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Web Hosting

Three key points to take into account before buying a cloud web hosting service

Cloud web hosting services have managed to gain the trust of small, medium and large enterprises. The rate of adoption of cloud services within the SME and startup community is high, thanks to rising awareness about technology and the advantages it gives when it comes to scaling the business. However, many small-medium enterprises and startups do not consider every aspect when it comes to choosing the right cloud hosting for themselves. This article is an exhaustive list of things you should consider before going for a cloud web hosting service.

1. Your business requirements 
This is the number one thing to do when you are planning to take your hosting to the cloud. Many enterprises splurge unnecessarily by indulging in things they don’t require. In order to be a little more effective while doing this, we suggest you break your ‘needs’ into a decision tree based on –

a) Type of data –  When we say the type of data, we mean whether the data is sensitive or not. Many government organizations and agencies purely for security reasons choose private cloud because of the nature of their dealings with respect to information. But if you are not a government agency you can go public. Also, going public doesn’t mean that it will be freely accessible to anyone. It is just a different nomenclature based on the type of information that any entity stores on the cloud.

b) Software used-  If you are using multiple software like MS Word, or MS/ Google Docs or even Google Sheets, you can choose Hybrid cloud in such a case. A hybrid cloud will enable on-premise, private as well as third-party cloud services. With this, you’ll be able to toggle between software preference of your choice.

c) Devices connected-  This will help you with load balancing when it comes to devices. Avoiding untimely breakdowns, monitoring the running rate and maintaining a healthy load to device ratio will be taken into consideration if you choose a cloud hosting according to the number of devices you’ll be connecting. And it goes without saying that you can increase the power of your load as the size of your business grows.

2. Simplicity, scale and reach
Choosing the right cloud hosting can put your business on a growth pedestal. More so, if you have a secure, scalable and easy to use dashboard with a cPanel. Also, caching, data mirroring and automated failover are important add-ons which help disaster recovery. So when you want to take your business where it should be, ask yourself these questions before deploying cloud web hosting:

a) Is it simple to use?
Simple in business terms translates into speed which equates to efficiency. If your cloud hosting is simple to use for everyone in the organization, minus all the training, pick that service without even giving it a second thought. A great example of this is Google cloud which has great APIs. Simple to adapt to and works very fast.

b) Is it automated?
One of the most important advantages of the cloud is the automation power it provides which takes away all the banal tasks like managing workloads, etc. Make sure while choosing a cloud hosting service, your provider gives you backup and restoring options which are easily automated. No saving of files every time you upload stuff or even write again. Also, ensure the provisioning of APIs for every operation that you perform. Doing this will make your application forever installed on the cloud.

c) Does it target global customers?
You are bound to face this question as you scale up and move forward. Just make sure that your current cloud hosting will provide you with a reach to data centers around the world for the simple reason that it allows geographic expansion. Many startups find themselves in a soup when they see that they haven’t chosen cloud hosting that allows them to go international. This involves data transfer from one provider to another and it could be risky at times.

d) How well does it perform?
Every cloud hosting is different when it comes to performance. But what are the key parameters that decide which is a good cloud web hosting service? As a thumb rule, you should take these into consideration:

1. Time taken to provide a virtual machine
2. What is the average up-time that it provides

Also, make sure that your cloud hosting is providing you compensation benefits in case of issues that can hamper the performance. Make it a part of your service level agreement.

3. Cost friendliness
As a startup or an SME, this should go hand in hand with your cloud hosting strategy. A large budget or a fancy brand is not going to take you anywhere if there are no constraints within your budget.

So, these are some really important things that will form a huge chunk of your decision making while deploying a cloud hosting for your small-medium enterprise. It is also necessary to factor in other things like familiarity with the product, reviews in the market, how it has helped your industry etc. With this, you will be well off and possibly at an advantage over your competitor.

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