Factors to Help You Choose the Right Cloud Service Provider

Currently, many businesses have migrated their IT architecture to Cloud services. Businesses increase their reliance on cloud services to support infrastructure, software, or services. With so many cloud providers currently available, it is necessary to have various considerations in choosing the right cloud provider. So what are the things that need to be considered in choosing the right cloud provider according to our business needs?
July 14, 2022

What is a Cloud Service Provider?

Cloud computing is the provision of services over the internet by a network of computers. A third party that offers cloud computing services to create public clouds, maintain private clouds, or deliver on-demand cloud services is known as a cloud service provider (CSP) or cloud platform.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is now the most popular and widely used cloud service provider. Data from Statista by the end of February 2022 shows 32 percent of the market share for cloud providers using AWS. Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud are a few other well-known public cloud service providers.

Types of Cloud  Services

Let's first split down cloud computing by kind of cloud and by type of cloud service in order to understand what a cloud service provider performs.

The implementation of cloud services will use one of three types of cloud computing models. These models, or the architecture of cloud computing, are:

  1. A private cloud is a deployment of cloud computing resources hosted privately by a cloud service provider on-premises for usage by a single enterprise. Organizations are liable for the costs associated with administering a private cloud.
  2. Public cloud provides cloud computing resources over the Internet. A different cloud service provider owns and manages a public cloud.
  3. A hybrid cloud model combines the private and public cloud alternatives.

Why Use a Cloud Service Provider ?

Businesses have been forced to look for ways to become more flexible and agile due to the growing market pressure from competition and consumer demand. Cloud platforms have also aided in fostering innovation and lowering costs. Let's look at the typical factors that lead businesses to use cloud services. 

1. Cost Reduction

Pay-as-you-go pricing is a common way to save money because you only pay for the services or bandwidth you actually use. However, cloud service providers also lower internal IT expenses (capital expenditures, IT labor), energy costs, and staff productivity as a result.

2. Restore & Backup Data

Cloud service providers can be utilized as a backup plan in case of power outages, natural catastrophes, or other calamities. Redundancy will typically be built into backup plans by CSPs to guard against regional outages.

3. Reliability

Performance and dependability are now important considerations for providers due to fierce competition and growing use of cloud services. Greater uptime and round-the-clock support are typically available to businesses going to the cloud.

4. High Speed 

Scale-up, relying on IT resources for all or a portion of the infrastructure as needed for a cost-effective response to spikes in bandwidth needs

5. Unlimited Storage Space

You have only the infrastructure you can afford to acquire or maintain when working on-premise. You may rely on virtually infinite storage space on the cloud and just pay for what you need right now.

6. Software patches and updates for the server's operating system

The task of upgrading software, including routine updates and security updates, is handled by cloud service providers.

7. Mobility

The anytime, anywhere worker can access information and services thanks to cloud computing. Due to the development of today's remote and hybrid workforces, this need is especially pressing.

8. Quick Development and Deployment

With the delays of developing new infrastructure, organizations can quickly move an idea from concept to development. Additionally, comprehensive development services and tools, including a testing and debugging environment, are offered by PaaS and serverless cloud service providers.

Cloud Providers Players

The major three cloud providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as well as numerous smaller or specialized businesses are among the many rivals in the market. Naturally, AWS, GCP, and Azure are in charge. (While it would be tempting, it is also outside the scope of our current discussion to speculate on the potential impact of attrition and consolidation in this market over the next few years).

But more businesses are now diversifying and utilizing additional providers. When this happens, it's frequently not a case of replacing one with another, but rather of distinct business needs (such managing risk and prices) being matched to different cloud vendors.

The fact that providers strive to sell their products competitively and consistently introduce new features are perhaps further justifications for choosing more than one provider. Additionally, complimentary Azure credits are provided to lots of Windows-using businesses. Taking advantage of these kinds of promotions might make sense (although we advise that cost should not be your first or only priority). We'll go over some of the important factors to consider while determining which route to go in the paragraphs below.

What are the Factors to Help You Choose the Right Cloud Service Provider?

You should consider the possibilities that various providers offer and how they would complement your particular company characteristics and objectives when you choose which cloud provider(s) to use. The principal elements to consider for almost every company are as follows:

1. Local Support

Another element that needs careful thought is support. Will you be able to easily and promptly obtain assistance if you need it? You might have to use a call center or chat service to seek support in some circumstances. You might or might not find this acceptable. In other situations, you might have access to a special resource, but it's likely that access and time will be limited. Before selecting a cloud service, enquire up front about the type and degree of support you will have access to.

This support service is very important at least in every country. Access to support in the form of a call center, customer support, human resources in improving services, managing procedures and laws, and so on must be available and can support the nearest cloud customer when trouble arises. A cloud support center is a digital solution that enables companies to provide customer service using a hosted system. So, companies no longer need to pay periodic fees for software updates because they are cloud-based.

