May
08

Top 5 Considerations When Choosing Cloud Storage

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With so much buzz about cloud-based products and services, how do you know what will work for you? Cloud products offer many practical benefits such as low entry costs and on-demand scalability, but choosing the right platform can be a daunting proposition. To better understand how customers approach the buying decision when considering cloud storage platforms, The Planet pinpointed five important differentiators every hosting customer should consider when evaluating the adoption of cloud storage:

  1. Performance – It’s important to match the platform with your application’s performance needs. Many cloud storage platforms only provide 2-3 Mb/sec of transfer speed – that’s fine for most backup and archiving use cases but is likely not sufficient for production data. When evaluating platforms, you should also schedule multiple tests with varying traffic and load scenarios to gauge the consistency of service.
  2. Ease of Integration – The ease of user access is critical to product adoption in web applications. Many cloud storage products require the use of proprietary APIs for integration, so you would need to specifically develop for that cloud storage platform to implement the solution. When you’re evaluating the switching costs of moving to a new cloud storage platform, remember to factor in these development and integration costs, as they can add up pretty quickly. To minimize switching costs, some platforms offer standards-based integration software so you can use common protocols like CIFS, NFS, FTP or HTTP to get your content online without the proprietary API learning curve.
  3. Your Data’s Location – Most cloud products do not offer specific locations for data to reside. In fact, many providers offer data “in the cloud” as if “the cloud” is a location rather than an access medium. While in many cases the physical location of data is unimportant, sometimes being able to select a location is beneficial. If you are building a disaster recovery plan; working to reduce download times for a specific customer; or attempting to pass strict security audits, then where data resides is critical.
  4. Flexibility – One of the most appealing features of cloud storage is the flexibility of its on-demand design, which manifests itself in two primary traits: scalability and elasticity. Most cloud storage products should free you from the task of capacity planning, hardware budgeting and upgrading. Watch out for minimum-usage commitments, as they can negate the inherent benefit of capacity being available on-demand. Cloud storage products should provide elasticity, with capacity that grows as your business requires it and scales back as soon as the excess capacity is no longer needed.
  5. Usage-Based Billing – Paying for only what you use is certainly appealing. The primary aspects on which to judge the pricing of a cloud storage product are simple: how much storage capacity will you use and how much bandwidth will you need? Keep a sharp eye out for “hidden” fees, because in many use cases, they can add up quickly to be as much or more than the primary elements of your bill. “Hidden” fees to watch out for include: connect fees, account maintenance charges, and charges for “puts” and “gets.” Cloud platforms should offer simple and predictable monthly bills.

With the growing popularity of the cloud, there’s a lot of misinformation permeating the Web. On The Planet’s web hosting blog, we’ve posted a few articles about the hype and buzz surrounding “the cloud.” The platform has incredible potential and can play a great role in your hosting infrastructure right now, but it’s not going to completely change the game … yet. The industry landscape is shifting. We’re not just focused on dedicated servers and managed hosting anymore. We’re adopting new technologies, but more importantly, we’re trying to understand where those technologies fit and what real-world benefits they provide to hosting customers.

Categories : Features

Comments

  1. […] storage quota, including additional space for site growth and increased traffic.As you shop for sufficient and dependable cloud storage, keep in mind the following tips:Cloud storage platforms should match your site’s performance […]

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