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1 Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers: A Comparison Checklist V Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 1

2 Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers: A Comparison Checklist Selecting a Cloud Computing Infrastructure as a Service Provider can be somewhat daunting. These services continue to rapidly mature. Today in 2014, there is no common set of products, features, and pricing. ProfitBricks has prepared this comparison checklist to help you and your team to perform a side-by-side evaluation of Cloud Computing IaaS providers. We built this list based on thousands of conversations with customers and industry experts. The checklist is broken into 12 sections: Subject Page General Reference 1 Getting Started 2 The Product 3 Product Usage 5 Performance 6 Network Infrastructure and Data Center 8 Security, Data Segregation, and Compliance 9 Customer Service and Technical Support 10 Billing Methodology and Pricing 11 Total Cost of Ownership 12 Financial Security 13 Service Level Agreement 14 Looking For a Pre-Filled Checklist? Just send an to We ll get one right over to you! We invite you to contact one of our Cloud Computing consultants by ing or calling for assistance in completing this checklist. We also have a 14-day, no obligation trial account that does not require a credit card. SECTION 1: GENERAL REFERENCE Read Provider s website, whitepapers, blog, etc. Review analyst and media coverage Review published case studies Speak with reference customers Read the provider s Service Level Agreement and Terms & Conditions documents Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed Completed Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 1

3 SECTION 2: GETTING STARTED Is the service and pricing plan simple, clear and easily understood? Is it necessary to speak with a sales person prior to establishing service? Does sales person responsive to requirements and offers specific suggestions to meet needs? Does the provider offer online signup and clickthru agreements? Will it be straight forward to set-up the service? Does the provider have a migration scheme or provide assistance with migrations? What image import capabilities does the provider offer - Custom images? The ability to bring your own images? Import VMDKs or OVFs? Import VHDs? Does the provider offer the ability to bring your own Kernel? Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 2

4 SECTION 3: THE PRODUCT Does the provider support private network segments and subnets? Can instances be started and stopped at will? Does provider support non-fixed virtual machine sizes? What are the specs of the largest compute instance offered by each provider? Does provider have live migration capability to insure high availability during maintenance periods? What Hypervisor does the provider use? What storage options are supported by provider? What is largest storage volume supported? Is block storage automatically replicated into separate availability zones? If not, is there a fee? What storage snapshot capabilities are offered by the provider? What are the provider s protocols related to IP addresses, LAN topology, and WAN connectivity? Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 3

5 How does the provider bridge between multiple service environments within the same data center? What are the load balancing capabilities? Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 4

6 SECTION 4: PRODUCT USAGE Does the provider offer a GUI Cloud data center management tool that is drag and drop or is it control panel/tablebased? What level of management does the GUI tool or control panel include i.e. ability to configure IPs, firewalls, images, etc.? Does the provider offer a full-api with all required calls to configure, provision, scale, and deactivate infrastructure? Does provider enable the ability to start and stop instances? Does provider operate on a self-service model or do they require formal requests and tickets to complete tasks? Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 5

7 SECTION 5: PERFORMANCE Have you read a thirdparty report comparing UnixBench, iperf, or dbench, etc. benchmark scores for all the providers being considered? Does the provider offer flexible server options to answer fluctuating capacity needs ondemand? If migrating an existing workload, how many IOPS and how much network bandwidth does the workload currently use? Will provider be able to accommodate needs? How many IOPS and how much network bandwidth will the workload require over the next year? Will provider be able to accommodate in an affordable manner? Does provider share the average latency on storage operations? Does the provider offer dedicated resources (RAM, CPU Cores) to maximize performance or are they shared among many customers? Does the provider throttle networks, diminishing the ability to have predictable performance? Does the provider use enterprise-grade highspeed disks/ssds or are they using consumer- Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 6

8 grade gear? Does the provider use Ethernet (1Gb/s or 10 Gb/s) or InfiniBand (80Gb/s) as its backbone network? Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 7

9 SECTION 6: NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE AND DATA CENTER Is your business governed by local, regional and/or national statutes restricting your use of customer data? Does provider s data center have the necessary certifications you require? Is the provider s data center location prone to natural risks (hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.)? Does the provider offer technical specifications about its infrastructure during the vetting phase of Cloud selection? How does the physical security of the provider s data center compare to the security of your current IT environment? Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 8

10 SECTION 7: SECURITY/DATA SEGREGATION/COMPLIANCE Does provider make it easy to engineer redundancies into the cloud infrastructure via the management platforms? Does the provider s data center have regular audits for SOC1 Type- 2, SOC2, SOC3 Type-2, PCI-AOC, PCI-DSS ROC? Does the provider offer dedicated resources to reduce potential security risks? Are there redundant systems across multiple fire zones to protect data and ensure uninterrupted operation? Are SSH key pairs for encrypted login sessions allowed? Does the provider offer customers full control of port-level firewall on each instance? What tier is the provider s data center? (Tier 1 is lowest, tier 4 is highest) Is the data center LEED Gold certified? How does the provider handle deleted customer data? Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 9

11 SECTION 8: CUSTOMER SERVICE AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT Call the provider s support line: Is the support person easy to understand and technically astute? What is provider s account authentication policy? Does the provider allow customer to fully manage their Cloud services and related infrastructure? Does the level of support offered meet the client organization s needs? Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 10

12 SECTION 9: BILLING METHODOLOGY AND PRICING Does the provider force customers into buying pre-set server configurations in a package or plan? Is billing based on actual compute resource consumption? By hours, days, or minutes? Are there any peak hourly surcharges? Is billing simple to understand and transparent or are there additional fees, like IOPS? Is the storage offered temporary or permanent block storage? Does provider offer credit card billing? Does the provider offer monthly invoice billing? If multiple accounts are set-up, will provider send consolidated invoice mailing? Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 11

13 SECTION 10: TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP How does the Cloud budget align with the projected costs of each provider? How competitive is the Cloud solution priced? Does the provider offer free or paid/tiered technical support? Does telephone support cost extra? If paid, estimate costs and factor into TCO. Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 12

14 SECTION 11: FINANCIAL SECURITY How long has the provider been in business? Is the provider financially secure? Do they have sufficient funding? Do the provider s processes and technologies measure up to recommendations from the IT industry s leading organizations? Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 13

15 SECTION 12: SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT What is the Provider s SLA for Network? What is the Provider s SLA for Hardware? What is the Provider s SLA for Storage? What is the Provider s SLA for on-site security? What is the Provider s SLA for data center infrastructure? What is the Provider s SLA for API? Does the provider proactively inform consumers of SLA noncompliance and breaches? In the event of a service issue, does the language limit the provider s liability at the expense of your company s data to an acceptable degree? What types of restitution is offered by the provider in the event of a service issue? Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 14

16 ProfitBricks is here to help - We invite you to contact one of our Cloud Computing consultants by ing or calling for assistance in completing this checklist. We ll even send you a pre-filled checklist just ask. ProfitBricks offers a 14-day, no obligation trial account that does not require a credit card for activation. Visit today! Finally, for more helpful information, be sure to check out our Resource Center at ProfitBricks Inc. 15 Tudor Street Cambridge, MA twitter.com/profitbricksusa blog.profitbricks.com Phone: Fax: ProfitBricks, Inc. All rights reserved. ProfitBricks, the ProfitBricks logo and Data Center Designer are trademarks of ProfitBricks Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ProfitBricks reserves the right to make changes without further notice. Comparing Cloud Computing IaaS Providers Page 15

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