What you need to consider when choosing a cloud services provider

As part of our Cloud Sector Spotlight, IDC has revealed the key things to consider when choosing a cloud services provider and deciding upon your cloud architecture.

Most European organisations use cloud services for compute and storage intensive workloads but usually keep sensitive data and many business-critical applications on-premises in their own datacentres.

“When choosing a cloud services provider, the location of its datacentres plays a major role since sensitive data often needs to remain within a country’s or the EU’s boundaries for compliance region but also for personal preference and marketing reasons,” Andreas Olah, senior research analysis, servers and big data at IDC, tells PCR.

“The cloud is already a mature topic, so discussions no longer focus on cloud adoption but rather on hybrid architectures and multi-cloud environments, i.e. how to combine different clouds (own private cloud and various public clouds) in the most efficient way.”

Olah explained that public cloud services are usually more cost-effective for applications that need to scale up and down a lot, however own datacentres can work out less expensively for more stable workloads that have less variation in demand.

“When deciding upon your cloud architecture (public, private, hybrid), you need to consider data protection and compliance, cost predictability and capital expenditure, potential vendor lock-ins, technology compatibility and latency,” he said.

“It is important to architect your infrastructure so that you can offer sufficient end-to-end service levels to your users and customers, which often cannot be achieved by relying solely on cloud providers’ service level agreements.”

When it comes to the security of the cloud, Olah revealed that the public cloud is ‘not necessarily less secure’, but security issues are more around data ownership and worries about snooping by governments and cybercriminals especially when cross-border data transfers take place.

IDC expects that the public cloud share of storage capacity deployed for big data in EMEA will rise from 25 per cent in 2015 to 55 per cent by 2019.

Throughout January, PCR is running a dedicated Sector Spotlight on The Cloud – click the logo below for more articles

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