Onsite IT infrastructures or remote data centers have been traditionally leveraged for storage of digital information including videos, emails, documents, and other formats. However, the recent surge in data generation owing to extensive use of internet enabled devices and ever-expanding base of internet users, has forced enterprises to shift their digital assets to cloud.

Cost efficiency is also a vital reason for adoption of cloud based storage solutions by abandoning on-site storage platforms. Affordability, availability, scalability, and flexibility are the most attractive benefits of cloud based storage solutions.

However, one must be very clear about the exact needs of the organization for adoption of cloud storage such as performance enhancement or a basic storage resource for archival of digital information. Following are some of the significant tips to make sure that the selection of cloud vendor is properly executed.

Check cloud vendor’s industry and DC certifications

Your cloud hosting provider must adhere to federal guidelines in terms of industry specific requirements of compliance as well as security. This applies to all industry verticals that need to handle personal information or passwords of customers. The vendor must have developed ways to follow guidelines of PCI or HIPAA without an iota of deviation. The service provider must be reliable with proven integrity.

It also should be understood that new regulations are always being introduced by governments and cloud vendors should always keep themselves up-to-date by maintaining stringent adherence to these regulations.

Data transfer capabilities

Bandwidth limitation is an important factor to understand ability of transferring data as far as backup and transfer of huge volumes of data is concerned. Bandwidth limitations can impact data transfer operations. These limitations must be understood in relation to locations and the amount of data that needs to be transferred.

Since cloud storage involves migration of data from onsite environment of enterprise to outside environment involving wide area networks, the overall cost of data transfer can be significantly higher. Consideration of overall potential of bandwidth and costs for transferring data in a given time is very important while choosing the cloud storage service provider.

Importance of data encryption

Encryption is extremely important before your mission critical data is being moved to cloud environment. Even though, many storage service providers offer data encryption as part of storage services, it is recommended that customers should also encrypt data at their end for added security.

Moreover, you should also design a contingency plan to restore your data in the event of your cloud storage provider going out of business or to help you safely move your digital assets to another vendor.

Every time you are moving your data away from your onsite infrastructure, it must be encrypted for guaranteed protection from unauthorized intrusion.

Understand your data storage needs

Users of cloud storage solutions need to precisely understand their storage needs to prevent over-purchasing of storage resources. These storage needs should be determined by considering present and future requirements of the business. Storage plans need to accommodate future data growth without impacting cost efficiency.

Securing cloud data storage

Security of data must be understood from the perspective of ability of the vendor to restore the data as well as maintaining integrity of the stored digital assets. Data Recovery is often overlooked since users try to focus on backup. Data recovery services must offer instant restoration of services in the event of any unexpected outage for seamless availability.

Vital information of storage provider

One must not hesitate while asking pertinent questions to a cloud storage provider including security provisions, monitoring devices, guarantee of corrective measures in the event of security breaches, and so forth.

One should also gain in-depth knowledge of cloud storage vendor’s data center locations to ensure seamless protection from local or zonal outages.

Understand key points in SLA

In order to maintain seamless performance of applications, there are several options to choose from in Service Levels offered by cloud vendors. Users should also look for availability of on-demand or dynamic scalability in Service Level Agreements in addition to backup and DR services. SLA must also include important points to establish unfailing availability of services with at least 99.99 percent uptime guarantee.

Service Level Agreement needs to provide assurance of swift response time to resolve issues as far as normal as well as severe levels are concerned.

Choosing a provider with proven industry experience

Many times, a cloud storage provider is selected purely on the basis of its years of experience or market reputation. Although, this method can yield fair result in certain situations, you must find a cloud storage vendor who is backed by rich experience in similar industry vertical.

Specialization is an important attribute of an ideal cloud vendor. If your business is associated with healthcare, banking, or insurance or any other specific industry, then it is prudent to select a cloud vendor which has gained demonstrable experience in same sector.

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