Most companies in today’s business world are looking for an advantage over their competition and it’s rare that a service or product provider is one-dimensional. The days of only serving customers in a brick and mortar location are over, as more and more people are turning to ecommerce websites for their needs.
With both B2B and B2C customers visiting your digital marketplace, your company needs to be able to handle the traffic and avoid disruption to your selling platform. One of the ways businesses ensure proper performance is through a partnership with a professional cloud hosting management service provider. Experts in hosting and security provide you with the resources you need through always-available managed cloud access, as well as hosting that is safe and secure.
It’s hard enough to run a business, but worrying about your hosting is a job in and of itself. Working with a cloud hosting management provider means you’ll avoid hardware shutdowns, traffic spikes and other issues that take you offline at the most critical times.
As a newcomer to cloud hosting management, you may be wondering what key characteristics a provider should offer to meet these needs. Here are a few main components to consider:
1. They are PCI-compliant
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) ensures that online merchants follow a set of requirements to reduce the risk of credit card fraud and identity theft. This is accomplished through enhanced data security and other measures. These guidelines are determined by the PCI Security Standards Council, a global network of stakeholders in the payment industry. Organizations that don’t follow these standards may be penalized.
Very few managed hosting service providers are certified as PCI-compliant. This means you may need to address shortfalls to meet PCI standards. The best providers will be able to host infrastructure that is Level 1 PCI-compliant, so you can be sure compliancy regulations are followed correctly. Some also offer Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) compliance, which is a necessity for sites operated by the federal government.
2. They offer 24/7, 365 availability
Providing clients with private, yet consistent access, via servers and storage areas, is extremely important to the success of any cloud-hosted site. A first-class cloud hosting management provider will have strong infrastructure stored at data centers that are monitored and analyzed around the clock.
Even the smallest businesses have global intentions. Continuous site availability is a must to improve your digital operations, and you need a provider who values that.
3. Their environment is designed with multiple redundancies
This goes hand-in-hand with availability. Switching to redundant locations is a lifeline for digital businesses if hardware fails or performance issues arise. The hosting environment a provider offers should have redundancies structured within core areas.
- Network redundancy – the provider ensures in your agreement that you will have multiple paths to availability. Only some cloud hosting management services can provide this assurance, based on their infrastructure configuration.
- Data redundancy – this is also known as location redundancy or the idea that a provider has multiple data centers to handle web traffic. It additionally provides a failsafe in case one data center is affected by an outage or
experiences other issues.
- Automation redundancy – even if a host fails, automation handles software and hardware upgrades, among other measures. Additionally, automated deployments and DevOps can match integrations and cloud technologies for
better efficiency than traditional processes.
- Virtual, physical redundancy – virtual and physical servers can (and should) live in the cloud.
- Automation redundancy – even if a host fails, automation handles software and hardware upgrades, among other measures. Additionally, automated deployments and DevOps can match integrations and cloud technologies for better efficiency than traditional processes.
- Platform redundancy – some providers create and service your digital world all on their own, but others work with trusted platform providers that specialize in platform management. Your partner should offer premium platform-as-a-solution (PaaS) services such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS). These solutions are built with multiple layers of redundancy and should have a strong relationship with your service partner.
There are several other ways redundant cloud hosting is critical to web-based business success. Learn more about the benefits.
4. They keep your site prepared for the best (and the worst)
Your partner should have the ability to keep you up and running regardless of the situation.
Here’s an example:
Your company has scheduled an advertising campaign to run ahead of a large online event. Millions of people around the world will be exposed to your brand and it’s a massive opportunity for you to capitalize through product and service-funneled conversion tactics. However, your site might not be properly equipped to handle the traffic. A quality service provider will not only make sure your site doesn’t crash, they will also ensure it runs at peak performance to maximize your campaign.
This is done through something called load testing. The provider tests your website and applications by simulating spikes in traffic. They will develop a management strategy for you that mitigates outages and determines customized solutions to maintain your performance during high traffic periods.
The development of a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is also initiated by the best providers, as data loss and unplanned downtime can be detrimental to your company. PhoenixNAP found that 75% of small businesses have no disaster recovery plan objective in place and 93% of companies without disaster recovery that suffer a major data disaster are out of business within a year.
5. They are security focused
Security breaches, viruses, malware, and numerous other types of intrusions impact businesses around the world every day. Nearly every other factor of cloud hosting relies on strong security practices that prevent attacks.
Providers must be highly trained in site security to quickly detect and stop cyber threats or intrusions. Your partner should have a full-range of protection solutions intact. CDN, WAF, DDOS, and bot protection systems monitor for suspicious and malicious activity to catch potential online intruders. Built within their infrastructure are also safeguards as to who can obtain data and access, and at what points.
Your digital business success is only as good as your provider’s role in security. Take the time to review their protection plan and understand how it fits your needs.
6. They are affordable
Like any business relationship, you need to make sure your cloud hosting provider can meet your expectations at a price point that is within your budget. Affordability is a loaded term, but it generally means:
- Your provider offers competitive pricing that is relative to other providers, but gives you the greatest service value for the cost.
- Your provider’s contract is flexible and doesn’t include several features that don’t pertain to your business model.
- Your provider’s private cloud is worth it when compared with public cloud offerings that just don’t offer the same functionality, safety, and service.
Your partner should also have a solid reputation. A reliable hosting provider will have a portfolio of other clients who have thrived thanks to their quality, complete cloud hosting and security services.
The secure hosting and security team at Americaneagle.com provides cloud hosting management and support on the world’s leading cloud platforms, such as Azure and AWS, to keep your site and applications running smoothly. Personalized hosting services help you grow your brand with the support needed to climb the digital ladder. As a full-service provider, our expertise runs deep. From Digital Marketing to Web & Application Development, our experts are here to help. Contact us today and secure your digital future.