Last week when I spoke at Interop in Las Vegas, I pressed home the ideas that matching a Cloud’s capabilities to your company’s requirements is the single most important exercise for a successful move to the Cloud. Why? Because all clouds are NOT created equal.
All clouds are not created equal
I know for a fact that different clouds have different stacks, staff levels, customer support expertise, recovery capabilities, security, and service level agreements, along with different operational processes and procedures to support those customer-facing functions. But, as I said last week, a number of pragmatic metrics can help you evaluate a cloud provider. I focused on the following three:
High Availability. It’s a misconception that all cloud platforms are highly available; don’t assume high availability. Ask what is the cloud’s record for available, and ask how that number was derived. Consider what additional services will you need from the vendor to achieve the level of availability your applications need.
Recovery. Who is responsibility for recovery? Is recovery completely your responsibility or the vendor’s? Or is it one of the many options something in-between when you and the vendor shared responsibilities.
Service Level Agreement. The SLA does not protect you against a service failure; however, it spells out what the vendor will do for you if service fails, whether that is a monetary penalty or
a re-performance of a service, etc. You must assess the impact of a failure on your business and determine whether the remedy is adequate.
Beware of SLA touting 100% uptime. The fine print usually says “with the follow exceptions.” No one can promise 100% uptime. SLAs with teeth, however, indicate that the vendor takes the requirements seriously and expects to take measures to guard against the loss of a customer’s workload,
Without exception, it is an enterprise cloud provider that offers serious SLA commitments. Make sure your vendor has a good track record and shares your concern for all aspects of cloud performance. Then you have the potential for a long and trusted relationship.
Do you currently have service levels assigned to the applications in your data center?
Learn more at SunGard’s Cloud Computing Center.