When it comes to finding the right web hosting for your website, it is always a two-step process.
Step 1: Narrowing down to which kind of hosting is right for you, may be its Shared Hosting or Dedicated Hosting, or VPS or even Cloud Hosting for that matter. And
Step 2: Is to select the right Hosting Provider.
Well, assuming you have taken care of Step-1 and selected Cloud Hosting, this post will tell you everything you need, to select the right Cloud Hosting Provider for you.
Before we begin, it is essential to understand why special checks and balances are needed in terms of selecting a Cloud Hosting provider. One thing is that the technology is fairly new and tends to make hardware and network obscure in the cloud environment. So transparency can be tempered with. That being said, let’s look at the aspects you should dive deep into, while selecting your Cloud Hosting Provider.
- Data Redundancy: It is a common misconception that Cloud Hosting, by default is redundant. A node in a cloud computing service is usually no more reliable than a single dedicated server. The compute node is usually just a commodity server minus the storage. If that node dies, so does your workload. This is not much different than a CPU, RAM or power supply failure on a Dedicated Server. When you are evaluating Cloud Hosting providers, ensure they provide features like Data Mirroring and Automatic Failover.
- Performance and Speed: Another fact that people get wrong is that Cloud Hosting is inherently faster than most other hosting types. Again, not true! Most cloud vendors give you more storage, but not faster storage. This is especially true when it comes to disk I/O. With most cloud systems, the network and underlying storage are shared among customers. This can cause disk I/O to be unpredictable. If another customer starts sending large amounts of write requests to the storage array, you may see slowdowns. The upstream network is shared so you can experience bottlenecks there too. This means you need to research at your end and ask the right questions to your Cloud Hosting provider. Check if they have performance and speed improvement features like integrated caching.
- Migration Support: Alright, this one is important. Whether you are migrating from non-cloud Hosting to Cloud, or Cloud Hosting to non-cloud or even Cloud to Cloud, migration can be tricky. If your website or web-application works on sensitive data, then the cloud’s sharable infrastructure might not be the best option for you. Moreover, you need to check if certain mission critical system applications and softwares your site runs on can adapt to the Cloud. It is very essential that the Cloud Hosting provider you plan to run with, provides extensive migration support by qualified and certified server experts.
- Get to know their Data Centre: Before you give into the offer, try and understand as much as possible of their Data Centre. Talk to them about the kind of hardware they use, and how often it is updated and maintained. Try to understand their network security and uptime specifications. Check if they have HVAC protection architecture. Look the data centre up on Google and try to verify it from d third party sources. Many a times, people only focus on the plans and pricing and miss out on the specifics of the actual data centre.
- Reviews: The final word should preferably come from a neutral player. Scout the web for authentic reviews on the Cloud Hosting provider. Find out from other known users if available, the specifics of the service. If you find that there are certain negative reviews, ask the Hosting Provider about the subject of the review and see how they can help avoid that grievance. If you see an alarming number of poor reviews, then no matter how good the deal seems, you should probably move away from it.
So there you have it! I hope this post makes you a tad bit wiser in selecting a Cloud Hosting Provider, that goes beyond what the provider’s website of marketing pamphlet says. If you have some other aspects that one should consider, please feel free to express them in the comments section below, it could really help someone make this decision better!