Are you interested in outsourcing your web hosting service? Do you need a dedicated server? If the answer to these two questions is “YES” then you may want to consider a managed hosting provider.
In a managed hosting environment, the hosting provider is responsible for the data center, network, device, operating system and the infrastructure components of the application. The customer basically manages the infrastructure of the application and retains complete control over the business process.
Whether you are looking for the first web hosting provider or want to switch from an existing provider – the choice can be overwhelming. Every organization has unique needs, and the best provider is not necessarily the best for you.
So once you are immersed and selected a provider, it can be very difficult to retreat or make changes. It is therefore very important to make your selection carefully. Of course, it never hurts to ask a friend or colleague for recommendations, but this should only be the starting point.
Below are a few things to consider when making your decision.
Scope of service
At the beginning you have to define exactly which service you need and whether the managed hosing provider can offer it. Some providers offer different plans from partially managed hosting to fully managed hosting. It simply depends on how much assistance you need and how much you are willing to pay.
Here are some standard services you can consider:
- Administration of the Windows or Linux environment
- Application of security and updates
Management of the platform: hardware, networks, operating system, storage, database, domain name, firewall, etc.
- Groups, redundancy and load balancing
- Here are some additional services you might need:
- Support for the application
- Website security
Migration from an existing page (if required)
Answering and problem solving times are critical to any hosting service. Check the capabilities of your future legacy hosting provider to see if their level of service meets your needs. This is one area where you get what you pay for. Smaller, cheaper providers may not have the resources to provide 24 hour expertise 7 days a week.
Below are a few questions that you should answer:
Can you be reached by phone, email, chat, etc.?
Do you offer 24 hour support?
What is the average day, night, and weekend response time?
How long does it usually take to solve the problem? Are experts always available to solve problems quickly?
You may have to call the operator in the middle of the night to see how quickly you can get a response.
You should determine the level of uptime your business needs. Of course, everyone wants 100% uptime, but a higher level of service also costs more. Determine the cost to your organization when the service is down. Are you a trader who is losing thousands of dollars an hour if your site is down during the holidays?
No managed hosting provider can guarantee 100% uptime and you should be skeptical if someone claims it. Ask the hosting provider what the average uptime is and whether they can guarantee this level of service. How will you be compensated if you cannot meet the guaranteed service level?
Fortunately, most managed hosting providers offer 99% uptime. Netcraft tracks many vendors’ performance and you might find more information that you might find useful: Netcraft .
Scalability and traffic spikes
The ability of your site to manage activity fluctuations not only depends on the managed hosting provider, but also on how well programmed your site is.
You should not only deliver your average traffic to the future hosting provider, but also highlights. Ask if they live up to the highlights. If there are high points to be anticipated, how much time do you need to prepare for them?
Ask your provider how many visitors are currently being managed per month. How many websites do you host? How many visitors do these pages have on average? This should give you a good idea on how to manage your business size.
Applications & languages
Make sure that the provider can offer the applications and languages.
This could include:
It is important to make sure that they not only suit the applications and languages, but also the specific versions you are using. Ask if the other customers are already using the same version.
If your developers need complete server control, make sure your managed hosting provider provides it. For example, some developers need Secure Shell Support (SSH) access to adapt environments. These are all details that you would like to define beforehand in order to avoid unpleasant surprises in the process.