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5 Tips to Choose A Cloud Storage Service Provider

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

There’s a very good reason why cloud storage services have become so popular during the last few years. Moving data to the cloud not ensures its availability at all times, it can also cut down IT costs for businesses significantly. But with so many options to choose from, how do you ensure that you are choosing the right cloud service provider? In this article, we will offer some tips for choosing a good cloud storage service provider for your storage and business needs.

1) Security – Data security is an important criteria that should not be overlooked while choosing a cloud service. A lot of cloud services provide anti-virus, anti-malware and firewall protection, 2-factor authentication and encryption features as standard but you should also ask about the type of encryption available, whether data is stored (both locally and on server) and transmitted in an encrypted form and whether or not user defined encryption is available. In addition, you should also try to find about the history of security breaches and downtimes as well as how the company responded to them before making your decision.

While data encryption is important, it is equally vital to learn more about the procedures that the company follows to ensure the physical security of your data. Do not hesitate to ask questions about how the company deals with natural calamities, who gets access to your data, whether the company uses strict background checks to hire employees and whether or not it undergoes security audits. Depending on your business, you may also want to choose a cloud provider that is compliant with the laws that are specific to your industry.

2) Track record – Choose a cloud service that has a clear and proven track record in the business. This would ensure that you are entrusting your data to a company that has a sound financial base, serves millions of customers and is able to deliver a rock solid service. You should also check whether the service is SSAE 16 and ISO 27001 compliant to make sure that it meets international security and quality standards.

3) Location of data centers – Before subscribing to a cloud service, do not forget to ask about the location of its data centers. This is an important consideration since it helps in risk mitigation and ensures that your business data remains accessible at all times. If the data centers of a provider are located at a foreign location, do not forget to check the data retention laws of that country.

4) SLA – Before migrating your data to cloud, check out the accessibility and support options provided by the providers. These are explicitly mentioned in the Service Level Agreement (SLA) document so do not forget to get an opinion from your legal advisor before subscribing to a service. The SLA should offer clear guidelines on performance, data accessibility and portability, backup and recovery, support and transitioning. Ideally you should choose a provider that offers 24X7 support, promises minimal downtimes and is quick to resolve technical issues.

5) Pricing – Pricing is an important consideration especially for those customers who are looking for a scalable cloud service. Check out whether the provider offers fixed rate and pay-as-you-use subscription options and whether or not there is an upfront cost associated with migrating to the service.

January 25, 2015

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