Managed hosting can make a world of difference for your IT department and, beyond that, your entire company.
Not longer having to worry about every piece of network or infrastructure, having experts on call for support 24/7 without having to pay your staff overtime and the peace of mind that comes with complete security and compliance for your apps and data... it all holds tremendous value for IT teams.
Managed hosting takes the burden of hosting infrastructure and data and places it in the hands of qualified, experienced service providers who have the skill and the resources to provide high-quality service, every hour of every day.
With this managed hosting checklist, you will come to understand the ins and outs of managed hosting. You will also have a good blueprint for how to find the perfect managed hosting provider for your company’s needs. It is a big decision to make, of course, but migrating to a managed hosting approach can provide a huge boost to your enterprise.
What is Managed Hosting?
To follow our managed hosting checklist, you first need to understand what managed hosting is.
There are various forms of managed hosting, but the main idea is that a third party supports, maintains, and manages all aspects of your infrastructure.
With in-house managed hosting, you hand over the management of your on-premise infrastructure. A managed dedicated hosting system is similar, but the infrastructure is located off-site. That is where your provider installs and manages your system.
With cloud-based managed hosting, a service provider creates a virtual infrastructure for your enterprise, delivering services and resources via the cloud.
With cloud managed hosting, you get all of the benefits of cloud computing — scalability, flexibility, access from anywhere at any time and a pay-as-you-go setup — with the additional benefits of an expert management team handling your hosting.
Managed hosting in the cloud is perfect for companies who want to be cloud-enabled, but do not want to work out the logistics and ongoing requirements for keeping up with cloud hosting.
Follow these next steps on the managed hosting checklist to ensure that your cloud managed hosting provider is perfect for your needs.
1. Start By Exploring Network and Tech Capabilities
Your managed hosting is only as good as what your provider offers. The first step in the managed hosting checklist is to make sure that your provider has what you need.
It is safe to say that a provider should have high standards for all areas of their network and technology, including reliable connections, redundancy measures in place to avoid costly outages plus regularly updated hardware, software and other infrastructure components so you can keep up with the latest in technology on your end.
2. Choose the Right Cloud Solution
Jut as there are various models of managed hosting, there are various models of cloud solutions.
Your company can use the private cloud platform, which involves keeping your data, applications, and other infrastructure on a virtual network that can only be accessed by your staff.
Choosing a public cloud solution means using publicly maintained cloud programming to operate your applications and host your infrastructure.
Perhaps most useful, the hybrid cloud model enables your business to use the private and the public cloud to your advantage, keeping sensitive and confidential data private while benefiting from the advantages of the public cloud wherever possible.
3. Consider Security and Compliance
Security is incredibly important, especially if your company has any confidential or sensitive data requiring compliance. Both network and physical security measures should be part of what your cloud provider offers, from firewalls and malware scanning to security staff at data centers.
4. Pick a Provider that Suits Your Budget
Lower costs are tempting but may spell poor service, while high costs need to be assessed to ensure you need everything a provider is suggesting for you.
Take a look at what your monthly costs would be with the cloud managed hosting provider of your choice, and make sure that it fits into your budget.
Remember that while you will be paying to outsource, you will likely save on other costs like staff hours, equipment and maintenance, repairs and upgrades. Your business will also have the opportunity to make more money by freeing up resources and focusing on business operations.
5. Ensure Support and Service
If something goes wrong with your network or infrastructure, you will want someone to be on top of fixing it right away. Look for a company with the support and service you need to be successful. You should have access to a skilled expert whenever you need their assistance. We believe the best support is delivered when customers have experts on-call, and don't have to fight their way through a call centre, to get their problems solved or queries answered.
Services should include backups, disaster recovery planning, and other redundancies.
You should also be pleased with what your managed hosting provider offers in terms of a service level agreement (SLA) and uptime guarantee. This is crucial to your business success.
6. Consider References and Reviews
One of the best ways to know that you are getting good managed hosting is to see what other clients have experienced with the same provider. Ask providers for case studies and references, and look around for honest reviews online and in person.
Managed hosting will have a big impact on your business, making your operations smoother and faster, and ensuring you can keep up with client demands without going broke buying new equipment.
By following these steps and thoroughly vetting your potential cloud service provider for managed hosting, you will find a partner that suits your needs and makes your IT function, and with it your business, better.