In the last few months, various cloud computing and technology exhibitions were being held. Through these exhibitions it is clear that the cloud hosting industry is growing very rapidly along with the new emerging technologies and solutions being showcased at each event.
By observing the trends and the predictions done by industry’s leading market research, analysis and advisory firms such as IDC that, the cloud will comprise of $17.4 billion in I.T. purchases and grow to become a $44 billion market this year. There is no doubt that huge response from companies to such exhibitions gives out a positive feeling throughout the industry.
In an industry getting saturated with the same marketing message about cloud, how is a client expected to pass via the noise and identify the right cloud hosting provider? This was the thing that forced me to think about writing the possible points to evaluate the best cloud provider. In this article, we are going to see some key areas and points to identify a quality cloud hosting provider.
In my personal opinion, there are two important areas which can help you in choosing a quality cloud provider. The key areas are Experience and Investment.
It is highly important to consider Investment in terms of both technology and financial contributions. There are many providers in the web hosting industry telling customers that they provide a full service, however the customers are not aware that how the providers are achieving these services.
The first question one should ask to the cloud provider is:
What lies beneath? And how the service you are planning to buy will be delivered to you?
Everyone says that they offer everything in order to stay active and ahead of others, however at the back of the stage, things are totally different. So, make sure you are provided with the correct information.
Is it the real cloud provider you are dealing with or is your service provider a reseller?
With the implementation of automated self-service portals available in the market, everyone is a cloud provider. That’s not an issue at all; however, it does put an additional layer to the service you are buying. It simply means that you need to check your cloud provider’s suppliers too.
What hardware is being utilized to provide quality service?
It is necessary for a customer to know that what hardware the provider is running on. In order to create a simple hosting environment, all you need is a PC, free virtualization software such as Xen and OpenVZ, and high speed internet connectivity. Also, until things start to go wrong you will be blissfully naive of your situation. Remember that, a quality cloud hosting provider will always make use of enterprise hardware, along with flexible components.
For example, let’s take a Solid State Drive (SSD). In market SSD’s are available at different prices having the same storage space. A provider can buy a SSD either at a lower price (normal) or the one at a higher price (enterprise level) of having the same storage space. The difference between both the SSD are that an enterprise level drive last longer than that of a normal SSD under an intense workload.
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How the platform is being operated by your service provider? Do you need to quarrel for the resources? If so, how does the platform deal in such situation?
There are various platforms available in the market that has the capability of handing such situations. Most of the times, the home broadband providers would have noticed that services gets slower during school holidays. That’s absolutely fine; however can you afford such quarrel for resources especially for your applications? There are many such instances heard, where service providers contend memory by 4-8 times on a server. It is necessary to ensure that your provider offers some performance guarantees.
Where is your provider hosting the service, in a data centre or in their own bedroom?
It might look funny to read, but it is the most important thing you shouldn’t ignore. After all, your data safety is what helps you in continuation of your business. If you don’t know where the service offered is being hosted, ask your provider. Also, check out what Tier classification the data centre is having. It will give you a better idea about its suitability. Tier 4 is better, however Tier 3 data centre would do.
Where is their data centre based, in US or internationally?
The location of a data centre plays an important role in terms of privacy and Internet performance. A fact that, if your data is affiliated with a UK company, it directly comes under UK’s “Patriot Act”, which simply means that the government of UK can have access to your data at any point of the time, even without your permission. So, it is better to find a cloud hosting provider in the country you are leaving. Also, in terms of bandwidth it is a long way to UK, so the service you will be accessing via your local Internet will be slower.
Based on the above discussed points you can evaluate the best and choose a suitable cloud hosting provider.