Cloud computing is all the rage these days. A growing number of upcoming businesses as well as long established companies are making the switch to cloud hosting. There are many benefits to this move, a major one being a departure from hardware issues and storage. It is efficient and fast to have data stored on a cloud with the obvious advantage of easy accessibility.
Picking the right cloud hosting platform is crucial. Your data literally depends on it. So, how do you do it?
Here are the top seven things to consider while choosing a cloud hosting plan and platform:
1. Security and Infrastructure Design:
Nobody has ever said that security is overrated. When it comes to picking a cloud hosting service, you should also consider the different parameters of security and infrastructure design that the service provider is offering. Broadly, there are three main aspects to contemplate upon: Data Center Setup, High-Performance Computing and Multi-Layer Security.
Data centers are the backbones of network services. Having a provider with multiple data centers means that in an event of a disaster like storms, you can still avail the services from the data center that is located elsewhere.
High-Performance Computing or HPC ensures that heavy applications and several users are able to work on the same server at the same time without performances getting impacted. Picking a hosting platform that has HPC servers deployed in its cloud architecture will guarantee that you never face any major performance glitch.
It would be ill-advised to make exceptions with regards to security when there is a large amount of data involved. Be sure to check if the provider has security measures in place like: multi-factor authentication, data encryption, Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems, access control system and firewalls.
Technology can be deceptive. Therefore, having a good backup facility is a must. You should know how the backup process works and how frequently is data being backed each day before you finalize a cloud hosting service. The amount of data that is backed up and what the data restoration procedure looks like should also be taken into account.
Customer Support is important to help resolve issues and queries that you and other users of your cloud services would inevitably face from time to time. Depending on the provider you pick and the plan opted for, customer support may vary from being available during certain hours of the day or be limited by instances that can be raised during a specified period. The support can be offered over chat, phone or email. So, pay close attention to the plan you pick. If you have multiple users of the cloud hosting service and there is a heavy business dependency on it, it would be better to choose a hosting service provider that offers good support all days of the week, 24×7.
4. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
Disasters and major events can be uncertain to predict. In such an unforeseen event, how capable is a cloud hosting platform to reinstate service after a disruption is what Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery or BCDR refers to. Just because disasters are unpredictable, does not mean that disaster management should be the same. Data should be safeguarded to avoid any risk of putting the business into jeopardy.
5. Service Level Agreement
Service Level Agreement or SLA refers to a document that contains the service standards, terms and conditions. If you are opting for a generic plan, then you get a standard SLA that is signed between you and the cloud service provider. In case, you have a custom plan requested, you will have to ask the provider to prepare an exclusive SLA containing the terms of service. This document needs to be read carefully as it will define the service you are entitled to receive and the liability of the provider in case of failure to provide the aforementioned services.
6. Help in Transition to Cloud
An important, yet, often overlooked aspect of picking a cloud hosting platform is how will the data transition take place. Data migration is crucial to ensure nothing is lost when you are making a switch to a cloud hosting platform. Check and compare service providers before you finalize any plan.
If you are paying money for anything, you are entitled to receive your money’s worth. With the digital wave washing over the world, there are a number of cloud hosting platforms in the market. There are service plans that cater to the needs of many businesses at competing rates. However, one needs to be mindful to evaluate the service being offered and the reliability of the provider. Do not make the mistake of falling for attractive discounts or low prices. Pick a service that safeguards your data and meets your requirements.
‘Data is moving to the cloud.’ Cloud hosting is the future and the sooner we adapt, the better we will get. Afterall, the digital world likes to move fast.