Cloud News & Insights

Small versus Big Cloud Service Provider Part 2

Businessman pushing a server rack in place

Following on my last post, there are some more factors to be considered before deciding whether to go for a small or big cloud player. Here are some of them.

Where is the datacenter?

Cloud, as we all know is not really in a cloud. Your data has to finally reside in a physical server which in turn has to be in some location on earth called datacenters. The location of these datacenters is very important due to several reasons. Some of these are located in remote corners of earth and due to this download speeds are compromised. As far as possible you must ensure that the datacenter in which your cloud server instances are running are located in or near your clients. For example, if you run an e-commerce site with majority of clients in the US, your datacenter must be located in the US. This will result in faster web page load. You must also remember that Google search algorithm takes page load time as one of the factors. Your website will be better placed in Google search results if you have faster downloads.

The second reason why you must know the location of your datacenter is security. Your data is important and must not be compromised. There are rumors that some datacenters may be in the business of selling data. Datacenters must also provide physical security to their servers. There are several physical security features which are essential for datacenters. Data backup facilities must also be checked thoroughly.

As far as the big players are concerned, their datacenters are spread over the world. Therefore there is no problem here. It’s the small players who are likely to compromise on their datacenter location. While I always advocate the use of small cloud service players, their facilities must be double checked by users. There is no point in crying wolf at a later date.

Service level agreement

SLA is a critical document which you must read with a lens. The small print in all the SLA’s is so small that they escape your notice. It’s when there is an outrage that you realize the trap in the small print. I am not suggesting that your SLA must contain clauses which are impractical. Understanding the implications of the clauses is more important. Balance is critical out here.

Management control panel

By this I mean that the control panel provided by the cloud service provider must be easy to use. You must be able to scale up and down easily and manage your server instances. All facilities must not be more than a few clicks away. If you ask my sincere opinion, an effective control panel can make your life pretty easy.

Help Desk

The buck always stops here. It’s one of those pesky, irritating things – you never get help just when you need it most. Speak to some existing customers and get proper feedback on this aspect. It can save your time later.


I can think of several other factors but the ones I have mentioned are probably most critical. If I have missed some, I will cover them in my later posts.

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About the Guest Author:

Sankarambadi SrinivasanSankarambadi Srinivasan, ‘Srini’, is a maverick writer, technopreneur, geek and online marketing enthusiast rolled into one. He began his career as a Naval weapon specialist. Later, he sold his maiden venture and became head of an offshore Database administration company in Mumbai. He moved on as Chief Technology Officer of one of the largest online entities, where he led consolidation of 300 online servers and introduced several Web 2.0 initiatives. He holds a Master’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunication.

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