The term “Cloud” has become very popular both in practice and use. So much so, it has become difficult to differentiate between true cloud providers, almost cloud providers, secure cloud providers – and everything in between. The marketing jargon is all the same, so how can a business dig through the fluff and find the superior cloud providers that are truly beneficial? Here are the 5 questions to ask your cloud provider that will help you find the best cloud companies.
1. Don’t ask about the uptime guarantee – ask how many minutes they have been down in the last year.
The uptime guarantee is always the same – or within a fraction of a percentage of each other. Yes, that fraction can matter, but has downtime ever actually occurred for the company? The best cloud providers can be distinguished from the mediocre cloud providers by knowing exactly how long they have been down instead of a percentage of how long they have been up. Being down for an entire day or more would be devastating. Discovering what the true amount of downtime has been for them, their customers, and potentially for you is critical.
2. Have they moved their server locations in the last year?
This question may seem unrelated, but if a cloud provider switches their server location, it is a sign that their systems as a whole may not be in great health. Something happened to cause them to switch and asking about the reason will help uncover whether it was a beneficial move or a cause for concern.
3. Have automatic upgrades caused any downage?
No one wants to hear “We’re down!”, but when it is caused by an automatic update, it’s a sign that there are deeper issues at play within that cloud provider’s processes.
4. What is their disaster recovery plan and has that plan ever been tested?
Every cloud provider has a disaster recovery plan. However, not all disaster recovery plans are the same, and if the misfortune happens of needing to rely on one, it’s important to know the specifics of what those differences are. While many cloud providers might have a plan, it’s important to also ask if they’ve ever had the opportunity to put that plan into action – either as a test or as a reality. Is it a real plan if it hasn’t been tested? No one wants to be the guinea pig when they’re waiting for vital data to be recovered.
5. Do they know Dynamics GP?
A cloud provider may know cloud, but are they bringing any additional value to the table other than fancy hardware and uptime guarantees? A cloud provider that is strong in security and also knows Dynamics GP intimately means they can assist in supporting it, enhancing it, and make it perform at optimal levels -and would be the ultimate unicorn.
With PowerGP Online, we believe the fact that we have never needed to pay out our SLA for downtime speaks volumes about the reliability of our cloud. And with PowerGP Protect, not only are our customer’s secure with features like Multifactor Authentication (MFA), but we have your back covered should the worst ever happen. Not only do we have backups in the cloud but we also run our world class ransomware scans on all of your environments. That’s right – even your backups are scanned! And let’s not forget the white hat hackers we hire to make sure we’re always several steps against the real bad actors.