Cloud General Strategy

10 Mistakes to avoid when choosing a cloud

cloud mistakes

The benefits of moving to the cloud are compelling but with a new cloud infrastructure comes a new set of challenges and risks that require a new way of thinking. From the very start, you will need an in-depth understanding of the new mindset that cloud technologies demand. If you don’t learn quickly you may well fall foul to one of these 10 mistakes.

  1. Leaping before you look – cloud is a means to an end: you want happy users using applications that meet their needs and your security and compliance needs. Make sure that this aim does not get lost in a complex, technical strategy.
  2. Assuming all clouds offer the same service – private, public or hybrid, the right cloud mix depends on your specific requirements as well as the applications and infrastructure you have already invested in. Don’t forget your requirements will almost certainly change. So when you choose your cloud supplier don’t think you have ‘found the one’. Choosing a cloud supplier and structure is not a marriage and you may well need to change suppliers, avoid being locked in.
  3. Becoming too stressed over varying performance levels – different suppliers will provide varying services levels for a given application. They will vary in different regions and for various set-ups. It is up to you to plan for specific performance levels and be ready to tweak them until you reach your goals.
  4. Expecting any application to run on any cloud infrastructure – cloud providers are not OS agnostic. If your infrastructure is heavily dependent on Windows Google will not be an option for you. Some legacy systems aren’t supported by any cloud provider. Do your homework in detail before committing to a provider.
  5. Forecasting the same cost distribution for all your resources across all suppliers – the more specialised your application the more likely your cost is to vary considerably across different suppliers.
  6. Assuming all suppliers work to the same SLA – every supplier will have their own SLA and these might even vary from service to service. Remember to read the small print very carefully before you sign up and pay particular attention to novation clauses.
  7. Not aligning 3rd party support across different cloud providers  – applications based on specific virtual appliances are unlikely to be supported to the same level by every cloud provider. Don’t leave it until an advanced implementation stage before you discover this, check the small print early on.
  8. Designing an application without considering your cloud provider’s unique characteristics – if you ignore these unique variables you are setting yourself up for an unpredictable project as far as cost, performance and later maintenance are concerned.
  9. Not leveraging the full potential of the cloud – choosing a supplier doesn’t mean you have to migrate all your applications in one fell swoop. Don’t forget that for each service and application you might choose a different approach, you just need to beware of creating an overly complex infrastructure.
  10. Ignoring disaster recovery and automated migration requirements – application downtime is always going to be a  challenge. It is up to you to ensure all your applications remain available through cloud outages and that it is easy to migrate to your chosen cloud provider from your existing set-up and legacy systems. It is up to you to  plan for Recovery Point Objective, Recovery Time Objective and automated migration requirements for the long term, some suppliers may help but not all, check before you sign.

Whatever route you take keep at the forefront of your mind that what you need and get today WON’T be the only thing you need tomorrow, remain agile and flexible to make the most of being on the cloud.

Share this with your colleagues and don’t forget that there is more advice and support on this blog.

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