MSP Today Expert Feature
February 01, 2013

Enterprise Cloud Computing: Five Best Practices that Should Guide Your Selection Criteria

Despite the widespread proliferation and adoption of cloud services, there are clear inherent differences between consumer and enterprise cloud offerings. Consumer and enterprise cloud computing just aren’t the same.

Chief information officers (CIO) thinking about moving an enterprise’s mission-critical applications to the cloud often have to make important decisions based on the infrastructure of the cloud services and factor in the risk of disruptions.

A thorough understanding of where to locate your most pivotal apps should be based on a set of selection criteria. Logicalis (News - Alert), an international IT solutions and managed services provider, has compiled a list of five best practices that executives should employ when selecting an enterprise cloud provider.

The first criterion is that the cloud service should be specifically designed for enterprises. Enterprises have more demanding needs and selecting only providers that offer enterprise-class technology will ensure that you get optimized environments designed for your mission-critical apps with maximum uptime and a high level of security.

CIOs should also look for resources that have certified engineers manning the operation center. Having qualified personnel who offer 24/7 support and who are fully committed to remote cloud management will ensure that they are able to see the bigger picture and provide appropriate recommendations beyond what they’re currently managing.

If you’re moving apps to the cloud, always ensure that you have well-defined Service Level Agreements (SLA). SLAs should have response and resolution times spelled out and should be clear on customization offerings that fit each client’s unique needs.

Enterprise cloud offerings should be built on industry standards. Ensure that all security policies and procedures have been put in place and address a variety of regulations that include risk management, audit compliance and vulnerability analysis.

The final consideration, while less critical, is still important, and includes the assurance that your provider has a global reach. This also includes the provider’s willingness to meet and review service levels and activities with clients. This is essential if they are to deliver a truly unified cloud experience.

For enterprises, cloud downtime is simply not an option. At the very least, CIOs should expect significant performance capabilities, secure and redundant solutions and 24/7 managed and monitored environments. Even in a multi-tenant public cloud environment, each enterprise customer needs to be isolated and the cloud customized to fit them. Anything less than this is unacceptable.

Edited by Braden Becker