The amount of data produced, stored and shared electronically is enormous…and continually growing. As a result, more than half of U.S. businesses are turning to cloud storage, according to Forbes. While the cloud provides a low-cost, scalable solution to storage, application deployment, and backup it may not be suited for everyone. Read on to discover the top three things to consider before making a move to the cloud.
1. Know your Cloud Vendor
Make sure your cloud vendor is up-to-date on data center and industry certifications. It helps to select a provider with experience in your industry. This will further ensure regulatory compliance and lead to a more appropriate cloud design. Finally, once you’ve selected a vendor be sure to read their Service Level Agreement (SLA) in detail before signing on the dotted line. Make sure guarantees are clearly stated and cover availability of data and systems, and response times for different issues (i.e. security, technical, etc). Finally, talk to your cloud vendor about the recovery process and understand the level of support you can expect when data is lost or disrupted.
2. Understand its Capabilities
Bandwidth limitations should be a big consideration if you are planning to utilize the cloud as a backup approach. Since data must be moved from a local area network to a wide area network, try to gauge if it will take minutes, hours or days to transfer. This should also set the expectation for recovery/restoration. In addition to bandwidth it is important to ensure that data is encrypted for maximum security. Often the service provider has the ability to encrypt your data, however if they encrypt it, they can also decrypt it. Experts suggest encrypting data on your own.
3. Visualize the Cost
Make sure you understand what is covered in your monthly service and what is extra. Before migrating to the cloud, compare the cost of your existing solution to different levels of cloud offerings. Often, cloud solutions are relatively inexpensive in relation to on-premise IT; with that said, don’t overbuy storage. Determine the appropriate amount for your organization and pay as you go. Cloud computing is flexible and scalable, therefore there is no need to buy more than what you currently utilize.
To learn more about a data storage option that’s right for you, fill out the contact form to the right or call us at 800-550-3795.
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