scale up or down cloud infrastructure resources depending on your company’s needs (new digitisation projects, hosting for new applications, increasing the number of users, etc.) Before choosing a public cloud provider, make sure they offer an adequate level of scalability so you can quickly and dynamically adjust resources when needed.
Scalability requires both high IT capacity in the provider’s data centre and powerful virtualisation technologies that allow easy resource allocation. Scalability is directly proportional to the footprint of the provider’s IT infrastructure. For example, M247 operates its own data centre in Bucharest, integrated into a network of over 50 strategic data centres in 27 countries and 40 global internet exchanges.
Technical support simplifies cloud migration
Migrating to the cloud is an important step for any organisation and creates specific challenges related to application compatibility, security, performance optimisation, etc. Therefore, technical support is another important factor to consider when choosing a public cloud provider. Make sure the provider offers 24/7 technical support and that you can contact the support team quickly in case of technical issues or questions.
You should also make sure that the provider offers an adequate level of technical support, including assistance with data migration and help with setting up and managing your cloud infrastructure. Having a local, language-speaking team in place can be critical to the success of a cloud migration project.
Bear in mind that often business application vendors (ERP, CRM for example) do not offer the necessary IT services: virtual machine configuration or backup. M247 has brought technical support to the highest level, with specialists in the field responding to customer requests 24/7/365. Your request can be made by email, phone or live chat.
Managed correctly, migrating to a public cloud has immediate results. The CIO Insight study, which I cited at the beginning of the article, also notes that 71% of participating IT and business managers believe that their cloud migration projects have achieved their cost reduction goals.
If you’re making the move to the cloud, pay close attention to the process of choosing a public cloud provider. You need to consider the availability, performance, security, scalability and technical support offered for cloud migration to bring the expected benefits.