How to Choose the Best Cloud Server Hosting Provider
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How to Choose the Best Cloud Server Hosting Provider


Cloud as a technology has become the main stay in the industry of IT. Most of the organizations see it as the strategic move to reduce cost, mitigate risks and achieve scalability of resources and other capabilities.

 

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So, companies that make the strategic decision of moving to cloud - based technologies have to identify the best cloud service provider who can keep their data safe against potential thefts and simultaneously meet all their business needs too.

 

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Before finalizing the cloud hosting provider, it is important to understand the need to review different Cloud service providers.

 

Why the review of cloud service providers is important?

  • Several providers offer different services under one term- ‘cloud’, which makes it difficult to compare their different offers.
  • Cloud market is flooded with a myriad of new entrants, who flaunt having qualitative services and far- reaching experience in hosting or application delivery. This raises concern about verifying their today’s service performance along with the ability to evolve their services to meet future needs of your business.
  • Your provider should grow with your business needs (at times, your needs might outgrow the cloud service provider’s datasheets).
  • Cloud service providers tend to fall into three camps:
    • Genuine cloud service providers.
    • Resellers marketing themselves as the end to end solution providers at the SMBs end of spectrum.
    • Service providers who are not aware of the standards established by Managed Service providers.

Thus, before sealing the final deal, it is of utmost importance to have a comprehensive review of Cloud service provider that you plan to entrust with your business.

 

With options ranging from Microsoft public cloud, Amazon’s AWS to Google’s Compute Engine and more, choosing a cloud provider can be a tough task. So consider these points below as a guide to what you should know about a provider before taking the leap.

 

1. Health of the provider’s business

  • Trust – Check the provider’s reputation and see who it’s partners are. Find out what level of cloud experience he has. Customer reviews are the best way to find strengths and weaknesses and search the truth.
  • Financial position – Check the stability track record and healthy financial position of the provider, so that you have no fear of long term successful operation.
  • Organizational structure, planning and risk management – Check the provider’s formal structure of the organization to achieve a systematic working and efficient utilization of resources. Also, check policies to manage risks and processes to analyze third party vendors and providers.
  • External audits (compliance) – The managed cloud provider should be able to instill confidence in its users by validating compliance or examination of the financial statements through a third-party audit, further reducing investors’ risk.

2. Support provided for administration

  • Service Level Agreements and resource monitoring – Providers should be able to provide a basic SLA defining the level of service expected from him, thus, promising assurances of quality and craftsmanship along with sufficient control –tracking and monitoring of services given to customers. Also, the provider should be able to generate performance- based reports.
  • Automated accounting and billing – Provider should be able to provide monitoring of resources that customers are using and also of costs so that clients know their usage bills.

3. Technical capabilities of the provider

  • Flexible deployment and management – Just ensure that your provider enables easy deployment of all cloud models – public, private and hybrid and has mechanisms to upgrade your software and applications respectively.
  • API integrated interface – The provider should use API interfaces to help a customer build easy connections to the cloud.
  • Event and change management – The provider must give access to adequately trained staff, which monitors and manages and resolves problems covered by SLAs. Also, there should be a help desk and ticket raising platform, synced with the monitoring/management system. Moreover, the CSP should assure documented and formal systems for requesting, logging, approving and testing changes, prior to their implementation.

4. Security measures

  • Security policies and infrastructure – Provider should have security infrastructure for all types of cloud services and also security policies and procedures to control access to customer systems.
  • Identity management – Any changes made to any application service or any hardware component should be authorized on a personal or group role basis. Moreover, user authentication should be made compulsory for anyone who wishes to make any change to an application or data.
  • Data backups and retention policies – To ensure the integrity of customer data, data backup policies and procedures should be operational effectively and must be reviewed, updated, approved annually and communicated to the customers too, on an annual basis.
  • Physical security – This section includes protection of personnel, hardware and programs. To ensure security, controls that ensure physical security should be in place, effectively, like access control protocols, identification card, CCTVs, on-site security, environmental safeguards for data centers to protect equipment and data from disruptive events. Most importantly, there should be redundant networking and a well-documented disaster recovery plan to maintain seamless business continuity.

Before wrapping up, do not forget to compare pricing plans and technical features of the providers.

 

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