Dev Chanchani, President of INetU (www.inetu.net), says:
Make sure to pick the right Cloud for your project.
Public clouds are excellent for testing environments and short term projects. There are no long term commitments, you pay for what you use, and they can usually be turned on and off quite easily. If your project involves sensitive data, however, a public cloud may be unsuitable. Security standards on public clouds make companies think twice about using them to host sensitive data, and many compliance standards make public clouds a non-starter. Private clouds are the alternative if you want the efficiencies of a virtualized environment with custom-tailored security standards. Two other approaches help companies find a middle ground. An approach called Hybrid Cloud, which hosts non-sensitive applications on the Public Cloud and sensitive data on Private Clouds or on physical dedicated hardware, is growing in popularity. Additionally there are Community Clouds, which are not open to anyone and everyone (think gated community) but offer higher security standards than the Public Cloud.
Make sure the appropriate service levels are included, and take note of a la carte options.
When comparing Cloud Hosting versus more traditional forms of hosting, it is good to keep in mind that most Cloud Hosting offerings are presented on an a la carte basis. This means managed services will not be included in most cases. If being on your own in terms of support isn’t desirable, this will be a big concern. Make sure that the Cloud Hosts you are evaluating can meet the services levels you seek, and take note of the additional costs to reach the appropriate service levels when comparing between Cloud Hosts.