So, you want to add a “cloud” to your existing data infrastructure. Where do you begin? It seems like just about every technology company is now offering some sort of cloud solution, and the options are numerous. Whether you are looking to use a remote host or to configure hardware and software on site to host your own, or even a hybrid of the two, almost anything is possible.

The best place to start is to consider what the primary purpose of your cloud will be. Is it for collaboration and sharing between your primary location and a remote office? Is it for short-term backups or deep archiving? Do you a want a single source provider for all of the above or do you want, for example, to collaborate with a remote server for one cloud and archive on site for another?

Beyond those general considerations it’s important to know if there are any special needs or considerations specific to your business or industry. Certain businesses in certain industries, like a hospital for example, may have strict legal requirements to comply with when storing sensitive data like medical records. There are even purpose-built cloud services that include industry specific databases and analysis tools.

With public cloud services there are a number of security issues to consider. Do you need to know the exact physical location of the server that holds your data? With some services there’s no way to know, with others there’s no doubt. Do you need dedicated servers? You never know who you might be sharing server space with and how that might make your data vulnerable. How much redundancy do you need?

Once you have a good idea of everything your business needs in a cloud, you’ll have an easier time finding the right solution. Most of the big players in the industry have compelling offerings in the cloud space. Some are very affordable, but be careful. It’s important to do your due diligence and be sure you avoid any hidden costs or fees. For example, some cloud services will let you upload your data for free, but charge you for downloading.

Making sense of it all and helping you to make the optimum choices for your unique situation is something we do every day here at HEAT Technologies. Contact us today and let us help find the right cloud for you.