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Questions you should ask cloud vendors

Cloud computing can seem like a very murky, grey area to a lot of people and many find it extremely difficult to get a handle on precisely what they would actually receive from a particular cloud hosting offering.

Making the decision to go after a cloud computing strategy is not easy and comes replete with a multitude of questions such as the likes of: “Which cloud vendor should I hire?” and “Should I use a public or private cloud?”  Another useful question is: “What apps should I put in the cloud?”  That isn’t even counting the obvious and important questions that relate to issues along the lines of availability, disaster recovery and security.

Addressing these considerations is of vital importance, according to Bill Claybrook, who is the principal of New River Marketing Research Inc, which is based in Concord, Massachusetts in the United States.  Claybrook notes that the greater the information gathering you undertake at the beginning, the better results you will get when you eventually implement the cloud solution that is best suited to your particular requirements.

To facilitate this, there are a number of questions that CIOs should ask of prospective cloud vendors.  One of those questions is whether or not they can take a look at their data centre.  It is important to be aware of how secure your applications and data are going to be when you go through a particular vendor, and there is no better way to obtain peace of mind that to hit the road and go and find out for yourself.

Another important question to ask is how you can go about moving your apps to the cloud.  CIOs have a tendency to forget to enquire as to how they can actually relocate their data and apps to the cloud, and while it is usually achieved with a trusted network connection such as a VPN, it is important to have all the facts from each individual vendor.

One good thing to ask is whether you can speak with another of their customers.  Talking to other customers allows you to be able to compare the information the vendor has given you with the experiences of actual customers.  You should also find out if you can move an already existing app from a private to a public cloud easily, a critically important question given that the vendor’s infrastructure is likely to be hugely different from your own.

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