How to ensure you select a good cloud provider

When selecting a Cloud provider, a lot of sales material focuses on features and cost. These elements are important, but there are seven "perfect questions" you should ask your prospective provider to make sure you will receive the service you want and expect:

1  

What certification does the provider carry?

Paradise is both certified to ISO:27001 and is also a government approved G-Cloud supplier. These certifications give you confidence regarding the commitment with which Paradise approaches cloud projects and responsibilities.

     
2  

How many cloud platforms is the provider currently managing for customers?

Paradise provides private cloud solutions for over 50 companies. This includes Sage software systems, but also file storage, office automation, email and other solutions. Approximately half the customer base have all their primary IT systems based in a Paradise cloud.

     
3  

What is the service notice period to terminate the cloud service?

Paradise offer 30-day no-penalty termination arrangements. Lower rates are also available for longer term commitments. (Note: some products, such as Sage and 365, have termination periods that are subject to the contract type taken and may be longer than 30 days)

     
4  

Is technical support included within the fees quoted and what is covered?

Paradise standard practice is to include one hour of technical support per server per customer per month. Additional technical support can be added on request either on a Pay-As-You-Go basis or at a discounted rate based on a fixed number of hours per month.

     
5  

How many data-centres are there and is there fail-over between them?

Paradise use data centres in Gloucester, Leicester and London. Some of the Paradise solutions offer near-instant fail-over arrangements within the standard tariff, others can be arranged to have fail-over for extra cost on request.

     
6  

Where is the data kept? 

All data in Paradise's private cloud systems is kept within the British Isles at all times - including backups.

     
7  

Is backup included in the fees quoted? How many copies are kept?

All Paradise cloud systems include backup at no extra cost. For "Standard" packages this is daily overnight backup with a minimum of three days retention. For "Enterprise" packages the included service is 2-hourly rolling image snapshots with 24 copies retained. Additional backup arrangements can be provided up to any level by arrangement.

The answers to these questions will tell you a great deal about the quality of the Cloud service provider.