You can easily find cloud service providers by looking at review sites and forums, but how do you find a great service provider? While it largely matters on what you’re doing with the cloud, there are many overall aspects that you should consider when looking for a cloud server.
Aspects to Consider to Find a Great Cloud Server
What are you using the cloud for? This is one of the most important considerations because it will govern price, how much data you need, default apps and many other aspects of the service provider. For example, a cloud server for storing files will be much different than one for outgoing applications. If you have enough technical knowledge, then you can bend any cloud server to your will. At the same time, it’s often best to find one that is made for your needs. There’s no reason to do extra work if there’s a suitable service provider. If you have a very unique need, then consider getting a cloud server that allows you to easily make changes.
Disk Space and Bandwidth
Just like with regular hosting, you need to think about how much disk space and bandwidth you’ll get with your account. Disk space refers to how much memory you can store on the server. Bandwidth refers to outgoing data from visitors downloading and viewing your files. Bandwidth is important even if you’re just storing files for yourself because the bandwidth allows you to use apps and programs to quickly connect to the cloud server and view the files. If your needs aren’t going to change much, then it’s often best to get a solid disk space and bandwidth limit. This means that you only get a certain amount of memory per month, such as 50GB or 100GB. If you’re going to move, add and delete files on a consistent basis, then a fluid limit is better. This might cost more, but it ensures that you’ll always have enough memory for your files.
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While cloud security isn’t as bad as some reports might make you think, it can still be an issue if you aren’t careful. Ensure that the service provider has adequate security for your needs. If you’re just storing images and videos, then standard encryption, regular backups and monitoring should be more than enough for your needs. If you’re storing critical business documents or files that need to legally meet a certain level of security, then you’ll need more than standard security. There are a number of cloud servers that specialize in hosting critical files, but you should also call the service provider to talk about your security needs.
One of the biggest strengths of cloud computing is that your server can be redeployed much faster than with a standard server. This ensures your server won’t be offline for long if there is a storm, power outage or other unexpected problem. Just like with security, standard redeployment speeds should be fine if you’re just hosting your own files, but you’ll need something much faster if the server is for your business. Find out how long the average redeployment takes. Since cloud computing is much faster, it shouldn’t take longer than an hour if there’s a catastrophic problem. At the same time, the best providers will be able to get your server up and running within a few minutes.
While price shouldn’t be your biggest concern, it should still be in the back of your mind when looking at different cloud servers. There’s no sense in storing your files in the cloud if it’s going to cost too much. Not only that, but sometimes you might find two similar providers that are only differentiated by cost. Don’t use the cloud just because it’s new. It can sometimes be more expensive than storing files on your own server, so be sure that it’s cost effective before buying a cloud server.
Finding the perfect cloud server can take time since there are so many service providers, but the best ones will give you enough disk space and bandwidth, have amazing security, fit your budget and they’re made for your unique needs. Cloud computing is great, but you need to find the right provider to ensure that you get the most out of this new technology.
Rosa Smith uses and contributes on behalf of ProfitBricks’ cloud server hosting, the leader in cloud computing companies, when working remotely on her personal blog. Cloud servers at http://www.profitbricks.com/cloud-servers is a great way to customize your businesses cloud network to fit your needs.