IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - March/April 2017 - 20
be kept in-house to securely protect proprietary applications. To
keep IT costs under control and
not overtax your IT staff, other
workloads could be managed by
If your organization transfers
workloads to an outside service,
DiDio says, you must have oversight. "Otherwise, the reality may
not match your expectations."
Based on independent, webbased surveys and first-person
customer interviews ITIC has
conducted, only 26 percent
of businesses actually make
sure their vendors are meeting
the service-level agreement
requirements. That could mean
that if a power outage occurs or
you need more server space, you
might not get the type of service
you need. "Offloading workloads
that must be in compliance with
government regulations may not
be a panacea," DiDio notes. "You
"If you're going to remain competitive
and ensure a smoothly running organization,
your IT system must incorporate high
reliability, high availability, strong
security and encryption."
-Laura DiDio, principal, Information Technology
have to make sure your MSP has
She suggests looking at a potential MSP as a landlord, comparing
it to an apartment building. "The
infrastructure is great, you have
laundry services on the premises,
beautiful appointments, copper
pipes and so on," she says. "But
what good is that going to do if
Cloud Computing Due Diligence
Geting your organization's legal department involved in service agreement
decisions may bring valuable questions such as:
s Does the cloud provider explicitly recognize your ownership of any
intellectual property stored with the provider?
Backup of Data
s Are you able to easily retrieve your data from the cloud provider?
s Are you able to maintain a local backup of your data?
s Is the retrieved data in a usable, non-proprietary format?
s Does the cloud provider employ encryption during transmission of your data?
s How frequently does the cloud provider have their security audited?
s Does the cloud provider offer remedies in the event of data breaches and
service availability failure?
Clio, a cloud-based practice management platform for the legal industry,
compiled the checklist above. Learn more at bit.ly/2bMToBK.
you're living next door to people
who party all night?"
Ask a cloud provider or MSP
whose data shares tenancy
with yours. "Your applications,
resources and workloads are
going to reside on a server with
other businesses," DiDio explains.
Ask how much of that server's
capacity is going to be devoted to
your company. If you get stuck on
a server with a resource hog, this
can prevent your company from
accessing added capacity when
you need it most. If an MSP says
it would never let that happen,
DiDio suggests you reply, "Great.
Put it in writing."
Also ensure the MSP isn't
mixing certain types of applications and workloads on the
same server. Cloud-based and
MSP environments will almost
always feature virtualization.
"Applications are not onesize-fits-all," DiDio notes. A
web server will have different
memory, storage, performance,
capacity, availability and
uptime, scalability, backup and
disaster recovery, and growth
requirements from a line of
business. The cloud provider
must also have a thorough
understanding of the business
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