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Cloud Computing Part Two: Eight Questions to Ask Application Hosting Vendors

By Mike Maguire, Managing Director of Global Consulting, ConvergEx Group,
Thursday, October 14th, 2010

 Earlier this week, we shared Part One of the transcript of presenter Mike Maguire’s talk from Eze Castle Integration’s recent webinar, which looked at some considerations for hosting applications in the cloud. In Part Two of Mike’s presentation, he discusses eight important questions to ask application vendors to ensure that performance in the cloud will meet the high standards necessary for your investment firm.

Not every application out there was designed to run in the cloud, so it is important that you speak with the different vendors that you work with to understand whether their application will run in the cloud, and what steps you should consider taking to ensure that the applications will perform at the highest standards.

  1. First and foremost – Does your software work in a hosted environment? As I mentioned, not every application was designed to run in the cloud, and your vendors’ software may not work properly in this environment.

  2. Are there any issues associated with virtualizing the applications? Virtualization is a common technology used in the cloud to provide scale. Can the vendor provide any benchmarks for a cloud environment?

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  3. How is it deployed? Does the software run native over the internet, or does it require a delivery mechanism like Citrix? This could result in additional costs, and/or limitations for the end user.

  4. Are there any limitations with this type of deployment? Are there certain pieces of functionality that will not work if remotely deployed? Are there display limitations? For example, can the application interact with locally-installed applications like Microsoft Excel? Can you configure the application to display certain windows across multiple monitors? This is something that is very important for traders.

  5. How many clients have a hosted implementation? It is important to understand whether or not the vendor has other clients that are embracing this type of deployment. You should ask for references to gain deeper insight into their overall experiences.

  6. Does the vendor have a hosting partnership program? At a high level, a hosting partnership implies that the vendor has given a lot of thought to a hosted deployment, and has an agreement in place with hosting providers. The agreement should ensure that their software runs at the highest performance levels, and that the software provider does not experience any limitations in supporting their clients.

  7. Will the vendor help with a “proof of concept”? Migrating an application to the cloud is a big undertaking, so you want to make sure that you have a chance to see it work in the cloud before putting it into production. Gaining user acceptance during this process is a very important aspect of this type of change as well.

  8. Will there be any changes to the level of service? Will the vendors change their service level agreements (SLAs) as a result of having their applications hosted in the cloud? Will their response times change?

Moving an application into the cloud can be a major project, so it is important that you speak with each of your vendors to discuss your plans. These are some of the key questions that you should be asking your vendors when considering this type of project.

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At Eze Castle Integration, we have deployed a robust, scalable cloud Infrastructure in multiple Tier II and III data centers that delivers a cost effective infrastructure as a service to the investment industry. For more information on how public, private, or hybrid cloud computing could enhance your firm’s technology infrastructure, please contact us.

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Categorized under: Cloud Computing 



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