What are Cloud Service Providers (CSPs)?

By 2022, over 90 percent of enterprises worldwide will be relying on a mix of on-premises/dedicated private clouds, multiple public clouds, and legacy platforms to meet their infrastructure needs. That's according to the latest forecast from global technology research and consulting services firm International Data Corporation (IDC). This is a significant number that indicates the importance companies are placing on using new platforms to meet their infrastructure needs. Here, we’ll discuss how Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) are helping companies scale their businesses to keep up with customer demand.

Table of Contents

  1. What Are Cloud Service Providers (CSPs)?
  2. Why Use Cloud Service Providers (CSPs)?
  3. Things to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Service Provider (CSP)
  4. Types of Services Cloud Service Providers Offer
  5. Cloud Native-ETL using Cloud Service Providers (CSPs)
  6. How Integrate.io’s Cloud-Native ETL Tool Can Help with Data Integration

What Are Cloud Service Providers (CSPs)?

Analyzing the massive amount of data most companies have requires an infrastructure that can handle the load. Purchasing and maintaining the infrastructure required could be expensive. This is especially true as data continues to amass each day. That is where Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) come. 

A CSP is a third-party company that establishes infrastructure as on-demand services for computing components. These components include applications, hardware, database, and business intelligence. Companies have the flexibility to choose the services they need and they only pay for what is used. 

Why Use Cloud Service Providers (CSPs)?

Scientists at MIT's Center for Digital Business debunks commonly cited concerns about the cloud. When it comes to cost, reliability, and security, he says, the cloud promises to equal or better on-premise computing.  The ability to leverage services in the cloud has many advantages over maintaining on-premise resources.

Cost Savings

By outsourcing services to the cloud, companies can vastly reduce the cost of network maintenance. Staffing a full-time IT department can be expensive. Purchasing these services from a CSP can help companies get access to the technology they need at a reasonable cost.

Compliance

If your company is subject to industry regulation, the fines for non-compliance could be catastrophic to your company. Firms found to violate the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can see hefty fines up to four percent of the firm’s worldwide annual revenue. Keeping up with these rules and standards such as HIPAA or SOC2 can be time-consuming and there is a risk for missing a key requirement if the company does not keep up with changes in the requirements. A CSP has standards in place to help organizations comply with these types of requirements.

Supplements IT Staff

Expanding IT staff to maintain or implement new technology is time-consuming and as we mentioned, costly. Rather than trying to bring in new resources, a company can leverage the expertise of a CSP vendor. The vendor has professionals available 24/7 to handle all maintenance tasks for the infrastructure and all services provided.

Aids in Disaster Recover

Configuring on-premise servers for disaster recovery requires complex recovery plans and investment in computing resources to ensure adequate system recovery. Rather than purchasing the resources needed, companies can utilize computing resources in the cloud. In that way, the disaster recovery infrastructure can grow as the system grows. Not only that, in the event of a disaster, failover capabilities can take place to minimize impact to business operations.

Predictable Spending

Paying for services in this way offers flexibility to customize a plan specific to business needs. Also, companies only pay for the resources they use. Thus, they can more accurately predict their spending for more accurate budget planning.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Service Provider (CSP)

CSPs offer a wealth of services. It is important to consider the specific needs of your organization to ensure you select one that can handle all of your requirements. Here are a few tips to help you evaluate providers.

Service-Level Agreement

What happens when something goes wrong with the infrastructure? Does the company have appropriate service level agreements in place? Do these agreements meet your requirements? For example, depending on your business, you may require quicker recovery than others. Be sure the provider can offer the type of recovery speed your organization needs via their service-level agreement.

Performance Reporting

A slow system causes customer frustration and impedes your ability to information you need to make business decisions quickly. Monitoring system health can help ensure your systems continue to provide reliable service. The vendor should provide performance reporting as a part of their offering.

Transparent Billing

As mentioned, using a CSP offers flexible customization to help manage your budget. The vendor should provide a way for you to monitor the resources you are using so that you don’t occur unexpected costs.

Standard Interfaces

The benefit of moving your computing resources to a CSP is that you can leverage more tools to integrate your systems. The CSP provider should offer standard interfaces and APIs that allow you to easily connect services to integrate your systems to take full advantage of your data assets.

Hybrid Capability

Chances are you aren’t going to use this approach for everything initially. You will likely still have on-premise systems along with offsite resources. Be sure the vendor can support a hybrid environment.

Security

The vendor should offer comprehensive security for their services. Security measures should cover physical access to the infrastructure as well as protection from other security threats such as unauthorized access or malware. The vendor should also have measures in place for redundant power and networking to prevent downtime for your systems.

Types of Services Cloud Service Providers Offer

CSPs offer a wide range of services from which to choose. Companies may opt to use one or many of these services to support their IT infrastructure. 

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Software-as-a-service, abbreviated SaaS, is a way of delivering applications over the internet. Common examples include cloud-based accounting or CRM software. Instead of maintaining the software on-premises, you can simply access the system via the internet. That way, you are free from having to manage complex software.

With SaaS, companies can customize the software to ensure the application meets your specific business requirements.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Companies can move their development environment offsite with the platform-as-a-service offering (PaaS). With this service, companies get a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud. That way, IT can quickly provision new environments as business needs arise. This offering includes servers, storage, networking, middleware, databases, and development tools to name a few.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Companies can choose to use a CSP for all of their infrastructure needs. These include networking, servers, storage, and operating systems. This gives companies the ability to have a traditional data center without the burden of having to physically manage it all.

Cloud-Native ETL Using Cloud Service Providers (CSPs)

Today, ETL processes are taking place in the cloud. Using a CSP for ETL provides the resources required to build robust pipelines that can handle massive amounts of data. Serverless computing enables ETL to handle massive computing tasks that can be resource-intensive. 

Using services provided by a CSP gives companies access to an infrastructure that can handle the load. As a result, cloud-native ETL pipelines are often quicker than on-premise managed ETL processes.

Additionally, performing ETL in the cloud gives companies access to standard APIs to integrate disparate sources into a unified source such as a data warehouse.

How Integrate.io’s Cloud-Native ETL Tool Can Help with Data Integration

Integrate.io can help improve the flow of data between your systems. You can use the platform to integrate data from both on-premise and cloud-based systems. The platform features an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface that allows anyone to build data pipelines. 

Are you ready to leverage an ETL tool to integrate data from your cloud systems? Reach out to us to schedule a 14-day demo or see a pilot of how we can help you reach your goals.

Glossary of Terms

A guide to the nomenclature of data integration technology.