The IT channel has changed – no one can deny that. Gone are the days where IT Infrastructure resellers can survive on selling tin.

In replacement to IT Infrastructure resellers, we now see ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ Cloud Providers. And the market is full of juicy choice.

So how do you choose an Infrastructure as a Service Provider?

What’s your criteria - Security? Reliability? Performance? Global Reach? Relationship? Cost? Value-add services?
Probably a mix of all of the above with different weightings for each.

But the interesting criterion is the Value Add bit; exactly what services shouldn’t you take from a courting IaaS provider?

I’d say two important ones are Data Migration Services and Proof of Concept. And I hereby give my reasons…

An IaaS Provider business model, without any doubt, is based on quantity of customers; getting as many customers on their investment as possible, as the more they get the cheaper it is to operate, meaning more profit and the higher the company value when IPO time comes. Therefore, IaaS providers are, to the most extent, excellent at what they do – they have an Infrastructure optimised for charge-back and know they have to keep it reliable and stable.

However, what’s not typically not core to them are migration services. This is through no fault of their own, it’s just by default that they have to keep their skills and investment at an Infrastructure level.

Getting applications, databases and their related test/dev systems into the cloud is work that needs specific application and database expertise. By using an independent service provider to migrate to the Cloud ensures that that service provider has a pure focus – that all their efforts go towards to the completion of the migration project and the uptime of your application/s and databases. Your Cloud provider can then focus all their efforts in keeping the lights on and providing the service your opex pays for.

Another area dsp excels on is offering independent Proof of Concept services for organisations looking to get onto the Cloud.  Categorically demonstrating performance differences, risk factors and operational gotchas is essential to moving to an IaaS provider. Taking things beyond just the Infrastructure and looking at the database and application layer.

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