Many companies that have leveraged clouds are now looking to expand what they do on their cloud infrastructures. However, considerations must be taken into account with regard to the cloud service provider. Data Center Knowledge contributor Aaron Patrick discussed some of these features that must be provided to ensure that companies can improve their cloud computing capabilities.

One factor that must be addressed is availability. As businesses become more mobile, it is important for employees to be able to access the cloud for data when and where they need it. Enterprises must make sure that the provider allows for the cloud to be accessible at the company's convenience. Providers must also provide good data backup capabilities.

"The peace of mind that all of your valuable data would be recoverable is extremely important, especially in today's big data world," wrote Patrick.

Another important factor to consider cloud security. Companies should be sure to pick a service provider that allows for user control and monitoring of the cloud infrastructure.

Cloud deployments becoming useful for universities
One increasing area where cloud deployments are beginning to be adopted is at colleges and universities. EdTech reported on two such instances where the private IaaS cloud is helping schools improve their IT capabilities.

North Carolina State University has leveraged a private cloud to provide applications and software to students on their own computers, which allows them to do their work without having to use a school computer.

"Our virtual computing system keeps evolving. There is a lot we can do with it," Marc Hoit, the university's vice chancellor for information technology, told EdTech. "It gives us the nimbleness, flexibility and efficiency that everyone is looking for."

This has allowed the school to cut costs and save space by consolidating computer labs, which helps alleviate the university's limited IT budgets.

California's Claremont McKenna College is using a similar approach, purchasing new hardware and software to establish a new private cloud. Although school officials haven't seen as many of the benefits as North Carolina State University has, the technological upgrade has improved disaster recovery and helped improve the student experience.

"In a world where we are trying to cope with the consumerization of IT and provide anytime, anywhere access from any device, this allows us to meet our users where they are," stated Jeremy Whaley, Claremont McKenna's director of information systems.