Cloud solutions have become mainstream, allowing businesses of all sizes to benefit from cost-effective scalability, disaster recovery and data backup. Whether your company is looking into the public cloud or the a private cloud, there are a few questions that should be asked when vetting various cloud storage providers. The answers to these questions will help determine which cloud storage provider will best meet your needs.

Is the cloud provider the best match or my specific needs?
Not all cloud storage providers offer capabilities for specific uses like object store, Exchange email, backup, disaster recovery or archiving. Choose a provider that tailors their services specifically for your needs and you will derive the best ROI on your cloud investment.

Where is the data stored?
Geographic diversity is essential and is sometimes necessary for compliance. Data access times can also be affected by the location of the data center. The best answer to the location question will depend on the specifics of your business and you should consult a cloud IT expert before making any decisions.

What certifications does the data center hold?
Look for a cloud data provider with at least SAS 70Ttype 2 and/or SOC2 and 3 certifications.

What kind of security is in place?
As well as strong encryption methods, proper physical security and authentication must be in place to ensure complete data protection.

What is the data center’s SLA?
Look for a minimum of 99.9% availability.

What type of redundancy and failover is in place?
The data center should provide redundancy across multiple facilities and each data center should feature fully redundant N+1 power feeds, generators, UPS, and cooling systems.

How is data uploaded?
Consider ease of upload, speed and options for data shuttle.

What type of compliance solutions does the cloud data center offer?
Evaluate each cloud data storage provider’s compliance offerings to determine what level of compliance is built into their storage services, this is especially important if your business is subject to HIPPA or PCI DSS regulations.

What is their support response time?
Support should include 24x7x365 help desk access and ask about the average answer delay on support lines as well as the location of the company’s support staff. Do they outsource their support to a third party?

This list is intended as a starting point and is by no means an exhaustive guide to selecting a cloud data storage provider. Consult with an experienced IT partner, like ACE IT Solutions before choosing a data center. ACE IT Solutions can help you vet the cloud provider and select the one that best meets your needs and future goals. We have partnerships with the cloud’s most reputable data storage providers.

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