A Buyer’s Guide to mount the Cloud

Questions to ask your cloud hosting provider

Nothing has remained the same after the “Age of Internet” made its way into the world. Everything has been revolutionized and what we see today is the product of years of evolution. Nothing remains the same and the way it functions too undergoes a massive facelift. What I wish to assert is that we have reached a pinnacle of success that was ushered in by the new-age technology.

When we thought the internet is “It”, the Cloud made its presence felt with a bang. This shows that technology knows no boundaries and look where we reached- on the Cloud. So, as you can see we conquered the Cloud, stored data on it, and now, we started hosting websites on it. The arena of Website Hosting too was conquered by the Cloud and as fate would have it, people have successfully hosted their websites on the Cloud.

However, though the Cloud has become a rage in the IT world, there are many companies that would enable you to host your website on the Cloud. So, if you are keen on hosting your website on the Cloud, you would have a plethora of Cloud Hosting Service Providers to choose from. Choosing the right Cloud Hosting Service Provider can be a big deal and to arrive to a conclusion, all you have to do is Ask. When you contact a service provider and you wish to get an idea about how efficiently can they host your website, ask them certain questions that would put all your queries to rest.

So, here are a few questions that would help you get the answers you are looking for-

How long have you been the Cloud Resident?
It is important for you to know how long has the particular Cloud Service Provider been in the industry. It adds to the trust quotient between the service provider and the client.This would also give you a fair idea about how efficient they are in resolving any issue. Experience plays a major deciding factor in this area. If you are a new player on the field, the chances are very thin that there would be many people rooting for you.

Are my business requirements clear to you?
Many a times, the information that you gain wouldn’t be fruitful to you. For instance, you might hear about the various advantages of hosting your website on the Cloud, but in reality, your website can be hosted efficiently on the Shared Hosting Server. So, when you speak to your Cloud Hosting Provider, make sure you tell them what your business is about. He should be able to understand your business and allot resources to you as per your requirements. It is imperative for you to know if the service provider can scale the resources as per your demands.

Do you offer a 24/7 Customer Support?
Since Cloud is a 24/7 entity, you would require a support that would also be available 24/7. This is essential since you never know when you need to access your data, or when you might need assistance with a certain something. Cloud might sound simple, but it has it’s intricacies. So, you might need assistance even in the middle of the night if you tried doing something at that unearthly hour. So you need to ask the Cloud Hosting Service Provider whether they provide a 24/7 support.

Once my data is on the Cloud, how secure is it?
Many Cloud Hosting Companies guarantee you that your data or your applications are all secure once it reaches the Cloud. But how genuine is this promise? Take a look at their security details and spare a glance at their backup solutions. This would give you a fair idea about how secure your data is online.

Who can access the data?
This is the perennial query that has haunted the thoughts of many customers. So, you can spare yourself the torture and ask them outright who can access the data. The control of the entire data depends on the sensitivity of the very data. It is important for you to know who would be in control of your data. Data stored on the Cloud can be highly confidential and not just anyone is allowed to access it. So, for your inner peace, ask them if they outsource their technical support, and if yes, it is doubtful that your information won’t leave the boundaries of that company.

How would transferring to the Cloud benefit my business?
When you receive a call from a Cloud Service Provider, you would want to know how transferring your business to the Cloud would benefit you. Their answer would help you determine whether Cloud is exactly what you are looking for. You would gain an insight to your own requirements. You can determine whether moving your entire empire on the Cloud is beneficial or whether you are satisfied by living on the shared server.

What is SLA?
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a looking glass for you to get a glimpse into the the service provider’s list of services and the extent to which they would be serving you. Make sure that you go through the SLA thoroughly so you would get an idea about what services would be made available to you, to what extent would they be providing these services to you, their escalation process, the duration of their services, etc.

Your Uptime please?
Since your website would be hosted on the Cloud, you need to know their network uptime. The ideal Network Uptime is 99.99%. So, you need to clarify this issue with the service provider since you cannot risk a downtime every now and then and lose your customers as well as your revenue.

Do we sign a bond?
Some companies would provide you their cloud services only after you sign a contract with them and this contract would keep you bound to them even if you aren’t happy with their services. So, first and foremost, you make sure they aren’t going to ask you to sign a contract, which might limit your options in future.

Bill Please!
Cloud is a very cost-efficient entity and the major appealing factor it possess is that you pay only for the resources that you use. Unlike the Shared Platform where you have to pay for all the resources no matter how much you utilise, Cloud Hosting comes as a breath of fresh air. But you have to clarify these factors with your service provider so that no additional charges make its way sneakily into your bill.

The Cloud is still a new and raging phenomena and there are people vouching for it. And if you wish to follow this lead, make sure you ask these ten questions to your Cloud Service Provider. Think of these as the ten commandments that would give you a reality check and you can arrive at a logical conclusion instead of joining the herd blindly!

Surya Panicker
As a Digital Marketing Specialist, Surya is responsible to pen and craft content for the website, newsletters and other marketing collaterals. She weaves engaging content strategy in sync with the creative artists for various platforms to promote the products and generate website traffic. Surya is a silent critter obsessed with new words always glued to her keyboard.