The advent of ‘open’ cloud platforms has made a cloud adopters life really miserable. The plethora of options available couldn’t be less confusing. Anyone new to cloud will really find a few pointers on choosing a platform that will work for them to be really helpful. Hence I decide to post a list of 4 key aspects that one should look at before choosing a cloud platform.
Many leading cloud vendors like Rackspace and VMware have come out with their own favors of open initiatives. While Rackspace’s initiative is called OpenStack, VMware unveiled its ‘open PaaS‘ which is more of a portability initiative. Windows Azure has the option to choose the hosting partner and hence is open on that front.
These open cloud platforms offer the cloud adopter to choose a hybrid strategy where a portion of their computing could be done on the cloud and the remaining portion in their data center or facility. This way users need not be tied to one provider and have the option to switch providers anytime.
Let us now look at some key aspects that drive towards a cloud platform
Scalability and Architectural portability – This is a key aspect as that determines a cloud platforms scalability, performance and availability. Though that is generically stated, there are situations where the architecture is tweaked to attain better performance. Hence a cloud adopter will need to have this flexibility to switch to a provider who offers that kind of architecture.
User experience and comfort feeling – As with any other product or service, the experience that a provider offers to the users and the comfortless will retain loyal customers. Even though some features may not be used or opted by customers, having them on the feature list always provides a comfort feeling that they can choose and use it whenever they find a need.
No Vendor Lock-in – It is bad to be stuck with one provider for life particularly when the provider hikes the price on his will, does not provide a good service etc. Hence it is always a good feeling to be able to change providers on a need basis depending on the features and prices offered.
Flexible Service Level Agreements – As of today there are only a few providers who offer granular service levels. This will definitely improve in the future but given the current scenario, it’s better to select a variable service level agreement. Please note that a variable service level agreement will work well only if all apps use the same platform, and run on a standardized stack.
Hope these tips were useful and do give you some direction on choosing an open cloud provider.