I wanted to share a few of the cloud storage tips I have been developing. The first one was included in a recent article at CIO Magazine.
Tip 1: Before you think of storage in the cloud, you need to be sure to understand your use case. Is high performance important, or are you just looking to archive data? If high performance is your goal, then it may be better to run the actual applications in the cloud also, as network latency may be an issue. If just archiving, then you need to understand how often you need to get the data back. Some cloud storage providers charge more to take data out than to put data in.
Tip 2: With cloud, the contract is everything. When purchasing cloud storage, the vendor must understand your use case and why you are purchasing the solution. You need to be sure there are contract elements which hold the vendor liable if they fall short of the agreed upon solution offering. As an example, what happens if THEY lose your data? Are there financial or other penalties spelled out in the contract to cover you?
Tip 3: Currently, there are really no industry classification standards for cloud providers. The lack of standards may make it difficult for you know the IT specifics of the provider. As an example, what are the backup and DR practices in place at the provider facility? Is protection even included in the contract? Is the provider passing itself off as a secure, fault tolerant conditioned facility really just a guy in his garage with two extension cords to two outlets and an air conditioner with a lock on his door?
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