As more and more organizations are switching to cloud solutions to fulfil their infrastructure requirements, choosing the best cloud hosting service is getting increasingly complex. From behemoths such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft to niche players offering custom solutions, there is no dearth of cloud solution providers in the marketplace.
Below we have compiled a checklist that you should consider while selecting a cloud host.
So, let us dive in.
The key reason enterprises choose cloud is its unique ability to scale. A flexible cloud hosting service helps you manage fluctuations in site traffic and complex databases with ease. The vendor should be capable of scaling resources up and down instantly as the demand boosts or slackens. Make sure the vendor is offering services on a pay-as-you-go basis with no large upfront costs.
It is vital to ensure the cloud host’s platform and technologies align with your current environment and business objectives. The cloud architectures, standards and services of the service provider need to suit your preferences. Make sure to assess how much coding or customization would be required to make your workload fit their platform.
It is essential to assess the security governance processes of the vendor. The information security controls of the service provider should be in sync with your security policies and processes. The vendor should have a robust arrangement for malware detection, multi-level user authentication, data encryption and regular security audits.
If the vendor is compliant with security standards like ISO 27000 series, make sure they are valid. Also, check the internal security audit reports thoroughly.
Certain industries such as healthcare and finance have rigorous compliance standards. If you belong to any such industry, make sure your cloud host helps you meet the standards that apply to your area of operation.
For instance, if you operate in the healthcare sector, your cloud vendor should comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that deals with patient data privacy and security.
5) Service Levels
Service levels become particularly important when your industry has stringent requirements concerning availability, capacity, support, and response time. You need to have a clear contractual relationship with your service provider. Pay special attention to the legal requirements for the security of your data hosted on the cloud.
Because your business can face technical issues at any time, uninterrupted technical support is crucial. You need to understand the kind of support the cloud hosting provider will offer you. While some cloud vendors offer support through live chat or call centre only, others may provide you with a dedicated resource. But then this resource may not be available all the time. Try to clarify these points before finalizing the vendor.
7) Pricing Structure
While the price is never the most important factor, it does play a critical role. Let us compare the pricing structure of the top cloud service providers.
AWS: In AWS, you are charged on an hourly basis. You can purchase instances in any of the three ways:
Pay-as-you-go: There are no upfront costs and you pay just for the resources consumed.
Reserved instances: Reserve instances for one or three years with an upfront cost based on what you use.
Volume discounts: Acquire more services as the company grows and receive volume discounts for certain services.
Microsoft Azure: In Azure, the client is billed based on hours, gigabytes or millions of executions depending on the product you are using. Like AWS, it offers the option of reserving instances.
Google Cloud Platform: Google charges for instances per second used. It also offers ‘committed use discounts’ and ‘sustained use pricing’ for compute services.
Since it is not possible to compare these services on any common ground, you need to identify your usage patterns and choose a model accordingly.
While the aforementioned criteria will not give you all the information needed for choosing the best cloud hosting provider, they will provide a framework for deciding which cloud vendor can better suit your applications, data and business model. A comprehensive analysis of your business needs will help you uncover additional factors critical to selecting the right host.
Author Bio: Parul Singh is a content writer at Go4hosting. A technology enthusiast, she loves to pen well-researched articles on futuristic technologies like Blockchain, big data analytics and web hosting. Her other interests include history, food and travel.