Guest Column | July 17, 2014

Cloud Service Providers — 4 Things To Measure Before Leaping

Cloud Service Providers

By Jason Lieblich, Founder, Exoprise Systems

As IT shops, both large and small, contemplate moving more of their systems off-premise and into the cloud, understanding how a potential service provider performs in real-world configurations is critical to a successful transition. Whether its bandwidth, uptime and availability, network peering points, ISPs, or even a high-level integrations like single sign-on (SSO), IT architects and administrators should “measure twice and ‘cutover’ once” before making the move to the cloud. With that in mind, here are four things to measure.

1.Cloud Provider Performance

Measuring access to and capabilities of the various service providers from all of the company’s user access locations is critical to the success and availability of a cloud migration project. If it’s mission-critical collaboration systems like SharePoint or email, or custom in-house developed applications, IT architects need to model and benchmark the end-user experience before, during, and after the migration to ensure the success of the project.

Emulating real-user behavior through synthetic transactions and API testing is a highly effective way of determining how a cloud-based application will perform across the service delivery infrastructure between the application provider and access locations (e.g., main office, branch office, or even cloud-to-cloud). However, it’s important that synthetic testing utilize application protocols such as Microsoft’s Exchange Web Services (EWS), used by Office 365, to understand the capacity of your systems and network infrastructure such as routers, gateways, proxies, and integrated single sign on solutions. Benchmarking how the Software-as-a-Service installation will work for end users no matter where they are located will ensure successful proof of concepts (POCs), migrations and production environments.

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