3 Critical Questions You Should ask about Cloud Computing

In my previous posting I talked about Cloud Computing and some of its benefits.  I also stated that cloud computing is NOT for every company and that one should carefully evaluate any vendor who offers cloud computing.

Here are three (3) critical questions; there are others, but if you do not good responses from these, there is no need to pursue the topic any further:

One:  How scalable is the vendor’s offering and how easy is it to scale?  Is there a limit to the number of users or application/per user?  What does one have to do to add another user or equally important add another application AND more users?  What is required to reduce the number of users or applications?

Two: What is the cost structure?  Is the vendor’s cloud computing price based on a utility basis such as cost per user or cost per minutes or cost per transaction?  Does the vendor incur the cost of all the required equipment and applications or does the buyer pay or lease some or all of it? Is the utility cost (if that is the basis) linear or are there certain levels where the cost/utility changes? Are there penalties for not using your “minutes” or “bits”?  Be careful and as they say, read the fine print.

Three: What is covered in the Service Level Agreement (SLA)?  Do not assume that uptime, performance and availability are the only items that need to be covered in a SLA. For instance, what happens if an application goes offline or crashes…is there a backup or a recovery capability available?

Another concern, Is the vendor providing just bandwidth and not applications under the SLA?

Bottom line, cloud computing is not anywhere near what is being promoted and if one does not do their due diligence, you may actually be worse off after signing up for cloud computing then before. So look up, is it a sunny cloud or a rain cloud?

If you would like more information about cloud computing send me an email ([email protected]) or Contact Us.

RHL 3/1/11

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