Friday, 2 November 2018

Many people seem to forget that there are other hosting options apart from the cloud. The amount of effort and technology invested in storage solutions has made it possible for a range of company-specific options. In contrast with the cloud, managed hosting and colocation are similar solutions that dedicate physical machines to a client. It is therefore important for all entities to analyze different hosting solutions before making a determination on the most suitable.

Cloud Hosting, Colocation Hosting, Managed Hosting, Web Hosting

A point to note is that; there are clear differences among available products which is why proper expert analysis should be done to match your needs. Apart from the other differences we are going to discuss within the article, the main difference between managed hosting and colocation is the party responsible for the hardware. For the cloud, servers are virtualized so that clients are sharing a physical machine.

Cloud  


Ease of scaling is cloud’s greatest advantage over the rest, but it is also important to consider the other alternatives. For cloud hosting, you only need to pay for what you need, thereby saving clients the need to invest in expensive infrastructure. Cloud service providers (CPS), are charged with infrastructure management so that there is enough time for the internal teams to concentrate on revenue generating activities.

Organizations must be careful when choosing their cloud hosting providers, especially those that are required to comply with various standards and regulations. Companies handling sensitive data should possess appropriate certification and utilize the most recent security measures to protect information. The cloud service should guarantee availability as extended downtime could result in heavy losses for their clients. Customers should be able to make requests, perform transactions or other business without undue interruption.

Pros

◈ Higher savings as organizations that rely on the cloud do not have to acquire expensive hardware or software.

◈ Information on the cloud is easily accessible from different devices with only a few clicks. Here, data is centralized to ensure that vital information is available to anyone with clearance to access it.

◈ On the cloud, all documents and files can be emailed or shared in a near-instant. This means that necessary information can be transmitted at any time without using so many enterprise resources.

◈ The cloud is a virtual environment that eliminates the costs involved in expanding storage space, memory and processor power.

◈ Automatic data backup to the cloud is a great advantage that saves data recovery time and money if there is a system failure.

◈ Businesses do not need to hire more employees to enjoy proper cloud hosting which is easily set up by the existing team. Cloud applications do all the hard work that would otherwise be left to employees, ultimately saving time and money that is then dedicated to other pressing business needs.

◈ Top class security is a near guarantee with cloud hosting as most vendors take care to choose the most secure data centers. For sensitive information, the providers offer passwords and encryptions as an extra security measure.

Cons

◈ You might not get necessary support when you need it in the cloud. Vendors do not always provide contact information which is a red flag for businesses handling sensitive information. This is a huge risk to carry in this era of malware that could easily infiltrate systems on the cloud.

◈ There may be compatibility problems for employees trying to access information from different devices.

◈ Since it is online, the cloud hosting may be vulnerable to threats and malicious hackers. This is why experts recommend that organizations seek assistance from IT firms to ensure that their data is properly secured.

◈ The client doesn’t have the power to dictate the tools and methods of data backup and handling, which is a major downside for companies that would wish to have some influence over their files and documents on the cloud. Lack of insight into your network proves troublesome as you wouldn’t tell when there is a bug, hardware problem or other problem affecting your system.

◈ Without a proper internet connection, you will be unable to access the cloud and this could prove troublesome in case of emergencies. Low bandwidth also compromises the quality of audio and video among other files. Quality may also be affected if too many people are on the internet at the same time.

◈ The cloud might become expensive if the service provider keeps charging additional fees. Some essential features may be missing with the hosting services which would reduce the quality of the cloud as a hosting service for your business.

The cloud may be the perfect solution for small businesses or startups without great data needs but are looking for competitive backup and management options. It is an inexpensive solution but only if the organization makes the right choice of service providers. There is a need for a thorough understanding of the types and the actual amount of support provided by the hosting company.

Choose the right cloud hosting provider for your business


To benefit from cloud hosting, an organization must look for a provider that meets specific needs. Some of the important facts to check include:

◈ The hosting provider should disclose their recovery capabilities in the event of a disaster.
◈ A good service should be able to prevent attacks to your system before they can cause extensive damage.
◈ They should submit all necessary audits for your type of company and adhere to compliance regulations

Colocation


This is a solution for which organizations must bring their own hardware including switches, servers, storage, and software. In this case, the hosting service provider is only responsible for monitoring, maintenance, and backing up. Colocation is popular among companies that must meet specific compliance or data protection requirements. It is also sought after by institutions that need to broaden their current data center without actually paying for construction.

For some businesses, colocation is an important alternative in case disaster strikes. This option is most preferred by organizations with purchasing power for servers and ability to pay people to manage them. Colocation offers clients maximum flexibility over hardware as they are free to use custom storage configurations and fancy servers. It is viewed as an alternative for the maturing startup that can no longer rely on the cloud to meet their unique needs.

