Cloud services for big data applications is certainly something that brings a number of impressive benefits to the table. Choosing the right cloud services for your specific big data applications can be challenging, particularly if you are just beginning to work with big data applications, or if you are only now starting to explore the full potential offered through cloud services.
To be sure, choosing the right cloud services for your big data endeavors can be a difficult venture. There are a couple of reasons as to why this is the case. Nonetheless, there are still some basic factors that can help you to figure out the optimal services for what you want to accomplish. Your considerations need to keep both short-term and long-term needs in mind, but that is really just the beginning.
The Challenges Of Choosing Cloud Services
One of the biggest problems with assessing Cloud Service Providers is the fact that we don’t really have a common framework to guide us. This makes things difficult enough, but this is compounded by a realization that no two providers are exactly alike. Not to mention the fact that we haven’t seen many reviews of CSP options like you might find for other business services such as the top website builders or web hosts.
Picking one that’s right for your company and goals can be difficult. However, it certainly isn’t impossible. We can take a look at some of your major options for a Cloud Service Provider. We can also discuss a few essentials that should be kept in mind, as you consider the CSP options that are available to you.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Cloud Service Providers
Your business is defined by unique elements/characteristics, as well as a wide range of short-term and long-term objectives. Keep those things in mind, as you consider some of the major factors that define the various CSPs out there. Combine a deep understanding of your company, as well as what you need, with some of the general factors to remember, while searching for a CSP:
- Security: Defining your security goals is one of the first, and perhaps most important, considerations with choosing a cloud service provider. Put those goals against the measures that will be offered to you by each provider. Add to all of this by researching the mechanisms that will be utilized to preserve your applications, data, and anything else. Industry requirements and regulatory requirements should be kept in mind, as you consider the detailed, elaborate questions you should develop, in regards to whether or not a CSP will be able to protect your information on your terms.
- Compliance: What are the compliance standards relevant to your company and industry? The architecture platforms of cloud providers should be able to help you make sure those needs are being met. Moving your information to a cloud service provider, whether that is public or private (more on that later), means making sure your applications/data are in full compliance with the standards of your industry/business.
- Architecture: This is another crucial element to the decision-making process. What you ultimately need to do is understand how the architecture of a provider needs to gel with the workflows that define your business. This is something you must keep in mind for not only the present, but for the future, as well.
- Manageability: Different cloud platforms are going to have different demands, in terms of what you are going to be expected to manage. Orchestration features can vary from one provider to the next, and you will also want to understand how these tools integrate with other services that are being offered. Do you work with services that are of particular significance to your organization? If the answer is yes, then make sure you are working with a provider that will allow for straightforward integration, when the time comes. Barring that, make sure your company is willing and capable of working with an alternative that might be offered by a provider of interest.
- Service levels: If your business has very particular guidelines with regards to availability, response times, capacities, and support, then you will have to take this factor very seriously. Most businesses need to take those things to heart, so it is vital that your company and the service provider is bound to contractual, legally-enforceable relationship. In the event that something goes wrong, you want to be sure your legal standing is secure.
- Customer support: This is something that defines most of the professional relationships we seek out. In the event of an emergency, a concern, or even just a question, are you going to get the customer support you need? Furthermore, are you going to receive that support in a timely fashion? If you need more than a chat feature, or a phone number that could keep you on the phone with a receptionist for far too long, then you will want to make sure you are trusting a company that will meet your support needs.
- Costs: The sticker price is obviously important, but make sure you are also aware of any associated costs that may come up. If you have a small business, it stands to reason that you do not have a massive budget to fritter away on unexpected expenses.
Public Or Private Cloud Services?
The choice between public and private cloud services isn’t going to be that difficult. Unless you have a massive data center, private really isn’t an option that you need to worry about.
Furthermore, private cloud services represent a significant amount of work unto themselves. We are talking about an addition to your business in which you will be wholly responsible for management, maintenance, and making sure the data centers are being properly updated on a consistent basis. While private gives you perhaps the strongest element of security possible, and while it is unlikely you will ever have to share any resources with other groups, public is just more rational solution for most businesses out there.
Thankfully, when it comes to cloud service options, you won’t be disappointed by the possibilities available to you. There are some excellent cloud service providers out there. The challenge on your end will be to find one that fits your needs.
A Few Of Your Cloud Service Options
In terms of cloud service options, you certainly have a lot of providers to choose from. While we can’t give you comprehensive looks at all of them, we can touch on a few of the major providers out there. Obviously, you are going to want to do a great deal of research into any provider you come across:
- Microsoft: For a number of reasons, Microsoft remains the best public cloud service provider to be found anywhere. All three layers of the cloud are well-represented here, and you are also getting a provider with a powerhouse reputation for customer support and security.
- Amazon: Another large name with an equally-impressive reputation. Cloud services are one of the few areas in which Amazon isn’t the absolute biggest, but you are still talking about a name that offers customers a considerable range of software to work with.
- IBM: Believe it or not, but IBM stands in the present as one of the biggest and most respected cloud providers in the world. You can count on IBM to have all three layers of the cloud represented (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS), and you can also expect a company that has proven it can delivery manageability and more to a wide range of customers.
- Salesforce: While Salesforce struggles somewhat for relevancy with IaaS, this is still one of the top providers going today. More often than not, they have been able to meet the needs of customers from all backgrounds.
- SAP: Utilizing HANA technology, SAP has become a key figure in the battle of the cloud service providers. SAP has also become a key figure in developing beneficial relationships with companies like Amazon. They continue to impress tech experts and insiders the world over.
Which Cloud Service Provider Is Right For You?
All of the above is not going to give you everything you need, as you search for the best possible cloud provider. However, by keeping all of the above in mind, you will be in a much better position to research these providers and subjects further. You are ultimately looking for a provider that will work with you to maintain your crucial data and applications.
A comprehensive analysis of your company’s requirements is the next step you are going to take. This is going to be the foundation that gives you the ability to understand what each provider is going to be to offer you. You should also keep in mind that you are not just looking for short-term solutions in this arena. You are looking for a provider that will be able to continue to meet your needs, even as your business continues to evolve.
Through a detailed analysis of your requirements, you may discover needs/considerations that weren’t even touched upon here. We can’t stress enough that with cloud service providers, your needs can be wildly different from the needs of another company. This can even hold true for companies that work within similar industries. As you consider your needs from a cloud service provider, don’t skimp on the details.