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Seven points to consider when choosing a cloud host


There’s a good chance you’ve heard of this mystical thing called cloud hosting.

It’s not always easy to see through the hype. So, perhaps it’s not surprising that businesses have been hesitant to begin the journey.

Now that the dust is settling, let’s revisit the cloud and how it can help your business.

Not all cloud hosting providers are created equal; finding the right match at the outset will help you avoid headaches down the line.

Here are seven points to consider when choosing a cloud host.

1. Select a partner, not a vendor

You’re entrusting core pieces of business to your cloud host; you need to know they’re willing and able to respond should disaster strike.

It’s easy to pick a vendor who’ll sell their offering with no extra bells and whistles. However, you need to ensure your provider is happy to help navigate a few inevitable speed bumps.

A partnership rather than a buyer/seller relationship is invaluable.

2. Where is the data?

Depending on the sensitivity of workloads and the data you plan to move, the physical location of the datacenters running your cloud may be important.

Data sovereignty has been a hot topic since the beginnings of offshoring. Although there’s no doubt that some workloads must be kept within our borders by regulation – financial, medical, government – it’s not always mandatory.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t hurt to know exactly where you stand when it comes to local jurisdiction and choosing a provider. The Patriot Act (USA), for example, can still reach into your data even if you’ve chosen a US provider with local datacenters. The only way to avoid this is to choose a 100% Australian owned and operated solution.

3. Is cloud computing right for me?

Before you start fishing around for a cloud provider, research which wordloads can and should be deployed in a cloud environment.

Should you really bother if all you’re looking to do is run a single static web page? If your current set up ain’t broke, why fix it?

Despite what some providers may say, not everything should be taken to the cloud. There are workloads that are unsuitable, such as applications that require massive bandwidth.

There’s no doubt that the cloud is a great delivery method, but new is not automatically better.

4. Vendor lock-in

So you’ve entrusted a piece of your business to the cloud. However, instead of adding value, it’s doing the opposite. It’s time to get out and fast.

Some providers attempt a vendor lock-in stunt that will cause endless frustration if you think about moving. This may include offering features that can only be used on their infrastructure.

Be vigilant from the outset; choose a provider that doesn’t hinder you from moving workloads with minimal fuss.

5. Scalability

Every business has growth on its mind. A cloud provider may be able to meet all your requirements today, but can they scale up across all their clients instantly?

As you grow, so too will your needs. Choose a provider who’s able to accommodate that growth, otherwise you may find yourself hobbled.

6. Flexibility

Every business’ requirements are different; they can’t be expected to conform to pre-packaged offerings.

Find a flexible provider that offers fully-customisable set ups. The key elements of flexibility include ease of scale and the ability to mix-and-match resources such as RAM, storage and bandwidth.

7. You get what you pay for

The saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is no less true when it comes to cloud providers.

Things like a partnership relationship and reliable, scaleable service come at a cost. Smarts folks choose reliability and performance over small savings each month.

That’s not to say price always dictates quality, but there is a correlation. Do your research and find the equilibrium.

Matt Ding is an employee of OrionVM, one of the world leaders in Cloud infrastructure technology. To see more about OrionVM click here. Matt has experience across the industry having previously work is a variety of companies including IBM. To contact Matt email him at [email protected]. Photo: Ian Britton/Freefoto