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Choosing the right cloud partner is crucial for software developers. A reliable infrastructure provider can successfully run a data center, provide around-the-clock IT support and create dependable disaster recovery plans. What’s the best way to choose an IaaS provider? Here are 7 questions to consider when making a decision:

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Does the IaaS provider have a robust infrastructure? Look for a fully managed IaaS cloud solution running in an enterprise-class data center with secure, reliable cloud services to support and deliver hosted software solutions.

What are the revenue opportunities? Ask what opportunities exist to generate additional revenue with services that create annuity income, including disaster recovery, application monitoring and service desk offerings.

Does the solution follow industry best practices? Accept only a best-practices approach based on ITIL v3 standards; the provider should have 24x7x365 monitoring and management in place, as well as highly automated processes with a wide range of sophisticated software tools, all combined with real-world experience working with software companies to deliver hosted solutions.

What type of flexibility is offered? Explore the cloud solution provider’s ability to deliver flexible capacity to accommodate fluctuations in customers’ production workloads as well as on-demand capacity for training, demonstration, proof-of-concept or test/development.

Is the approach customizable? Look for a consultative approach to architecting a cloud solution tailored to the software solution’s requirements rather than being just another cookie-cutter cloud offering.  Alternatives such as legacy operating systems, hybrid solutions and managed appliances should be offered.

What are the SLAs? Examine the provider’s service level agreements. There should be a designated service level manager overseeing stringent SLAs backed by stiff financial penalties to ensure target resolution times – not just target response times – are met.

Is the solution industry recognized?  Choose a provider with a proven, industry-recognized solution that has earned certifications and awards and that fares well in comparative rankings.