The cloud is rapidly increasing in popularity. There’s no denying that. As of right now, it’s a $100 BILLION industry that is continuously growing as more and more businesses become aware of the power of cloud computing.
Take a look at some of the latest statistics:
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In the simplest terms, cloud computing is the delivery of a range of services via the internet, including:
A cloud provider hosts your computing resources in their data center – handling all of the equipment purchasing, maintenance, and support needed while you simply access what you need, when you need it, from any device or location with an internet connection.
This is a question we’ve heard before. There are three major cloud hosting providers out there:
Many business executives feel like they’re the perfect place to start when it comes to the cloud. Naturally, we won’t discredit the fact that their cloud solutions are solid, reliable, and overall, very trusted. But here’s the thing… Some cloud providers, including the big three listed above, are so large that when you contact them, you’re left hanging in level-one support for a week.
It happens quite often because, with one of the big three listed above, you’re typically going through multiple levels of support. A local cloud provider, like ICS, can provide a more personalized level of support so you’re never left waiting. Plus, we’re here to help with implementation, migrations, and ongoing support.
After all, if you don’t have the internal resources to assist you, you need a cloud provider that can jump in and handle anything that comes up.
But what is the cloud? How does it work? Essentially, cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computing resources, such as computing power and data storage, that doesn’t need to be managed by you. Instead, you’re accessing those computing resources via the internet rather than on your hard drive.
The benefits of reliable cloud hosting are clear…
Now that you’re aware of the benefits, let’s take a look at how to find the right cloud hosting provider for you. The first step is to do your research and choose a few qualified candidates. If they offer the services you’re looking for, go ahead and ask them these questions:
Where is our data stored?
You want to make sure your data is stored in a local data center that complies with industry and state-specific laws concerning data privacy. It’s also a good idea to find out if they have a fallback data center. This means that your services will automatically failover to a secondary data center in the event of a disruption, such as a flood or power loss.
How do you secure our data?
Next, make sure you’re asking about their security measures, policies, and practices before hiring them. It’s important to be aware of the size and experience of their existing security team. It’s also a good idea to ask about any past breaches and/or issues that may have occurred in regard to security.
What do your backup and restoration processes look like?
Although in many cases, a cloud provider will work with you to decide on the schedule and timing of backups, it’s important to understand their restoration process. Try to get an estimate as to how long it’ll take to restore any backups as needed. Naturally, this is dependent on the situation and severity, but it’s good to have a ballpark figure in mind.
What does your service level agreement look like?
This is a key question to ask as your service level agreement will outline specific levels of service, such as uptime, backups, restores, and control over your data. You may be able to choose from a range of tiers offering different levels of service or they may have one option that works well for everybody.