Is your cloud provider a rowboat, a sailboat, or a speed boat? No cloud is created equal and your business needs to know the difference. Here are four crucial questions to find out if your cloud provider is in ship-shape:


Your business is barely paddling forward with a Tier 1 cloud provider. With only 99.67% of availability, your business could be out of operation for up to 29 hours each year – that’s nearly a week! If that’s not bad enough, there’s no redundancy, meaning if something were to happen to your data center (like a power outage, flood, fire), your data is lost. With low availability and by only storing data in one location, your company is a high risk of losing key information and going underwater.

Your Tier 1 cloud provider is causing your business to patch holes with Monday to Friday, 9-5 technical support. It’s never a convenient time when technical hiccups or catastrophes occur. If your employees need to recover a file, entire folders, or application after working hours, it may be too late. How long can your business afford to wait? With the gaps in working hour support, your business is too busy patching holes and bailing water to paddle ahead.

Your business is stuck at the dock with this level of cloud service. Tier 1 cloud providers only offer one type of cloud environment, which doesn’t leave room to support different workloads required for unique application security and performance needs. Having a cloud provider that only supports one data center environment (on-premise, shared, virtualized) limits the performance of your network.

The lack of security offered by your Tier 1 cloud provider leaves your IT environment with big holes. Sure, this cloud provider boasts physical security with surveillance and restricted access with networking performance monitoring. However, this is the base level of security for data centers with no regulations met (PIPEDA, HIPAA, or any other regulatory act that applies to your business), security certifications, or proof of regular third-party auditing.

This cloud provider exposes your business to potential unauthorized access and inadvertent contamination from other users. If any major or minor incident were to occur, the minimal amount of security, availability, support, scalability, and lack of redundancy will leave your IT crew bailing buckets for days or weeks to regain critical data. There’s no time to propel your business forward and your rowboat is getting left behind.


Your business is slowly sailing ahead with a Tier 2 cloud provider. With 99.74% availability, your business is in good standing in the case of human error or natural disaster by risking less than a day of downtime per year. Your cloud provider offers redundant power and cooling, which will protect your business from maintenance periods but will not save you from serious incidents. With the limited redundancy offered by Tier 2 cloud providers, your business may encounter a few waves if more than a minor incident occurs.

With around the clock support, your employees can easily recover files or applications. We all know technical glitches happen at the most inconvenient time. With 24/7 technical support, your employees can easily recover files or applications. However, your cloud provider doesn’t offer guaranteed response times in its service level agreement. This means IT service isn’t held to a standard and your provider could take an indefinite time to resolve a technical issue. With 24/7 support and no service level guarantee, your business could be left patching holes to paddle ahead.

Your business is stuck at the dock with this level of cloud service. Tier 2 cloud providers offer some variation in cloud environments, which leaves some room for flexibility. Your business reaps the benefits of meeting unique requirements for application security and performance. While having some data center environment options (on-premise, shared, virtualized) helps network performance, your business runs the risk of running out of space with limited agility.

The limited security offered by your Tier 2 cloud provider leaves your IT network a little weak. Your cloud provider offers facility security, network performance monitoring meets regulations for personal information protection, and holds security certifications. However, this data center does not have proof of third-party auditing, ultimately lacking validation for meeting security requirements.

While your Tier 2 cloud provider keeps your business above water with security and availability, you’re in rough waters with no guaranteed support and limited proof of security. If a major flood, fire, power outage or human error were to occur, your IT crew becomes too busy on deck to go full sail ahead.


Your company is propelling full throttle ahead with a Tier 3/4 cloud provider. With 99.99% availability, you’re guaranteed less than 20 minutes of downtime a year – this is the highest possible uptime. Your cloud provider delivers redundant power, cooling, and networking to stop minor incidents from affecting your operations. In addition, this data center is fully redundant with data being copied and stored at another data center location, ready for failover. This setup can withstand even the most serious of technical incidents without server availability ever being affected. With a Tier 3/4 cloud provider, your business is powering full speed ahead with no time needed to stop and bail a few buckets.

Your Tier 3/4 cloud provider is powering your business through the sea of results. With guaranteed 24/7 live support, your business can be sure to get support when you need it most. Your cloud provider offers a service level agreement with a guaranteed response time. This means your provider is held to this standard and that someone will always be there to pick up the phone when you call for IT support.

Tier 3/4 cloud providers offer high scalability with enormous room for your company to grow and shrink in the data center with no risk of running out of space. Your business can run at peak performance with load balancing for your application security and performance needs. This data center offers all possible options for the data access (on-premise, shared, virtualized, bare metal…) to ensure your operations run smoothly.

This cloud infrastructure leaves no room for unauthorized access, inadvertent contamination from other users, service disruptions, and loss or leakage of data. Your provider offers top facility security with cameras, biometric scanners, proximity passes, motion sensors, alarms, security guards, and two-stage man traps. In addition, they have unmatched networking security with VPNs, VLANs, encryption, dedicated firewalls, isolation between tenants, and more. To add to it all, your data center meets and exceeds all regulations for personal information protection and security certifications with frequent third-party auditing.

Your company is leveraging fully redundant, highly scalable, and secure services with guaranteed 24/7 live support from a Tier 3/4 cloud provider. Major and minor incidents won’t get in the way of your company accessing business-critical data and applications. If a flood, fire, power outage, or even human error occurs, your company won’t hit any rough waters. No matter what comes your way, your business need not fear sinking, bailing water, or patching holes to get back to business as usual – your speedboat is powering through the sea of results with a stable and proactive IT provider.


Whether you’re a rowboat, sailboat, or speedboat, your cloud provider plays a critical part in your business. Although, cloud services shouldn’t sink your business, and it shouldn’t just keep your company afloat. Partner with a Tier 3/4 cloud provider to power through the sea of results.

Ready to propel ahead with a Tier 3/4 cloud provider? Get in touch with SysGen. We’ll leverage technology to help your business power ahead.


Find SysGen’s IT support and managed IT services in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Vernon, and Kelowna. Learn more about SysGen’s cloud offering, cybersecurity services, managed security, and Digital Advisory team by clicking here.

Headshot of Ryan Richardet

Ryan Richardet

President, CEO

Ryan Richardet is the President of SysGen Solutions Group and is the Chair of Datto's Advisory Board; supporting growth by providing strategic advice based on his experience as an owner of a large IT services provider in Western Canada. Ryan holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Royal Roads University (2016) and a Bachelor of Biological Science with Distinction from the University of Calgary (2008).