You’ve probably heard that moving your business to the cloud has its advantages, but where do you start? What options do you have and what are potential pitfalls? You shouldn’t just pick any random cloud host, and preparation and careful consideration will help you avoid data loss when you move. Here are some considerations you should make before you sign a contract with any cloud host.
What Type of Reliability is Offered?
Reliability determines your uptime, which you depend on for productivity and servicing customers. If you rely on the cloud host for both public-facing apps and internal apps, any type of downtime results in revenue loss. A good cloud host uses data centers and load balancers that enable a web farm. These farms have multiple servers that take over if one server fails. Web farms allow the cloud host to offer 100% uptime, and you want this guarantee with any host.
What Happens If You Need Support?
Even with 100% uptime guarantee, you’ll need some kind of technical support one day. You don’t want to wait for support if your site or apps go down in the middle of the night. The host should have an around-the-clock support system where you can call at any time. Support is critical for sites that rely on host uptime, so you should also do a background check on the host to read reviews from other customers. If support reviews are bad, you should look into an alternative cloud host.
Do You Get Any Managed Services?
Managed cloud host services offer the best support for businesses that don’t have personnel to update operating systems, check for malware, update antivirus and firewall software, and upgrade any third-party software versions. For instance, if you run WordPress on the hosted server, you must take the time to upgrade the WordPress software and plugins to protect from the latest scripted hacks. With managed services, your host does all of these maintenance tasks for you. It’s an incredible time-saver, and it keeps your server and software secure.
Is the Host Stable?
What happens if your host goes bust? Several small web hosts go out of business each year, and the result is that the customer has a dysfunctional website and no backups. If you’re lucky, the host gives you a backup of your files for both the web server files and the database data. Most hosts just turn off the lights and tell customers they need to go elsewhere. Instability can cost you thousands in lost revenue. To combat the issue, it’s best to go with a cloud host that’s reliable, offering true cloud services. You can usually find out a host’s stability by identifying how long it has been in business, the number of customers it has, and its visibility on the web.
What Type of Control Interface Do You Get?
Just like a regular host, you need an interface that lets you manage your cloud host preferences, data, web files and backups. The host should offer some kind of control panel that lets you control your setup. The interface is usually different from provider to provider, but the cloud host should show you a preview and offer support to help if you don’t understand how to control your settings.
Will the Cloud Service Integrate with Current Network Settings?
When you want software for your business in the cloud, you probably need to integrate current network software with the migration. A good cloud host assists you in migrating all data and applications to the host’s servers. You can also incorporate a hybrid cloud, which is a combination of a private and public cloud. The hybrid is used when businesses need to continue working with cloud services behind the privacy of a firewall. The private cloud only gives employees access to certain applications, and the public side of the cloud offers Internet services such as a website or software as a service (SaaS) for customers.
Is the Host an Expert?
There is a difference between hosting websites and running data centers in the cloud. Does your host understand the cloud business and are they an expert in the field? Most expert cloud hosts have a long reputation that distinguishes them as a cloud host. The host should have several long-standing, satisfied customers. The infrastructure should span global data center locations with guarantees for satisfaction and support.
You might go through several cloud hosts before you find the right one. If you have a large network to migrate, make sure you consider these questions before you sign a contract.