Selecting a Cloud Service: 5 Questions to Ask Prospective Providers

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Monthly Fees

How will my monthly fees be determined?

Next to performance, cost is usually the other top consideration when looking at cloud providers. While there are many one-off cost models in cloud computing, the three most popular cost models are: consumption, IaaS subscription and SaaS subscription.

  • Consumption incurs a cost for usage of cloud resources. Most cloud providers define usage as the resource being powered on and accessible. You are incurring costs for every minute that the resource is powered on, regardless of whether it's actually being utilized by anyone or any application. Due to the nature of this cost model, your cost will be variable unless you have all subscribed resources powered on for the same amount of time for each billing cycle.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) subscriptions incur a set cost that covers all the cloud resources to which you are subscribed. Whether you utilize the cloud resources or not, the cost remains the same. In this fixed-cost model, you are paying for the dedicated availability of resources.
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscriptions incur a cost based on a metric. Most SaaS subscriptions set the cost at a user count, while others may set the cost based upon a transaction count, or some other controllable metric. This subscription model could be fixed or variable.

Are you thinking about moving your business to the cloud? If so, you'll need a cloud provider. The provider needs to be a partner that will collaborate with you on design, and build and support a tailored solution that meets your business requirements for security, compliance, reliability and customization. But how do you determine which provider is right for your business? Knowing the right questions to ask is half the battle. In this slideshow, Concerto Cloud Services has identified five questions organizations should pose to prospective service providers during the selection process. Charting this information on a scorecard with which you can base your final decision is a recommended way to approach the process.


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