How Well Do You Know Your Cloud Provider?

OwnershipNote: I am a business development executive for Peak 10 and we offer cloud services.

Why do I tell you that? Well, for one, you may not have read the About page for this blog. Two, it’s the right thing to do so if there is a perceived bias I am ‘in the open’ about it. And three, it’s the right thing to do.

Now back to another form of the original question, “Does Your Cloud Provider Own ALL of Your Cloud Infrastructure?”. Why is this even important? Honestly, I had not given it proper consideration myself until I was made aware of a white paper by NTT via SearchCloudComputing.com (click for white paper) and I started to think (which is oftentimes a signal to slowly back away then turn and run :-) ) about the idea. Well, it’s a lot more important than I would have initially thought and here’s why I think so.

1. The building – Having your provider owning the building that your cloud service is in is not a deal breaker but having long term solid leases can be an important factor. Last thing you need is to commit your cloud infrastructure to a provider that will be moving soon.

2. Along the same lines, does the provider own the ‘guts’ of the entire situation? In other words, is the physical plant something they control? Cooling, power backups, Internet connections etc etc. Is your cloud provider’s name on the contracts for these assets or are they merely renting or leasing from another provider?

3. If your cloud provider is in another data center then they are operating under a contract that can be as short as 1 year. If you don’t have confidence that your provider is stable enough and might cause disruptions by needing to move to another facility is that worth the risk?

4. What about the overall financials of the cloud provider you are hitching your wagon to? Are they going to be around or will they fold up shop like more than a few cloud providers have done in the recent past?

5. What is the cloud being run on? Is it enterprise level equipment or is something else? Once again, what is the arrangement between cloud provider and their vendor for the hardware that makes up their cloud environment?

There are many more questions along these lines and I think you get the gist. Are any of these deal breakers? That is completely dependent on your risk tolerance. Simply put though, the further your provider is from owning the cloud infrastructure from end to end the more likely it is there could be unforeseen difficulties in the future.

Like anything else just do your research. Due diligence keeps jobs.