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So You Picked Your Cloud Service Provider, Now What?

Cloud computing is a hot topic in today’s technology industry, and the reasons are clear. Not only does cloud computing save companies money through outsourcing their data storage infrastructure and its maintenance, but it also frees their IT talent to focus on innovation and revenue-generating activities. Cloud computing also offers greater flexibility and scalability for your data storage needs—making migration to the cloud a no-brainer. If your organization hasn’t migrated to the cloud yet, chances are it will in the near future. With today’s technology, it makes sense to leverage the advantages of cloud computing, and allow your technology team to focus on their core competencies.

It is important to note that even with all the advantages cloud computing has to offer, migrating to the cloud requires making a lot of difficult decisions. First you must choose which Cloud Service Provider (CSP) to subscribe to, and there are hundreds to choose from. Each has its own set of nuances and method of deployment, so you must be sure to weigh all of your options. Once you choose which CSP will best serve your organization’s needs, you must figure out how you will connect to the cloud—a topic many need to (but may not want to) talk about.

There are essentially three ways to connect to your CSP: through the internet, through a provider’s dedicated Ethernet service, or through leasing colocated space in the data center where your Cloud Service Provider is hosted and attaching via cross connects. As you will find, each option has both positives and negatives.

Through the Internet:

The internet is the most common way to connect to a cloud service provider because it is the most simple and least expensive option. However, there are some drawbacks that should not be ignored, like data security concerns (encryption isn’t foolproof) and the speed and reliability of the connection. When you are sharing the connection to your CSP with other web traffic, users may experience varying degrees of latency caused by the congestion. Connecting to your CSP via the internet is like sitting in traffic on your way to work—it can be inefficient and frustrating.

Through a Dedicated Ethernet Service:

Many telecommunications companies offer direct connectivity to your CSP (DQE’s Cloud Solution). In this case, the provider either owns the fiber that connects to the data center where your CSP sits, or leases it from another carrier. A telecommunications provider can lease fiber at a better price than a single company can, and provides a faster and safer connection to your CSP’s on-ramp. It is like driving on the HOV lane to work—safer and more efficient. However, due to its benefits, a dedicated, low latency connection to your CSP comes at a higher cost than with a public connection.

Through Leasing Space in a Data Center:

If money were no object, this would be the best option—like owning a private jet instead of going through airport security, it is easier said than done. This type of connectivity is the most expensive. Not only are you paying to subscribe to your CSP, but you are also in charge of managing your connection. You must either use your own fiber or lease it from another company (price depends on distance). You also must pay to lease the space in the data center, and use a cross connect to make a direct connection. Though this strategy provides the most security and the least latency, the benefits may not outweigh the costs.

When looking for best cloud connection strategy for your company, it is important to ask yourself these questions:

  • How sensitive is my information?
  • How much am I willing to spend?
  • How important are speed, reliability, scalability, and security to your organization?
  • Which supplier can I trust?

Connecting to your Cloud Service Provider is an important topic that is not addressed as much as it should be. Companies must be cognizant that their chosen connection strategy will play a role in their organization’s security and efficiency, and is something that must not be overlooked.

So you picked your Cloud Service Provider, now how are you going to connect?_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This blog was written by Kristen Franks with contributions from Jason Basham, Sales Engineer.

Tags: cloud computing, cloud migration, cloud solutions provider, connection strategy