What to Look For in a Cloud Hosting Provider

 

Not all cloud hosts are created equal. If you’re looking for cloud hosting solutions for your business, there are a lot of considerations to take into account. What are your current business needs? How do you expect those needs to grow, and can the provider you choose grow your plan with you? Are you more interested in SaaS or IaaS? What are your security needs? Is the service provider equipped to serve your industry? By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the right questions to ask potential vendors about what they can provide.

Services and Industries Served

One of the first things you’ll want to decide is what kind of service you’d like to buy. Two types offered include SaaS (software as a service) and IaaS (infrastructure as a service).

SaaS is the most common and fastest-growing type of cloud hosting solution.This means you’ll be using web-based applications for your cloud services. The provider will be responsible for maintenance, upgrades, storage, middleware, and networking on their end. This means you likely won’t have to download any software to computers using the cloud services, so you can hop on and off of your cloud services on personal computers, public ones, and wherever else you may need to work without having to worry about installing programs.

IaaS cloud hosting solutions give you a little more control, and also a little more responsibility. This means you’ll be managing your own applications and middleware, while the provider will handle networking and storage. It’s a great option for companies that prefer to keep some of the software management in-house. However, even if you choose to subscribe to IaaS rather than SaaS, you’ll still want to look carefully into your provider’s support, security, and other characteristics.

Your User Experience

As a customer, there are a lot of things you’ll want to look into before committing to a service. In any business venture, cost is always a factor. You’ll also want to know how costs will scale as your business grows.

You also want a company with a proven record of service. Is the provider available for support on nights and weekends, in case you have a need during unusual hours? What kind of service level agreement do they offer, and what kind of uptime guarantees do they have? How often do log file backups occur? Do they offer backup/recovery as a service, as well?

Another consideration is security. Look into a potential provider’s compliance and industries served. One good sign is a company that works with healthcare industries, which deal with sensitive data.

You may also want to look at the ease of use of a company’s applications. Are their user interfaces well-designed? How important is this aspect for your business’s intended usage?

Choose Once, Choose Wisely

Don’t necessarily jump after the first low-cost option that comes your way; the last thing you want to do is migrate to new cloud hosting solutions after your business has already grown. Do research on potential cloud service providers, then find one that meets all of your business’s cost, usage, service, user interface, support, and security needs.

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