Selecting a Cloud Vendor
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Cloud Migration services from your on-premise environment can sometimes be very simple and other times an extremely complicated project to implement. For either scenario, there are always considerations to bear in mind when doing so. This course has been designed to highlight these topics to help you ask the right questions to aid in a successful Cloud migration.

Within this course, we look at how timing plays an important part in your project's success and why phased deployments are important. Security is also examined where we focus on a number of key questions that you should have answers to from a business perspective before your Cloud migration. One of the biggest decisions is your chosen public cloud vendor, how do you make the decision between the available vendors, what should you look for when selecting you will host your architecture, this course dives into this question to help you finalize your choice.

Understanding the correct deployment model is essential, it affects how you architect your environment and each provides different benefits, so gaining the knowledge. I look at how you can break this question down to help you with your design considerations. We also cover service readiness from your on-premise environment and how to align these to the relevant Cloud services. Your design will certainly be different from your on-premise solution, I discuss the best approach when you start to think about your solution design, some of the dos and some of the don’ts.

Once you have your design, it’s important to understand how you are actually going to migrate your services ensuring optimum availability and minimal interruption to your customer base, for example looking at Blue/Green and Canary deployments. Cloud migration allows for some great advantages within your business continuity plans, as a result, I have included a lecture to discuss various models that work great within the Cloud.

Course Objectives

By completing this course you will:

  • Have greater visibility of some of the key points of a cloud migration
  • Be able to confidently assess the requirements for your migration

Intended Audience

This course has been designed for anyone who works or operates in business management, business strategy, technical management, and technical operations.


For this course, it's assumed that you have a working knowledge of cloud computing and cloud principles.

What You Will Learn about Cloud Migration

Introduction - This provides an introduction to the trainer and covers the intended audience. We will also look at what lectures are included in the course, and what you will gain as a student from attending the course.

Time Management – How time plays an important part in successful cloud migration. We discuss the key points to allow time for and how to use it to plan a phased migration.

Security – This lecture will give you the ability to ask the key security questions to the business before performing a migration to the Cloud.

Selecting a Vendor – Here you will learn how to define the best way to assess which vendor would be a good fit for your migration based on a number of considerations.

Selecting a Cloud Deployment Model – This discusses different Cloud deployment models where you will understand the differences between them before gaining insight to the questions you should be asking before making a decision as to which to select.

Are your services ready to move to the Cloud? – This lecture will help provide you with the ability to identify if your on-premise applications and services are ready to migrate to the Cloud. There are a number of issues that could arise which we dive into.

Alignment of Services – Here we learn how to categorize your current services and how to map them across to the Cloud service.

New Design – This lecture discusses the importance of not performing a ‘lift and shift’ from on-premise into the Cloud. We look at how this design should be addressed using high availability and other Cloud characteristics.

Migration and Deployment options – Here you will learn the differences between the different deployment methods that could be used and how to tackle the questions around migrating your data into the Cloud to start with.

Optimization and Cost Management – Here we look at some of the considerations around optimization of your costs and how you can achieve greater efficiency.

Business Continuity – The Cloud offers a number of different DR methods which are discussed here and you will be able to define the differences between these and when to you one method over the other.

Proof of Concept – In this lecture, you will learn the importance of implementing a proof of concept design before your production migration.

Summary - Lastly, we will take note of some of the important factors learned from the previous lectures.

If you have thoughts or suggestions for this course, please contact Cloud Academy at


Hello, and welcome to this lecture discussing vendor selection.

When it comes to selecting a public cloud vendor, there are of course a wide array to choose from, and your decision will typically depend on what you are intending to migrate. The rather global market leaders such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, which offer full-scale infrastructure as the service models. While there are other cloud vendors who offer particular specializations, such as Dropbox, who are known for cloud storage using the software as a service approach, or Cloud Air, who specialize in formulating detailed analysis of data at high speeds.

