7. What are the best options for deployment? The most recent outage at AWS occurred only at specific facilities on the East Coast. As a result some customers were left in the dark, while others experienced no effects. "A significant factor in this difference was how the customers had deployed their cloud applications," says Shaw. AWS allows customers to deploy cloud components (processing, storage, databases) in different availability zones elastic load balancers (ELBs) to route traffic. "Customers can even eliminate the single point of failure by deploying multiple ELBs in different availability zones and using domain name system lookups to provide failover," says Shaw.
8. If something goes wrong, can I jump to the front of the line? In the event of a disaster, a vendor will be struggling to bring hundreds, if not thousands of customers back online. "If it's really important to be in the front of the line, you should consider paying extra for preferential treatment," says Fisher.
9. Can I walk away if I'm not satisfied? Customers should insist on a clause giving them the right to terminate without penalty if the provider cannot restore service after a predetermined period of time regardless of the cause of the downtime, says Slaby. "The absolute worst position to be in is to have a multi-year commitment to pay for a service that is not being delivered," says Shaw.
10. Can I look at your books? Acts of God, software bugs, and heavy traffic aren't the only risks to reliable cloud service. The business itself can also fail. "If the cloud provider goes bankrupt and simply stops providing the service, the SLA gets you nothing," says Shaw. "So financial due diligence and analysis of the business is also advisable."
Read more about it strategy in CIO's IT strategy Drilldown.