Offering modern business advantages including scalability, safe storage of data, real-time data access, cloud computing has become the best way to ensure the business stays current and competitive. But with a plethora of hosting providers available, choosing your cloud hosting provider becomes quite challenging. It is vital that you devote time to assess the reliability, efficiency, and capability of the provider that you plan to entrust with the complete applications and data of your organization. Here are some key factors to consider so that you don’t end up regretting later.
One of the major factors that hold businesses back from embracing cloud technology is the concern over security. When using any of the cloud storage providers, you are essentially handing over your valuable data to a third party with the expectation they will keep it safe and sound. But with numerous incidents of security breaches reported by big companies, many business owners may not be enthusiastic about giving their data to other’s custody. However, with advancements in technology many cloud storage companies have worked towards improving their own security, and adding in stronger measures to better protect the clients’ data. So, when you pick a cloud hosting provider, ensure they have stringent security measures that are sufficient to preserve your organization’s applications and data, including anti-virus software, data encryption, firewalls, routine security audits.
Unquestionably, the primary reason for many companies switching to the cloud is cutting down operating costs. And with so many cloud hosting providers striving for your business, prices have become highly competitive. Spend time to carefully examine how each provider’s pricing structure works. For example, some vendors offer a certain amount of storage for free, and if businesses need more storage, they need to pay for their services. Vendors usually offer a monthly subscription fee plan in accordance with the service offers or charge an upfront flat fee. Once you have figured out how a vendor charges their clients, take time to know which pricing plan works best for your business.
Service Level Agreement
The service level agreement should be a key factor when you decide on a cloud storage provider for your business. This agreement outlines what a vendor proposes to do for your company and what will be termed as the client’s responsibility. This generally elaborates about items such as what kind of data will be stored, how it will be stored and protected, also how the problems that arise would be solved, along with a variety of other important items vital to understanding how the vendor functions. Make sure you are clear about the prospective cloud vendor’s SLA calls, it will give you a better idea of what you can expect from them.
Data Storage Location
Storing data in the cloud is not an abstract concept. It is clear that data is stored in an actual physical location and just transferred over the internet. So, when looking for a cloud hosting provider, know where they plan to store the data of your company. If the hosting providers stores your data in a different country, then it is likely that the laws of that country will affect its access and control. Another important factor to be considered is if the data storage location has any risk for natural disasters like floods, fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, or hurricanes. Having clarity about how your provider plans to protect and save your data in case an emergency strikes will play a major role in selecting the vendor.
As no technology is perfect, even with cloud computing problems are likely to arise from time to time. When the unfortunate happens, it’s always helpful to know that you can get in touch with your cloud hosting provider to get some much-needed assistance. So before choosing a provider, look into their handling of tech support. Find out if their support services are available 24X7 and on holidays and how best they can be contacted. Also, find out their response time and how long they take to resolve any issue. As having cloud storage down for a few days could prove to be disastrous for your business, make sure to choose a provider who is available with a robust 24×7 tech support system.
You would want to spend some time contemplating whether the cloud platform you are about to purchase is manageable or not. For example, you may have orchestration tools that are vital for your business but the cloud might not support them. Although there is little probability that something like this would happen, it is probable nonetheless. Thus, make sure that all the critical tools integrate well with the cloud platform.
If you like your current server because it is unmanaged, there is no point migrating to the cloud. Cloud servers are wholly provider-managed. This, although good, takes off the much-needed control from cloud servers. Which is to say, you are at the mercy of your vendor when it comes to updates and security.
Data centre tier
Not all cloud data centers are created equal. Depending upon the service type, uptime availability and security, data centers are classified into tiers, with Tier I being the most basic, and Tier IV the most intricate. Higher the tier, better is the uptime and service level.
Do note the tier of the data center you are entering into service with. Most data centers are Tier-III – anything below that is good for nothing. These details are likely to be listed on your vendor’s website. If you cannot find this information listed anywhere, get the same verified from the salesperson and ask for relevant proof.
There are tons of hosting providers available today. Choosing the right cloud hosting provider in line with your business requirements is a very important decision. With lots of considerations to take into account, if you go in prepared, with all the essential information at your disposal, you are likely to make an intelligent and informed decision, taking full advantage of the cloud storage has to offer.
Image Credits: Amritsar Digital Academy