For IT leaders, storage requirements growth translates to additional complexity and escalating costs. For many, dedicated hosting is a reasonable solution, providing greater reliability, built-in disaster planning and recovery, greater security, and better cost control. Decision makers are rightly concerned, however, about the costs and risks of making the wrong choices for their companies.
Choosing a hosting provider is just as critical as deciding on what solution, whether it be dedicated, cloud, or colocation as the best fit for your company. When selecting a hosting provider there are some common misconceptions that can skew your ability to make an educated decision. Avoiding these misconceptions will allow you to categorize hosting providers into qualified and unqualified groups per your requirements.
Misconception 1 – All Hosting Providers Own Their Facilities
One of the most overlooked details when determining if a provider is the best fit for your company is whether or not they own their facilities. This is especially important because it can affect the costs of your solutions and the growth of your IT infrastructure. High monthly lease payments will in turn be handed down to the customers as a way to offset their costs and keep profitable margins. Also, the inability to make any structural changes to the facility hinders the provider’s ability to grow with your IT infrastructure requirements.
Choosing a hosting provider that owns their facilities will allow for more cost efficient solutions and ensure that your company’s growth will be accounted for in the future.
Misconception 2 – All Hosting Providers Use the Same Kind of Servers
All providers use the same servers, right? Wrong. There are thousands of providers in the world today and not all of them are created equal. When it comes to the servers that they offer and use, it can affect the quality and reliability of your infrastructure. This is one of the reasons why some provider’s costs may appear to be high. Providers who advertise too good to be true server prices are, well, too good to be true. They often carry non-brand name servers (white boxes), which generally use lower quality memory DIMMs, cheaper hard drives, unreliable cooling fans, and chassis with a lower build quality.
This means that while the white boxes may appear to be a more cost efficient decision in the beginning, the long-term cost of ownership is greater than the name brand servers.
Misconception 3 – All Hosting Providers Can Support Me When I Have a Problem
While this would seem to be an actual fact, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. With current advances in hosting technology, economies of scale matter more than ever. Business and IT leaders who most effectively leverage technology often do so by partnering with a managed hosting provider whose core expertise is architecture, maintaining and evolving their customers’ applications to help them achieve their business goals. The abilities and knowledge of the provider’s managed team need to be up to par in order to successfully meet your requirements. The provider may not have the skill sets, team size, or availability to handle your needs.
Does the provider offer 24/7 availability? How quickly do they respond to support tickets? Keep these questions in mind when evaluating hosting providers.
Misconception 4 – The Larger the Hosting Provider, the Superior the Service
In any business or organization, as the customer base grows and the more customers that they have to support, the quality of the support can drop significantly. While most of these larger facilities are impressive in size and looks, it’s critical to understand that they are in the business of volume and not necessarily service. Getting lost in the shuffle when it comes to support is not ideal. Due to the large volumes of support tickets, you can expect to experience longer response times, which could take anywhere from hours or days. A couple of servers that may go down can mean the world to your business in terms of revenue and keeping customers happy.
How does customer support affect your business? How quickly will your support tickets be addressed? Understanding the value of having a responsive and quality support team from your provider could be the difference between losing thousands of dollars during downtime or losing customers because you’re waiting to solve a critical issue.
Misconception 5 – The Hosting Provider with the Lowest Price is the Best Value
You get what you pay for, right? Right. We’ve all heard this before and most of us have experienced it at some point or another. When you purchase the cheapest product on the market, generally, you can expect a lesser quality product. This typically holds true with hosting providers as well. While you may be receiving the lowest price, you may not actually be getting the services that you need, there may be hidden costs associated with the solutions or services, or the quality of the support is subpar.
Be sure to base your decision on value and not price alone. Evaluate the provider and find out how long they have been in business, check forums to get a feel of their presence in the community, and be sure to address any questions that you have with the provider’s SLA.