Language is also an important factor in providing support for cloud service providers. Not all countries have the same English as standard language.Provider Cloud needs to consider the local language of every country they develop their business. For this reason, cloud support must also exist at least in every country that uses it.  

Regulatory issues, procedures, policies, and laws are also very crucial things for cloud providers to think about. The policies that each country has in providing cloud servers must be ensured that they are appropriate and do not violate regulations and laws. The presence of support centers in each country is expected to facilitate this problem if one day it occurs. The ability of technicians or resources is also needed in managing, maintaining and ensuring cloud services can run well and smoothly.

2. Server Data Location

You can access data and information online via the cloud from any location using the internet. You no longer have to rely on resources that are present in a specific spot. People now think that the location of data centers does not matter if the data is easily available through the cloud. The data center location of the computer servers has a significant impact on how well the software or application functions. However, data center location still matters.

So what makes location important?

An organization's networked computers, servers, processing power, and storage devices are housed in a data center, which is a physical location. Switches, firewalls, routers, environmental controls, and application delivery controllers are other essential parts of a data center. 

Some countries with strict procedures and laws, such as Indonesia, provide regulations for some sectors that they cannot store their customers/companies data on foreign data centers. So if you want to use cloud services, you should pick cloud services which have data centers in your country.

The location of data centers and servers are also essential for how quickly websites hosted on those servers load. For example, users typically leave a mobile website if its pages take longer than three seconds to load, which in turn affects the speed of the websites or web apps and consequently affects conversion rate.

3. Cost Distribution

Take into account the cost of use (upfront, pay-as-you-go) as well as any minimums, volume discounts, reservations that can be made for the service, or the type of billing (e.g., per hour/month, execution, user, or gigabyte). Compare the cost to other considerations as well. For instance, AWS has improved the engineering of its CPUs in order to provide the best price/performance compared to all competitors. Pay close attention to the tiny print on price hikes over time because many cloud providers will offer aggressive pricing to first-time users.

There is no dispute that pricing will be a significant consideration in determining which cloud service provider(s) you select, even though it shouldn't be the only or most important one. It's beneficial to consider both the asking price and related charges (including personnel you may need to hire to manage your instances).

4. Service Levels Agreement

Service Levels must be taken into consideration when organizations have stringent requirements for accessibility, responsiveness, capacity, and support. When selecting a provider, cloud service level agreements (cloud SLAs) are a crucial factor to take into account. It's critical to create a clear contractual relationship between a cloud service customer and a cloud service provider that is legally enforceable. Legal requirements for the security of data held by the cloud service should also be given special consideration, especially in light of governance rules. Your cloud provider must earn your trust and you must have a written contract that will protect you in the event of a legal dispute.

5. Cloud Architecture

Consider how the architecture will be incorporated into your processes both now and in the future when selecting a cloud provider. For instance, if your company has already made significant investments in the Microsoft ecosystem, it would make sense to move forward with Azure because Microsoft grants its clients rights (and often some free credits). It could be preferable to seek those providers for simple integration and consolidation if your company relies heavily on Amazon or Google services.

When making your choice, you might also wish to take cloud storage structures into account. The three primary suppliers have distinct forms of archival storage, although they all have similar architectures and a variety of storage options to suit various demands. You should be aware of the little variations between them if this matters to you. Each service provides options for regularly versus infrequently storing and retrieving data (hot vs. cool storage). Cool storage typically costs less but has a few limitations.

6. Cloud Security

You should be very clear about your security objectives, the security options given by each supplier, and the methods they employ to protect your apps and data. Additionally, be certain that you fully comprehend the particular regions for which each party is accountable.

Additionally, think about the security features that each vendor you're investigating offers for free out of the box, the additional premium services that are offered by the providers themselves, and any areas where you would need to supplement with technology from third-party partners. By displaying their security features, premium goods, and partner integrations in the security section of their respective websites, for instance, AWS and Google Cloud both make that procedure very simple.

Conclusion

A cloud-based solution offers an organization online access to data storage, resources, and on-demand services. Companies can rent access to these apps from a cloud service provider rather than owning data centers. This enables companies to cut back on upfront expenses and the IT infrastructure administration necessary to keep a complex infrastructure running smoothly.

Using cloud services, many businesses are externalizing their IT infrastructure. Businesses must select the best cloud solution provider for their needs in order to take advantage of the cloud's numerous advantages. The operations and long-term success of an organization depend on this choice. There are numerous competing providers offering a wide variety of services in the market for cloud solutions. The most well-known names in the sector are those of the market leaders like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. However, some specialized cloud services are provided by smaller providers to their customers.

Frequent causes of cloud migration failure are: lack of preparation, including knowledge of the needs of the business, the benefits and drawbacks of various cloud service providers, and the ability to develop for the cloud. Many of these typical cloud failure issues are solvable with the assistance of a trustworthy provider. Taking into account factors such as cost distribution, service levels agreement, cloud architecture, cloud security, support, and data center location can be a consideration for you in choosing the right provider solution.

Written by Denny Fardian
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