Listed below are the Top 10 questions all cloud seekers should ask cloud service providers. I have included some hints as to why these questions are important.
Question 1 – Where would you like your cloud?
Why is this important? Location, location, location. Demand flexibility built to the same standards as a multi-tenant cloud. Insist that your cloud can be placed in your environment, a data center or the back of a Humvee. No need to change your business need for cloud.
Question 2 – How will you use the cloud?
An alternative answer to the questions is to define the virtual machines you would like to have available on the cloud. For example: VM1: 1 vCPU, 2GB RAM, 100GB storage; VM2: 4vCPU, 8GB RAM, 1TB storage, etc. Be sure to list the quantity of each virtual machine you are looking for. For example: 22 VM1, 12 VM2.
Why is this important? Cloud resources are often calculated based on the vCPU, not the virtual machine. Remember that a virtual machine is made up of multiple compute resources (processor, ram, storage). You need to define the makeup of your virtual machines; if not, it would be like purchasing a ’physical server‘ for file sharing and ending up with a 16-core / 800 GB RAM / 4 Pb server. Be specific about your needs and allow the cloud provider to meet those requirements.
Question 3 – How much network bandwidth is required to support your cloud?
Why is this important? Network bandwidth will be a cost burden that grows as you expand your cloud functionality. Make sure that your cloud service provider has multiple circuits at their facility. Remember, the more network providers that are within a facility (i.e. AT&T, Sprint, L3, etc), the lower the connectivity price.
Question 4 – What type of data will be stored in your cloud?
Why is this important? The type of data is critical to providing the correct type of storage. It is like living on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska (Bering Sea) and owning a Bugatti Veyron (267 MPH). You can certainly purchase expensive, high-speed storage, but if the island roads are all dirt and only 22 miles long, what is the point? Define the quantities of storage for high performance and high capacity, and purchase the appropriate cloud drive resource. The level of security is critical to Federal customers. FIPS 140-2 is a must.
Question 5 – What services are critical to your operation?
Why is this important? Services are defined as the functionality you seek with the cloud. For example, email, files, custom applications, etc. Be very clear on the services and the time that the services can be unavailable. See two of my other blog postings on this topic [Make cloud functional — understanding the services in your IT environment; Leveraging cloud advantages – understanding IT basics].
Next week, we’ll discuss the last five of the Top 10 questions in Part 2. For more details on these Top 10 questions or the Dell Cloud for U.S. Government and Dell cloud solutions, follow us on Twitter at @DellServices and/or @JeffreyLush.