At the end of Cloud Hosting Prices Pt. 1, we covered two major causes contributing to why the price of Cloud servers vary so widely. The third factor contributing to why Cloud server platforms vary in monthly spend so widely is 24/7/365 IT support.
Two Problems with Cloud Support
There are two major problems with 24/7/365 Cloud Support. Actually, let’s rephrase that. There are two major problems with Cloud Support. Those being:
- Cloud support varies by providers. While one Cloud hosting firm might provide coverage for server-to-server migrations, another Cloud hosting service might not provide coverage for server-to-server migrations. The spectrum of supported issues between providers ranges with no standard in place. This is to say, when looking to invest in Cloud services, there is no standard of operations when it comes to what each provider supports. This only serves to confuse the market and make consumers mad.2
- Regardless of what each IT firm supports, the prices for support ranges from as little as a few bucks per month to as high as a few thousand dollars per month. Even though providers might cover relatively the same issues, those support plans look nothing alike when it comes to price. Point in case, while MediaTemple – a major Cloud provider, might charge as high as $1499 per month for managed support, another Cloud hosting provider, VPS.net, might charge $100 per instance for the same support. Like varying support plans, the price discrepancies between likewise support plans, serve only to confuse the market and annoy consumers.
But these aren’t the only issues with Cloud support. Another major issue with Cloud support platforms is the outward feel that most providers have no interest at all in supporting their solutions.
The Rise of the Web Hosting Knowledgebase
A growing trend within the web hosting industry is to leave support to consumers by companies providing their customers with an open knowledgebase. A web hosting knowledgebase is a consortium of hosting knowledge designed to answer IT problems consumers have ranging from simple (a quick Apache fix) to hard (migration of legacy servers to new hardware).
While these knowledge bases serve as a 24/7/365 support avenue for consumers, they also serve Cloud hosting companies by allowing them to not provide email or phone support to interested consumers. By providing an online resource of useful content, Cloud hosting firms have figured out how to cut their internal support costs and how not to deal with frustrated consumers. Essentially, the Cloud hosting knowledgebase elevates providers of their responsibility to support their products.
All this said, without question, the largest problem with Cloud support platforms is the 24/7/365 support plan.
24/7/365 Cloud Server Support
The biggest issue with all of Cloud support is the promise of 24/7/365 support. For consumers, 24/7/365 IT support (also called 24/7/365 managed support) means just that. When you need to fix an IT issue at 3 am, your hosting company is going to be there for you. While this is true, providers view 24/7/365 IT support in a different manner. For the provider, 24/7/365 managed support means the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule means 80% of the time consumers will receive support from the same IT support staff member and the other 20% of the time, they will receive support from another team member who relies on an internal ticket system to understand your history with the company.
Another way of saying this: 80% of the time, your IT issue will be taken seriously by the same team member you always deal with. The other 20% of the time, your support issue will be handled by a team member who will determine how important your IT problem is based off an internal ticket queue and how much money you spend per month for your solutions.
It goes without saying, but the truth of 24/7/365 Cloud server support is murky at best.
With this said, check out part three of our Cloud Hosting Prices series to learn how Cloud providers can fix their support woes.