30 Questions to Ask Before Turning to Cloud Computing

Posted by Dustin Smith, Chief Technologist
January 8, 2014

Here at ASG, we still have a number of clients and prospects who ask us about cloud computing solutions. Is it right for them? How can they take advantage of it? We have a list of questions we ask them to determine if the cloud or the cloud provider they’re considering is a good fit for them, and we thought we’d share those questions with you. So, behold! Thirty questions to ask yourself or your cloud provider before you turn to cloud computing.

  1. What happens when the cloud goes offline?
  2. How will I get notified if the cloud does go offline?
  3. Are your services restarted automatically or is it a manual process?
  4. If I want to terminate a contract before the term ends, what kinds of ‘lock-in’ or ‘still must pay’ clauses exist, and are they negotiable?
  5. Do contracts have to be terminated ‘for cause’ and if so how easy is it for the customer to prove a ‘cause’?
  6. What is the cost to customize my apps once they’re in the cloud?
  7. How is QoS provided to our business?
  8. Do you provide load balancing or availability guarantees?
  9. How much does it cost to import my data? How much will it cost to export my data?
  10. How must does it cost to back up my data once it’s in the cloud?
  11. What are my expecting RPO and RTO from your cloud provider?
  12. What are your annual revenues (might be tough to get an answer if private but ask anyway)? How long have you been in business? How many customers do you have?
  13. Is your new cloud provider providing you with SLAs that are currently better than what you have today?
  14. How will you transfer your software licenses you currently own?
  15. Will your apps be clustered in the cloud?
  16. How will you manage your apps for performance and/or outages?
  17. Will your cloud provider use an underlying IaaS for their own infrastructure? Or will they build their own infrastructure?
  18. What is the SLA? What happens if you don’t meet it?
  19. Do you have a disaster recovery plan? If so, can you send me a copy?
  20. Can you provide documentation of your uptime for this year and last year?
  21. How do you communicate problems, outages, and fixes to your customers?
  22. How are backups implemented and how long is my data kept?
  23. Who has access to my data and/or the hardware on which it is running?
  24. How is redundancy implemented within your environment?
  25. Do you have spare disk drives, servers, power supplies, internet circuits?
  26. Do I have full ownership of my data?
  27. Do you provide a standard annual termination for convenience?
  28. Do you allow for annual usage-level alignment (up or down) based on my business needs?
  29. Can I apply monthly ―rollover usage to address seasonal peaks?
  30. Do you provide long-term price protection?

In terms of streamlining IT operations, cloud computing solutions can provide huge opportunities for companies, but it’s by no means an IT catch-all. Do your homework and ask as many questions as you can to help determine if the cloud is right for you.

About Dustin Smith Throughout his twenty-year career, Dustin Smith has specialized in designing enterprise architectural solutions. As the Chief Technologist, Dustin is responsible for the strategic direction of aligning the company’s growing consulting services with the client challenges he finds in the field, and he works closely with his regional architects to design new programs to address these issues.

Filed Under: Cloud Computing

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