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Choosing a Cloud Provider

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Selecting a public cloud provider can sometimes be more challenging than initially anticipated – similar to moving house, (I’m sure many can relate) where you’re mistaken in believing that you have all considerations covered and answered for, though when it comes to reality (moving day), there’s a sudden realisation (once you start with the move) that you’ve underestimated the mammoth task you have ahead.

Unlike moving house, picking the right cloud provider can often involve wading through extensive marketing material to understand the pros and cons of each potential supplier. While this article doesn't strive to be a definitive guide for choosing the perfect cloud provider, it aims to present valuable questions that are worth considering when determining where to host your next service (or removalist). Below are some key points to ponder:

Services/Technologies Offered – Are the services provided by the cloud provider aligned with your requirements for Big Data, Microservices, Kubernetes, AI, and other essential technologies?

Technology Compatibility – Is the version and flavour of programming languages, as well as their microservices, compatible with your current stack? Will your existing technology seamlessly integrate with a particular cloud, or are there features unavailable in a specific cloud environment?

Innovations – Do you seek to be at the cutting edge, or do you prefer adopting technologies after they have proven themselves, thereby minimising potential disruptions and addressing bugs?

Uptime, Stability, Redundancy – Has the cloud provider experienced recent major outages or issues without proper explanations or implemented mitigations?

Locations for Points of Presence and/or Data Centres – Are the cloud provider's servers located in regions compliant with your data storage requirements? Do they have points of presence in proximity to your users or consumers?

Cultural/Licensing – Considering your comfort level with a Microsoft, IBM, or Oracle software stack, do you need to factor in licence repurchasing or potential lack of support for a technology on a rival cloud?

Cost – Are the services you intend to use or purchase the most cost-effective, or do they deliver value for money through other means?

Payment Types and Discounts – Do the payment types and discount options align with your company's operational preferences?

Compliance – Does the cloud provider offer specific regulatory compliance certificates or adhere to data sovereignty rules relevant to your needs?

Operational Support, Migration Support, Vendor Lock-ins – Do you require assistance with application and data migration? Are there measures in place to mitigate vendor lock-ins?

So, when you’re next choosing a location to host your cloud workloads, feel free to consider the points above. Hopefully this article will help make the move somewhat smoother.

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