Cloud computing is an exciting technology that is projected to become pervasive in not only nonprofits, but in the common person’s daily life.
However, there is a sense of discomfort associated with the novel technology. Many do not fully understand the technology, what it can offer an organization, or even fully understand exactly how it works.
If your nonprofit is considering a switch to the cloud, it is important to not only understand what the cloud has the potential to provide to your nonprofit, but it’s also equally as important to understand the risks and service factors associated with making the switch.
It is the goal of this blog to demystify this technology, and make the potential cloud computing consumer more comfortable with making the switch.
Service Level Agreements (SLA’s)
When considering the switch to a cloud computing platform, it is important to consider whether or not equal or greater performance can be achieved through a cloud computing vendor. Ensuring that your cloud computing vendor has a service level agreement (SLA), and penalties for failing to deliver upon those agreements, generally means you’ll be receiving a higher level of service. Without a stringent SLA in place, vendors will have little to no incentive to provide your nonprofit with a high level of performance.
Transparency in performance
It is important to remember that no matter how much more efficient a cloud computing platform is than in-house computing system, they can still succumb to down time and shortcomings. Even if your platform comes from a reputable vendor and you have ensured stringent SLAs are in place, if your vendor is not transparent about their service from the very beginning you should consider looking elsewhere for your cloud computing needs.
Understanding persistent storage
Aside from transparency and SLAs, it is important for the potential consumer to understand persistent storage. Generally, most people do not know that in the case of a service outage, all local data will be lost if a persistent storage option is not available. Depending on what your nonprofit's needs, ensuring that your server images are persistent in case of failure may be an important measure to consider when selecting a vendor.