8 Things to Know Before Switching to the Cloud

what to look for in a cloud provider

1) Research the cloud vendor and make sure it has current data center and industry certifications. Ensure that the provider’s security and privacy regulations match your company’s compliance needs.

2) Choose a cloud vendor that knows your industry. Although choosing a cloud provider based on reputation and size is fine, it’s still worth researching a provider that specializes in your area of work.

3) Know the bandwidth of limitations. In other words, make sure you understand the data limitations of your cloud provider. If you need to store large amounts of data as a backup strategy, check in with your provider to make sure that amount of data can be stored sufficiently. Also, should you need to implement a recovery plan, talk with you provider to make sure you know how to implement such a plan.

4) Encrypt your data before storing it in the cloud. As a security precaution, ensure that all of your sensitive data is protected with a strong encryption. Some providers will provide encryption for you, but it may be worth encrypting your sensitive data yourself. Additionally, have a backup plan in case your cloud provider goes out of business. That way, should you need to, your transition to a new cloud provider will be easier.

5) Thoroughly read the cloud vendor’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) before making any commitments. “The vendor’s SLA should include guarantees for the applications and data it will host. At a minimum, it should cover availability of data and systems, response times for normal-issue severity levels and response times when dealing with specific security issues,” said Tom Hobika, the senior vice president  of IT services for EarthLink, a provider of IT, data, voice and Internet services for businesses.

6) Understand what you’re paying for. It’s important to know how much the cloud is actually going to cost, and what services are covered in your monthly bill. Some providers offer basic data storage packages, where certain services are available at an additional cost.

7) Know how much storage you’ll actually need to avoid overbuying storage. Determine the appropriate amount of data storage you’ll need to avoid excess storage and costs. If needed, you can always expand your data storage later.

8) Before committing, make sure you can recover your data. When deciding on a provider, make sure to ask how fast you can retrieve your data in the event of data loss or disruption. Also, look into the provider’s data recovery plan so you understand what to expect should you experience system downtime.

4 Questions to Ask Your Cloud Provider before Committing

1) Where are your servers located?

2) What happens if my data is lost or corrupted?

3)  What can I expect if my servers are down and I need to implement your recovery plan?

4) Who can see/has access to my information?

Need help transitioning to the cloud?

If so, contact Stratosphere Networks, and let us see what we can do for you. We provide a broad range of IT services, including: 24/7 remote monitoring, proactive desktop and server management, email and virus protection, and backup and recovery, to name a few. For more information, call us today at at (877) 599-3999, or click here to use our contact form.

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