The benefits of cloud computing are no longer debatable. SMEs, and indeed organizations of all sizes, are now looking for ways to get the best out of cloud solutions to match their business goals. That’s where managed cloud hosting comes in.
What is Managed Cloud Hosting?
“Managed Cloud Hosting” is a cloud hosting service where your business cloud server environment is planned, deployed, configured and managed by a managed cloud hosting service provider. The word managed is highlighted because not all cloud service providers can offer managed cloud hosting. Now, let’s take a look at why your SME business should seriously consider managed cloud hosting.
Cloud hosting is not just about configuring and managing storage, networks and OS. It’s about managing and securing complex application stacks such as databases, ecommerce platforms and accounting solutions which run on cloud servers. This requires profound expertise in cloud management which isn’t very common in the market today, given how relatively new cloud computing as a service is.
Many SME businesses today have migrated to the cloud to keep pace with the changing circumstances of commerce. Such businesses have limited or no expertise in managing their cloud environment. Even SMEs with a solid IT base have found that serious managed cloud service providers are better positioned to manage the nuances of cloud services especially in the areas of security and app management.
You should be worried about this. The Majority of security breaches are a result of intentional or unintentional acts of employees. If your cloud environment is managed by a reputable cloud provider, you have taken the biggest step in ensuring the security of your data and network.
With managed hosting, you will not need to invest in data-centers, servers, networking and other equipment as is needed with on premise hosting. Neither will you need to invest in the costly IT staff expertise that standard cloud hosting requires. Ideally, the only investment you make with managed cloud hosting is subscription. This is a very sound investment in the long run.
An SME business does not have the luxury of large organizations in terms of specialization and redundancy. Every minute counts and every personnel should be doing something that directly drives the business. Having a team dedicated to monitoring your cloud environment is poor time management. Cloud hosting is naturally very reliable, and requires less supervision than other solutions. In managed cloud, your IT team can focus on immediate and local IT stuff, while your managed cloud service provider takes care of the cloud.
Your managed cloud provider is able to monitor your resource demands. The provider then allocates resources on a tailored, high redundancy model through multi-server hosting, storage, and load balancing. This distributed model ensures high data availability and failover protection. The high availability and distributed computing also ensures faster data mining and rendition. For a business that uses large databases and depends on customer web experience (example, ecommerce sites), this is an invaluable asset.
Now that you know the key benefits of managed cloud hosting, here are some things you must ensure a provider is able to do for you in order to enjoy the full benefits of a managed cloud hosting service:
Cloud Environment Configuration and Deployment – This must be done in full consultation with you. The provider must understand every aspect of your business.
Sever Monitoring – This involves resource use and performance monitoring. If your IT team has to do this, it is not managed cloud hosting.
Robust Security Service – Ensure that you have extensive security options. Solutions like Web Drive managed hosting use Linux OS for extra security on demand. The provider must also have an active Intrusion Prevention System to constantly scan your network.
OS and App Management – your provider should deploy, monitor and update your OS and applications. Patches and bug fixes should be applied where and when necessary.
Data Protection and Disaster Recovery – Cloud services are naturally designed to prevent data loss through distributed computing. But ensure that your provider has a robust backup and disaster recovery solution to protect your data just in case.
Reporting – Your provider must provide you with regular and provable reports on such things as usage, cloud management actions and so on. This is essential for IT and business decision making going forward
Support – 24/7, multichannel support: email, telephone, live chat, and help desk portals must be made available to you. To play safe, it is better to use a provider in your country.