As a managed service provider, wouldn’t you feel most comfortable knowing exactly who is hosting you, where your data is, and who is responsible for securing the application?
Several factors come into play when it comes to choosing where your applications are hosted and which applications to host in the cloud. Some MSPs value speed, others demand a more personal relationship, and some might request an extensive service plan.
We put together a short list of attributes our clients value to help you determine whether your needs and wants as an MSP are being met and whether it is time to switch to a plan with higher latency.
Who is the Hosting Company?
“Who is the hosting company? How long have they been in business?” asks Jay Sudowski, CEO of Handy Networks, “Where are they located? Where is your client's data going to be stored? Is it even going to be stored in the country? How do you get your data out of that environment? What happens if the company goes out of business?”
Sudowski’s concerns mirror those of many MSPs. Obtaining the general background of the hosting data centeryou are interested in will help answer the above questions and get a sense of who the host is.
Another important factor to consider is the facility’s capabilities and the relationship you have with your host.
“A lot of customers like that they have our personal cell phone numbers,” says Jeff Shotnik, Systems Engineer at Handy Networks, “We have Jay’s number right on the website and ours attached to our emails.”
Regarding bandwidth and latency, there are a lot of potential issues that can arise. If your client doesn’t have enough bandwidth at their location to support their applications, it will not work well. Jay added, "We will provide Ping tests to accurately check latency to ensure clients are not going to run into another bottleneck."
How Does the Support Team Stack Up?
“We recommend when you are looking for hosting applications, test out their support team,” says Shotnik, “Give them a call or send them a support ticket and see how long it takes them to respond.”
Many hosting companies offer free trials, giving prospects a chance to test out their services before buying; take advantage of that. If you migrate over to the hosting application and the user experience is poor, you won’t get stuck there, making it worth it to test out production services before you require them.
“We have had clients do this in the past with us and typically if a monitoring alert goes off with the equipment we’re managing, we’re going to get a notification in under three minutes,” explains Sudowski, “If you submit a ticket, we’re going to have a technician actively reviewing it in under ten minutes.”
Internet Connectivity and Downtime
No matter what service your MSP offers, downtime is something that negatively affects all MSPs.
“If your client’s internet connectivity at their office is not reliable, every time their internet goes down, their hosted application goes offline as well, and that’s very disruptive to their operations,” cautions Sudowski.
When scouting the right hosting company, ask yourself:
- Is this host communicative?
- Will they be around to assist me?
- Do they offer 24/7 support and staff?
Migrating off that hosting application can be a tedious process, so again, test out the environment before investing in the hosting application.
What do you look for in a hosting data center?