As any business looks toward the virtualization of computing services, one of the most important factors to keep in mind is the provider you work with. No two cloud services are the same and if you want your move to cloud-based applications and cloud models to be smooth, it is important to keep in mind the critical factors when choosing an IaaS provider.
What are the Benefits of IaaS Cloud Computing?
As you research the benefits of migrating to an IaaS cloud computing model, you will find varying lists available that run through the benefits of such a move. You are also likely to find that not every service provider in the IaaS market offers each of the benefits highlighted in these lists. Below, you will find some of the common benefits of IaaS cloud computing that apply more broadly to IaaS solutions. These include benefits that focus on common issues such as data center storage solutions, infrastructure solutions, and other factors:
- Cost-efficiency:Every company wants to save money where possible. Though not always ideal for every end-user (more on that later), public cloud solutions offer the best cost savings for enterprises. Because the resources of cloud servers in the data center are shared by all users, the price point is much lower for each individual company using those resources.
- Deployment:Whether you are looking at IaaS or even SaaS and PaaS, you will find most deployment methods breakdown to two options: public cloud or private cloud. Google Docs is a common example of a public cloud. Users can sign-up and access various apps, software, and computing solutions on shared cloud servers. Private clouds offer greater control to the individual business/end-user by keeping the servers dedicated only to a single client, with apps, software, and computing infrastructure customized to those individual needs.
- Scalability:In either case, scalability is a strong benefit of an IaaS cloud platform. Accessibility can be increased and decreased, apps and software can be added and removed, and infrastructure capacity can grow as needed. This is particularly valuable for businesses that face seasonal fluctuations in demand.
- Reliability:One of the greatest benefits of any IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS platform is reliability. Because network demands are spread across numerous servers, and in some cases across various physical locations, service providers can ensure greater uptime and redundancies in the performance that provide the lowest possibility for service disruptions for both your business and your end clients.
How Important is Security to Your Business Data?
One of the greatest strengths of a public cloud is also the source of its greatest weakness. The flexibility and ease of access that a public cloud offers, combined with the data of various users stored in one place, also opens a public cloud to the dangers of security threats. For example, your company data could be compromised by accident in a public cloud environment if hackers target another client on the system. That breach leaves all user data exposed, not just the targeted user.
If data security is of the utmost importance in your IaaS environment, you may want to consider a private cloud. The infrastructure, apps, software, and hardware in a private cloud are tailored to your specific needs and your data is stored securely in a private environment by itself. This also allows you to have greater control over access and the security measures in place to protect data.
How Diverse is the Functionality of the IaaS Provider Platform?
The complexity of your operations goes a long way in determining the value of an IaaS provider to your firm. If you have complex operations, you should focus intently on functionality because it determines how easy it is for your business to both migrate to an IaaS platform and how smooth it is to run enterprise workloads in that environment. The right provider has both basic data storage and computing power, as well as tools for developers and the ability to flex with changes in your computing needs.
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What Should You Look for in an IaaS Provider?
This can be a tough question for some enterprise customers to answer because no two businesses have quite the same set of needs. However, it is possible to lay out a list of generalized factors that you should look for in an IaaS provider. Some of these will be more important to your business than others, but each one is an important basic factor you should expect from a quality IaaS provider:
- Robust Infrastructure:A fully-managed IaaS cloud provider should have a robust infrastructure capable of providing secure access to reliable applications, software, and hardware in a data center that expertly managed and maintained.
- Best Practices:It is ideal to look for a best-practices approach from the provider based on ITIL v3 standards. For example, the provider should have 24x7x365 network monitoring and management, with automated processes and sophisticated software tools.
- Flexible Capacity:For those companies that face seasonal fluctuations in network demand, an IaaS provider should offer the flexible capacity capable of expanding and contracting to those needs with flexible pricing to match.
- Security:Whether you are looking for a public cloud or private cloud IaaS computing model, security should be a number-one focus. This is particularly critical for businesses operating in industries where data security is regulated by federal laws.
- Functionality:This refers to the cloud infrastructure itself and the provider’s ability to offer basic computing and storage support. This is applicable to public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions.
- Integration:Look carefully at the steps and processes that a cloud provider incorporates its services into your existing workflows. Does it match your existing workflow processes and the future direction of your brand?
- Interoperability:This factor impacts overall performance, flexibility, and scalability. It is important that the exchange of data between various systems is smooth to ensure there are no disruptions in performance and that there is no confusion for users.
- Usability:Finally, the migration to an IaaS provider’s cloud computing platform shouldn’t come at the cost of user-friendly operation. How usable is the system for your employees? Is it easy to navigate, operate between various systems and software programs, and simple to access?
What Does the Integration Process Look Like?
The right IaaS provider not only makes it easy to incorporate your existing workflow and processes into a new IaaS infrastructure, but it also can adjust with the future changes to your processes. In an ideal IaaS environment, there is one single credential that allows admins control over aspects of any given product suite within the IaaS platform.
Does the IaaS Provider have Strong Interoperability?
You want to select an IaaS provider that makes it easy for your developers to exchange data between various systems, both onsite and within the cloud-based services you are using. In an good IaaS environment, individual products and software apps integrate easily with one another. However, an ideal IaaS environment houses everything in one centralized location to help boost security, scalability, and performance.
Is this Cloud Model User-Friendly?
This final factor of a good IaaS provider applies to every single user in your business. Whether that person is a developer, administrator, or average Joe completing their daily responsibilities using a suite of products, it is vital that the cloud model you turn to is user-friendly. Take software applications for example. Software should be regularly updated and patched by the IaaS provider and presented in a user-friendly manner that is familiar and easy-to-navigate whether the user is logging in to virtual machines from the office, working remotely on a laptop, or active in the field on a tablet.
What an Ideal IaaS Provider Looks Like
At Avatara, we believe our private cloud solution, CompleteCloud, is the best IT platform, above any PaaS or IaaS option, for businesses. It provides the virtual computing resources businesses of any size need to remain productive and flexible. Our CompleteCloud platform offers all the storage capacity a growing business requires, layered security features that meet the strictest standards for data security, and integration with all telecom office equipment, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. CompleteCloud also supports your operations with cloud desktops, cloud backup for easier disaster recovery, cloud mobility, impressive interoperability, and 24x7x365 U.S. based support. You can contact us to learn more about the benefits of CompleteCloud.