So firstly, determine what you're going to be using the cloud for. Essentially: What do you want to migrate? Do you require the ability to architect and create your own network segment, which could effectively be an extension of your own on-premise network. If so, then you will require a vendor that allows for infrastructure as a service implementations, such as AWS. However, if you are only looking for cloud storage, then you may look for an alternative vendor that specializes in cloud storage, like Dropbox. Do not be put off by using the market leaders, even for small migrations in these cases, as they may provide you exactly what you need at a great price point when compared to the specialized cloud offerings.

One of the key points is to understand is how secure the data centers are. The last thing you want to do is to move data to a cloud vendor who doesn't comply to stringent security controls and governance programs. They should have security information freely available with regards to levels of security they have built into the cloud, and offer these reassurances without question. Do be aware that the leaders of public cloud have a global presence, and as such adhere to security programs worldwide and are therefore considered to be far more secure than your own private data centers.

Evaluate the range of services that the cloud vendor offers. Does it provide services that you can start using immediately, that allows you to quickly migrate parts of your infrastructure, and does it have a range of services that could be useful for the future? Gain a good understanding of the services, as this could help you guard further business decisions going forward should your initial migration be an overwhelming success.

Ensuring your cloud provider can provide you with a service that can manage your workload is one thing, but can it provide all the attributes that may be required for your organization to safely maintain your data? For example, you may be a financial organization that must retain its data for at least seven years due to specific legislation. Can your cloud provider safely store this data for that length of time at an efficient cost rate with the required security controls? Or you may have a requirement to use a particular operating system for your cloud instances, and so does the provider allow that flexibility, or are you restricted to operating systems that are non-compatible with your applications?

You don't want to be partway through your migration only to find out that it doesn't fully fulfill the requirements of your business objectives.

Another point to consider is the cloud vendor's interface that they provide. How can you interact with your services and applications? It's likely that you will need to connect to cloud services using APIs. What functionality does the provider have surrounding API to the services you need? This can impact on how particular services and applications are deployed and so can be extremely important from a development perspective. Also, do they have a GUI console that's self-intuitive and simple to use? You will likely have a range of skill sets supporting your cloud, and so for some management and control, the GUI is better to use for some of the simpler, less technical configurations, monitoring, and reporting.

The market leaders of cloud offerings provide services of similar functionality, and so you may be drawn to one of these vendors through past experience, word of mouth, or recommendations from other organizations. However you are drawn to a vendor, you need to spend time analyzing what they offer, and at what price, under what terms and conditions. You may find that one vendor provides a great service for one aspect of your requirements, and a different vendor offers a service for another part. In this case, you could look at architecture in your business in a multi-vendor configuration. As there are no contractual obligations to only use one cloud vendor, you are in a unique position where you can pick and choose which service you want to utilize from which vendor.

By doing so, it provides you with the best fit for your business objectives, whilst at the same time offers some level of resilience. By utilizing multiple vendors, you are potentially preventing issues with all of your services if one vendor was to unfortunately experience large, wide-scale problems.

Be sure to understand the pricing for all elements attached to the services that you are interested in. Sometimes this can be complicated, depending on which location you're going to deploy your services into, the amount of data transferred in and out, and simply the demand of your service. There are many pricing structures, so it's key to really gain an insight of what you would be paying.

As with any third-party vendor, you will want to know your level of support, especially as you'll be losing control to a potentially large portion of your environment. If something goes wrong, you will want to know who can help from the vendor themselves, and at what times depending on the severity of the problem. To help you understand how they handle support ques and issues, try to look back into past system failures they may have had and how they handled them. Was the vendor open about any mistakes they had made on their part, and how long did it take to resolve? Also, did they implement any plans or changes to help mitigate the type of issue re-occurring? These are all important factors that as a customer, you'll want to know the answer.

We have now come to the end of this lecture. In the following lecture, we will look at the considerations around selecting the most appropriate cloud deployment model and service.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.