The cloud revolutionized the world when it came about, and in recent years we’ve seen that its growth isn’t going away any time soon. Many enterprises are migrating over to private cloud softwares to maintain and grow their businesses without sacrificing quality. When selecting an enterprise-hosted private cloud there are several factors to consider to be sure you are getting a high-quality product, but at the same time aren’t paying for anything that might not be needed.
Public clouds are certainly useful in the right scenario, but if you’re managing a business and want to keep your user’s data safe a private hosted cloud is the way to go. Let’s look at 6 key factors that you should consider when comparing enterprise-hosted private clouds.
As an enterprise, your customer’s data should be one of the things you hold most dear. If anything happens to this data (leaks or theft) then your trust is gone, and users will become very hesitant to do business with you. The adage that trust is hard to build and easy to break holds just as true in the cyber world.
For this reason, the number one thing you should look for in a hosting plan is security. This includes both monitoring and prevention. The internet is full of black hat hackers looking to prey on the unprepared with things like DDoS or MITM attacks. A Man in The Middle Attack is one where a hacker pretends to be your site and intercepts data being transferred between you and your customer. If they get their hands on this data and it contains important info (say credit card info for example)…well, it’s definitely not a good situation to be in.
Distributed Denial of Service attacks are also one of the most prevalent forms of cyber attacks on the internet. A DDoS attack is when a third party floods your server with fake requests and reduces its ability to respond to real users. This ends up bogging down your server and users will either have extremely slow load times or their connections will be cut entirely. It’s certainly hard to make money on a business if your users can’t even interact with the site, so again security becomes critical to your company’s lifeblood.
2. Disaster Recovery Planning
Security is your #1 priority, but you can’t always prevent things from going awry. Even if you’re completely secure from hackers you could experience a hardware failure or a natural disaster. When these kinds of incidents happen you need to make sure that you have both a plan for how to recover data and how to get things back up and running asap. Disaster Recovery Plans are one part of a cloud that can separate the good from the great.
A good DRP not only lays out a set of protocols for what to do if something breaks but also builds off of your knowledge of who is responsible for what amongst the team. Understanding the chain of command for different parts of your business and where responsibilities fall could be critical in saving minutes when trying to track down what is broken and how to get it back up. According to a 2014 study by Gartner, the average cost of a minute of downtime is $5,600. This obviously ranges dramatically depending on the size of your business, but the principle still holds true that downtime is costly.
3. Support and Uptime
This brings us to point number three. Your hosting provider should have 24/7 support available when you need it as well as guarantees of 99.9% uptime. The fewer things are broken the better. It’s pretty straightforward so we won’t spend too much time covering this topic, but in general, just keep an eye out for reviews about a company’s customer service and whether they are able to resolve issues efficiently when they come up. If they don’t, it probably isn’t a company you want to do business with.
It would be negligent to make this list and not mention the importance of price. In general, you are going to get a better private cloud hosting experience when you pay more, but that doesn’t mean that you should be shelling out all of your hard-earned cash to the highest bidder. Be smart with your money and make sure what you are purchasing is what you actually need.
There is a big difference between price and value. Look for a plan that allows you to customize what hardware you are going to be using and how much storage space you need. There should be a number of options for you to choose from and no long-term commitments in case you find that you are either over or underutilizing your hardware. There is no perfect answer to what specs you will need and what price they are, so you’ll have to do your own research here and compare plans.
Compliance issues can open cans of worms that you really want to stay shut. Going with a private cloud instead of its public counterpart is a good first step, but make sure that the plan you are evaluating meets rules set forth by things like GDPR or HIPAA. It pays to know what the rules are to make sure you don’t break them.
For example, until recently, you could not legally store patient records in the public cloud. The cyber-world is an ever changing one, both on the technological and the regulatory side. As a business owner, it is your job to stay on top of what these rules are and how to follow them in a way that ensures your users and their data are safe.
Manageability can be condensed to the Staples EASY button. In order to dedicate your time to making your business great you don’t want to be caught up in too many rules, regulations, and implementations, so consider how manageable the plan you are looking at is. Can you easily integrate new applications and update them over the years as your business grows? If not then you might find yourself saving a quick buck but way overpaying in the long run via wasted time maintaining things. A successful business is one that both has solid protocols but is also flexible and able to adapt when it needs to. The same goes for that business’ cloud.
Conclusion – 6 Things to Think About When Comparing Enterprise Hosted Private Clouds
By now you don’t know which plan to go with, but you have a much better understanding of what you should be looking for when comparing plans for cloud hosted enterprise services. To ensure you are getting the best value things like security, support and manageability should never be glossed over. Whatever decision you do go with, make sure that you choose a trusted company. Ultimately, it all comes down to what plan you think will get the job done while still giving your wallet breathing room to make your business dreams come true.