Cloud provider operations

Posted on 2012-09-10
Last Modified: 2012-09-20
Can I ask what “operations” cloud providers take off your internal ICT department? Specific to say a web based ERP application, with a substantial Database driving it, what kind of “behind the scenes”, business as usual tasks are the cloud provider providing?

2 obvious ones I thought of would be backup/restore of the database, and security patching of the applications architecture, so OS patches, DB patches, web server patches, other…

But that’s just 2, are there other operations in the typically covered in the contract, if so can you detail? If you are a cloud provider that would be interesting to know what ops you do for the client.
Question by:pma111
    1 Comment
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    There are major differences between providers/vendors in the definition of "cloud" and in the services included in the cloud.

    Amazon provides Infrastructure as a Service, so you get the capabilities and tools to backup, patch, and upgrade, but the actions are your responsibility. If you want full managed services be prepared to use a 3rd party.

    A Web based ERP application that you use in a SaaS subscription model takes care of all of the OS tier activity. Your contract amd SLA should clearly define both the responsibility and the actual schedule of activities like backup and patch.
    Other contractual items may include:
    * Guaranteed uptime during normal operations
    * Guaranteed uptime during maintenance times.
    * Storage limits
    * Process limits
    * Ownership of data
    * Ability to get hold of your backup and to export ALL of your data
    * Indemnifications and reimbursements in case of contract breaches. The vendor may want to say that their responsibility is limited to the value of your monthly payment.
    * Security regulations and standards the vendor is commited to.
    * Vendor's stance on local authorities' demands: For example, will you be notified when the local police wants to copy your data? The vendor may operate under law that is different from your law.

    Read the contract carefully and with legal counsel to understand the implications.

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