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Top Ten CIO Checklist for Cloud Computing

Once you've made the decision to move your servers to the cloud, be sure to read the fine print. 

Here are some factors that CIOs and other buyers should look for:
  1. Understand your data security needs.  What form of encryption is provided?  Are there government security rules or standards you must follow?
  2. Don't take virtualization for granted.  Make sure that all your servers can be virtualized.  Some older systems such as mainframes and AS/400 may require co-location instead unless you want to migrate to a more modern system.
  3. Start small and prioritize your cloud migration.  Start with less essential services so you can learn how to transition from your data center to the cloud without as many angry users.  Running for a month or more with limited services will give you a better idea of actual costs.
  4. Watch pricing for data in and out.  Many services don't charge for moving data to the virtual server but charge for moving it off the server.  So if you have ten server images to move, you may get a different bill if you move to each from your office server than if you move to one in the cloud and copy from it to another.
  5. Track your return on investment. Keep checking your costs.  One of the main motivations for moving to the cloud is to save money, so keep track after you migrate and make sure that you are succeeding in this goal.  Report back to stakeholders so they know that the change has been worthwhile.
  6. Check the specs on your servers carefully.  Review all the performance parameters for the servers to be sure you are comparing apples to apples in choosing a cloud vendor.
  7. Test your backup and restore.  Backup and restore capabilities are essential, but worth nothing if you can't do them when you need them.  So put them through their paces.
  8. Find out the speed limit.  See if your provider sets a maximum speed for your servers.
  9. Learn about shared and dedicated servers, single and multi-tenancy.  Find out what is right for you.
  10. Standardize your platform.  The more you rationalize your servers and move them to a standard platform, the easier it makes migration and management.

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