Find Your Options for the Best Hosting Providers

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The market for IT outsourcing and management service continues to increase as many CIOs choose to outsource their own applications and server landscapes. The focus is on the future viability of the IT infrastructure as well as the possibility of reducing operating costs.

The service providers also take on essential administration tasks such as log analysis, application and traffic management or backup. By moving part of their own IT to a managed service provider, they can expect significantly lower costs for the purchase, operation and management of their infrastructure. Companies that are considering outsourcing their computing capacity should definitely consider the following six questions when planning and selecting a provider. With the hosting provider reviews, you can have the best deal.

Balance of internal costs

The starting point is the current cost structure of the in-house IT infrastructure. To estimate the potential savings, several key figures and cost centres have to be collected. Both costs for the operation of the applications as well as investments in hardware, software and employee qualifications must be taken into account. TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is also an important indicator. This does not only include the expenses already mentioned. The costs for IT security, continuous data backup, system administration, data integration and energy consumption must also be used to calculate the TCO.

Hosting criteria

Before choosing a managed hosting provider, you need to clarify the extent to which data and applications are to be hosted. The focus here is on requirements for the type of application, the resource requirements as well as bandwidth and latency of the data line, the availability of all data and the flexibility of the IT environment provided by the host.

Experience

Once the first two points have been clarified, the right service provider is at stake. A helpful feature is its references and consideration of the corporate strategy. Ideally, the provider looks after companies that are already related to the industry, is present in similar country regions, or covers identical scenarios.

External costs

Now it is essential to weigh up which hosting costs arise, taking into account the selection criteria. For comparison, the previously calculated TCO of your own systems should be compared with the expected expenses for outsourcing to the service provider. The migration costs must also be allocated to the duration of the hosting contract so that the calculation is complete.

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IT security

A particularly important point is data security. The potential partner should have security certifications such as ISO 27001 and if the company processes credit card data. A serious provider must offer at least the same protection against data loss or misuse that an internal solution would offer. This includes comprehensive system security (logical protection), building security (physical protection) as well as experience with backup and disaster recovery concepts.

Availability and service level

Once all the points mentioned so far have been resolved to satisfaction, the contract is concluded. It is essential to ensure that arrangements are as flexible as possible, which can be adapted to changing corporate goals. The Service Level Agreements (SLA), which contractually defines how the availability and maintenance of the systems are designed, deserve special attention. It also has to be checked whether the partner has IT infrastructures that can grow with the company if their own requirements increase during the term of the contract. A professional service provider should offer this security.

Compliance

When implementing business-critical IT processes with a service provider, compliance rules also play an essential role for many companies. Usually, for regulatory reasons, all changes to a system and the responsibilities in the organization must be documented. Instruments certified service management (ISO 20000) and experience with best practice approaches should also be standard for “normal” IT at a managed hosting provider. They make a fundamental contribution to ensuring that the collaboration with a managed hosting provider runs as smoothly as possible. The hosting provider should have a corresponding certification. Another vital compliance issue is data protection in the “cloud”.

Disadvantages of bad hosting

Choosing your own host is very important.

Many self-employed people on the net see this only as a cost factor and want to spend as little money as possible here. But it’s like a Formula 1 team trying to build a car that is as cheap as possible. No matter how good the driver is, the results will never be excellent. Excellent and reliable hosting is just as crucial to the success of your website as the website itself. Bad hosting has the following disadvantages:

Outages are not uncommon with cheap hosting offers. Not only is the technology of the server itself bad, but mostly also the quality of the technology in the background, so that there is no fallback strategy for technical problems, for example.

Cheap web space can usually be recognized by long loading times. Here, the response time of the server itself and the actual page construction is too slow. And here a second (or less) can make a big difference, as some studies show.

So-called peaks are often the real problem. For blogs, for example, this is the case after the publication of a new article. While a website still works well with standard visitor numbers, it collapses with a rush. It is certainly not possible to cope with every rush without problems, but cheap hosts are already kneeling when there is a small rush of visitors.

The bad neighbourhood, the defective area, has an impact on the Google ranking. If you are accommodated on servers that also harbour spam, sex, warez or other “bad” Websites, you need not be surprised if Google is sceptical. This can be the case, especially with cheap offers from abroad.

Besides, cheap web space offers usually do not have a good service, so that in the event of problems or a move, your own website may be offline for days. All these negative consequences of lousy hosting naturally have a negative impact on the image and the ranking of your own pages. With a slow page load and of course complete failures, visitors will not think positively about the website. And so they won’t come back and won’t recommend the site. But Google has also introduced loading time as a ranking criterion. So you shouldn’t save in the wrong place but invest in an appropriate hosting.

Conclusion

Choosing the right managed to host partner requires a lot of preliminary work and careful research. Planning the outsourcing of computing capacities is just as important as the subsequent operation of the infrastructure. Companies should allow themselves a corresponding amount of time and put the providers on the shortlist through their paces.

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