Ask the Right Questions to Shorten your Path to the Cloud

If you’re in a sophisticated IT shop, you are already familiar with the outsourcing of IT services. Your knowledge and familiarity with the market gives you a leg up when you’re shopping for a service provider. You already have a bank of the right questions to ask.

But what happens when you’re moving an application to a cloud environment? The fact that a shared, multi-tenant environment will be hosting your application changes the dynamics and introduces a whole different set of questions to ask. As part of the due diligence process, you’ve got to identify a wide range of capabilities that you require from your cloud service provider.

Can the service providers give you SLA-based guarantees on performance, network uptime, data integrity, reliability, and resiliency? Are Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and compliance monitoring tools supported? Does the service provider offer availability zones with low latency?

These are just a few of the many questions you might need to ask to determine the cloud provider’s ability to meet your requirements for security, usability, quality, availability, technology, and more. And this is where it gets hard: How do you go about, first, putting together a comprehensive list of questions and, second, identifying service providers who have the right answers?

At Intel, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, and a lot of time working with Intel IT and our service provider partners to identify best practices in cloud environments and the characteristics of enterprise-grade cloud solutions. We’ve taken these learnings and incorporated them into our online Cloud Finder tool.

When you visit this site you are first asked questions to define your required and desired features for your Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution. And here’s the good part: You don’t have to come up with a list of questions. We’ve done that for you. You just have to click to indicate, for example, whether the ability to specify storage durability requirements is essential, desirable, something you might want in the future, or something that is not applicable to your needs.

You can use the tool at two levels: a detailed search or a quick search. You can also explore the tool’s cloud guidance section, which offers a rich pool of resources covering cloud best practices, cloud solutions, and the cloud service providers who participate in the Cloud Finder program.

Of course, when you’re hunting for the right cloud provider, you need more than the right list of questions. You also need a way to identify and contact providers who have the right stuff for your cloud needs. The Cloud Finder tool helps you with these next steps.

When you complete the search process, the tool compares your responses to the services available from a select number of reputable IaaS providers worldwide and returns matching results. With the click of a mouse, you can learn more about each provider and reach out to matching providers to take the next step.

If you haven’t checked out this tool yet, I would strongly encourage you to do just that. Even if you’re not in the immediate market for a cloud provider, this tool will help you build a knowledge base to draw from when you get serious about moving apps to the cloud.

You can check out the tool at After that, I’d love to hear any feedback you have. Were certain questions missing? Would you suggest any refinements to the tool? Did you find the tool helpful?