Must-Haves and Must-Avoids of XaaS

By Tony Kontzer  |  Posted 2009-06-04 Print this article Print

What to look for -- and what to avoid -- in a cloud service provider.

What should you look for in a cloud offering? Here are some things cloud service providers should bring to the table—and some reasons to avoid certain providers.

XaaS providers should offer:

  • assurances that data can easily be extracted and moved to another provider;

  • a clear explanation of their security schemes and a willingness to have those schemes audited, as well as an explicit plan of what they will do for customers if security is breached;
  • the ability to meet compliance and regulatory requirements;
  • management tools that can track performance levels and provide executives with dashboard snapshots of usage trends;
  • all details about whoever is granted special access to data;
  • a transparent view of who their providers are;
  • the ability for you to control the location of your data; and
  • provisions regarding what happens to your data in case of disaster, or if the service provider should go out of business.

Conversely, XaaS providers should be avoided if:

  • their security measures don’t meet your security requirements;
  • you feel uncertain of their long-term viability;
  • they won’t agree to limit future rate increases;
  • they can’t tell you the types of companies that will store their data on the same servers you use to store your information;
  • they don’t provide you with a simple way to log activity for compliance purposes;
  • they lock you into a proprietary format to which you’re not 100 percent committed; or
  • they can’t guarantee that your data will be portable at a moment’s notice.

Tony Kontzer is a freelance writer for Baseline magazine.

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