It is important to choose the right style of hosting provider between hybrid, public and private approaches. And, just as importantly, the organization must find the right host within each of those particular cloud hosting service provider subcategories
There seems to be three levels to this: Finding a host that is honest and reliable; finding one that has adequate general technical skills and financial stability and, finally, finding one with the specific vertical knowledge that even an honest and capable outsider may lack. For instance, a particular host may be terrific – but not quite right for a health care company laboring under the structure of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
The most important single element is in a way the easiest: Use good common business sense. Check references. Do the due diligence. Make a cloud providers comparison chart.
Once the prospective hosting provider clears that vital but basic hurdle, more specific and often subtle judgments must be made. There are quite a few good resources on the Internet providing advice on finding the right cloud hosting service provider.
Joviam offers a nice list and helpful insight. It advises companies to find the provider that is right for their specific needs. It makes the important point that though in theory the provider can be anywhere, it makes sense if all else is equal to opt for the vendor with data centers closer. The reason is simply that latency increases as distance does. Joviam happens to be in Australia, so might be the first choice of a business focused in the states.
The provider makes two other very good points. The first is to have an exit strategy. It’s pretty simple: Using a cloud hosted service provider means, by definition, that that company will have its hands on very valuable data. If the relationship is disrupted, the company wants that data back. Pronto.
Part of the initial agreement should contain language detailing what happens if the relationship ends or the host goes under, which always are possibilities. It will be impossible to make airtight agreements – things happen that cannot be planned for -- but reasonable steps should be taken beforehand.
On a less dire note, Joviam points out that the prospective firm can quickly provide more bandwidth. Adding capacity for the holiday season can’t wait until February 1.
Retaining a hosting service is a dicey business. By definition, it puts data at risk. However, it can compensate for this leap of faith by adding layers of security, redundancy and other attributes that IT departments always look to enhance. The bottom line is that it will work, and work well – if the organization shops with diligence and does a thorough cloud providers comparison before making their choice.
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