It is important to consider the scalability of the colocation service, to ensure that you can expand and reduce services according to your deeds. The provider must be clear about how they intend to maintain and store data without leaving out cooling and power information. If they are not ready to provide this information, services may not be rendered as promised; a situation that could cause data loss and trigger legal suits.

PROS

◈ The client has freedom of choice over hardware and software to be used for their data. Companies that cannot afford their own data center but feel hesitant about using third party hardware are the perfect candidates for colocation.

◈ Colocation offers more flexibility than managed hosting as customers can host anything as if it were their own data center.

◈ This option carries a lower risk of network outages due to redundant systems that allow the network to stay up even after a system failure. Colocation providers use virtualization to ease data recovery after an outage.

◈ On-site monitoring is done round the clock to identify potential issues and promptly inform customers about them.

◈ Colocating servers in a common environment benefits smaller organizations that wouldn’t afford to invest in data centers. This option allows them to get more bandwidth at a lower price and access to staff that they wouldn’t afford otherwise.

CONS

◈ Colocation is initially expensive for all organizations as they must procure software and hardware. Some service providers offer cost-friendly solutions but signing up for their package may mean compromises on important features like security.

◈ Companies have to fix problems with their hardware and this may prove impossible for some that cannot promptly handle arising issues.

◈ Some service providers offer pre-built storage configurations at a lower price but this means less control over the software and hardware.

◈ Organizations must send their staff to the co-location centers so they can check on their equipment. This is time-consuming and demands selection of data centers that are close by for ease of travel. Choosing a data center so close to your business may be a bad idea in the event of natural disasters as it would further complicate the data recovery process.

The pros and cons of colocation indicate that not all companies make good candidates for the solution. Management must weigh their options to ensure that colocation is the perfect solution according to their needs. If you can afford the hardware and need to eliminate third parties, colocation is the best option.

Cloud and colocation services are similar in that the client companies realize cost savings through the aid of a shared facility. The main difference is the fact that cloud service providers supply and manage the full hardware infrastructure, as well as servers, storage, including network elements.

Managed Hosting


‘What is managed hosting?’ This question is difficult to answer since it is a term that has grown to be ambiguous. Each service provider delivers slightly different version from the other, but all of them dwell under the popular banner of ‘managed hosting’.

Usually an extension of dedicated hosting, Managed Hosting is the concept where client purchases dedicated hardware from a preferred hosting service provider. The required hardware is leased to a single client by the hosting company. The solution here may be offered as a service or utility-based model and it is the provider’s duty to maintain the hardware and provide support. Thus, the main advantage of this hosting option is that you do not have to do the job yourself. The in-house IT personnel will be left to concentrate on other matters.

PROS

Managed hosting providers typically offer services in the following discernible categories:

◈ Support: This effectively upgrades your infrastructure to enable secure hosting. It may be achieved by outsourcing and managing data centers, desktop and network support operations.

◈ OS monitoring and management: This is the process of backup, security management and provision pf patches for the protection of OSs. Proactive monitoring is important to prevent compared to recovering from attacks.

◈ Application management (AM): The process of managing maintenance, operation, upgrading and versioning of applications throughout their lifecycle. AM includes procedures and best practices to ensure optimal performance. This approach is great for individuals and organizations looking to free up the internal IT team.

◈ Server Monitoring: This entails scanning and searching any bugs and potential failures. Server monitoring aids in detecting possible issues for the expert to rectify before the bad happens which may lead to disruption.

◈ Server configuration and maintenance: For the hosting company to be relevant to the customer, a team of specialists is hired to ensure that the server is configured according to client expectation. This is also effective if you plan to make things run smoothly.

◈ Flexibility: Managed hosting is not a one-size-fits-all service but a flexible solution which gives the client the freedom to choose a service that would match the budget including other needs. It is also flexible when a client decides to expand the services where the platform will effortlessly be scaled according to the latest needs.

◈ Limited cost of operation: It is costly for a company to have in-house managed hosting compared to outsourcing it. And according to economics, ‘if the cost outweighs the benefits then that’s a call for a change of tactics’.

◈ Effective use of resource: Hiring an expert IT staff can be costly for most companies. It is for this reason you need to outsource the hosting services including taking care of daily running and server maintenance. This means that the in-house IT staff will focus on other more important tasks.

Managed hosting providers have faced many challenges, making it better for them to handle any emerging issues with your business systems. Your organization doesn’t have to incur hardware costs or constantly take up the expense of upgrading to current technology. This hosting solution cuts manpower costs, freeing up an organization’s budget for other activities.

CONS

◈ The service provider might slack on their job, and this might translate to downtime and fines for your organization.

◈ Upgrades are not guaranteed and the client cannot dictate storage configurations or hardware type.

◈ Having third parties handle company data may compromise it especially if they are not ethical professionals.

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