Question: If you are new to the Cloud Hosting market, how would you know what hosting provider to select? If you know nothing about the market, the solutions offered and the providers who offer those Cloud hosting products, how would you go about finding the correct Cloud Computing provider for your needs?
Answer: Research. Both internal and external.
Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud Deployments
If you are like the vast majority of consumers, researching a new product means consulting Google. As you are searching for “Cloud Hosting” one of the first results you are bound to encounter is a choice between public, private and hybrid cloud deployments.
As you are looking for Cloud Hosting, the first major question you will ask yourself is what type of Cloud Hosting do I/does my company need? The answer to this question will depend wholly on your need for data security.
If you are the type of company who holds nothing back from the public, a public cloud hosting architecture will work just fine. On the other side of the spectrum, if you are the type of company who needs to maintain complete security of all data, the best private cloud hosting companies deployment will be the best yet.
As with most things in life, nothing is ever wholly one thing. The Hybrid Cloud represents a mix of both public architecture for data that is less secure and private architecture for data which is more secure in nature. A hybrid cloud deployment allows the consumer to place more secure data behind a guarded corporate firewall and less secure data outside of the firewall for public consumption.
First Key Take Away From Hosting.com, Peer1 Hosting and Windstream
Hosting.com, Peer1 Hosting and Windstream all provide consumers with their choice in public, private and hybrid Cloud architecture.
For every business looking into Cloud hosting, a major concern should be DRaaS.
Disaster Recovery as a Service
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is critical to every company investing in Cloud solutions. The skinny in Cloud disaster recovery is every company, regardless of size, solution or monetary expenditure deals with vital internal and consumer data on the daily basis.
This data is the life blood of your company which, regardless of exterior happenings, needs to be up and running.
For this reason, disaster recovery in the Cloud means:
–Flexible replication services that allow the user to continually replicate business critical Cloud servers to ensure uptime and real time use.
– Multiple fall back Cloud data center locations. Maintaining multiple data center locations – geographically independent of one another – ensures if a data center fails on the east coast crippling vital customer data, a data center on the west coast picks up the slack and keeps your business operating.
–Multiple points of backup. All great Cloud hosting disaster recovery plans allow for the consumer to back up their Cloud servers at multiple points, either as a full data back up or as a snapshot. Further, a good DRaaS plans allows the consumer to access critical backup points to enable the spinning up of new servers based on any full or snapshot backup point.
Second Key Take Away From Hosting.com, Peer1 Hosting and Windstream
Hosting.com, Peer 1 Hosting and Windstream all offer comprehensive Cloud Disaster Recovery plans. While all offer a slightly different solution – Peer1 Hosting enables Bare Metal Recovery, Rapid SAN Backup and Global Load Balancing whereas Hosting.com supplies synchronized production and recovery sites matched with non-disruptive replication testing – all offer comprehensive disaster recovery plans to ensure uptime and fluidity of services.
Speaking to the issue of Disaster Recovery are the data center locations a Cloud hosting firm operates out of.
Data Center Locations are Vital to Cloud Hosting
Consumers tend to get lost in the lingo of the Cloud. For some reason, for consumers investing in Cloud hosting technology, the physicality of the technology – i.e. data centers – tends to get lost in the conversation. And yet, data centers are one of the most important, if not the most important aspect of a Cloud hosting deployment.
The reasons for this are simple:
- Remember, the Cloud is a physical entity made up of web hosting equipment, servers, hypervisors, nodes, power units and cooling equipment. The type of equipment your Cloud hosting providers uses, the type of data center that equipment is hosted in, will impact the level of service you, as a consumer, receive.
- Data Centers run on a tiered rating. The higher the tier, the better the data center. If you’re business is investing in Cloud hosting with a provider who operates out of a tier 2 or below data center, chances are your provider isn’t a good one. Remember, you get what you pay for.
- Geo Diversification. The idea of geo diversification is simple. Let’s say you are located in New York City and your data center is likewise located in New York City. As happened with Hurricane Sandy, let’s say your data center goes offline due to power issues and flooding. Geo Diversification means your hosting provider operates another data center outside of the same electrical power grid radius as their home New York City data center. This ensures even when a hurricane sweeps through New York City, your backup data center located in Chicago, IL is up and running keeping your business online.
This said, the following is a list of data centers operated by Hosting.com, Peer 1 Hosting and Windstream.
Hosting.com – Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, Irvine, CA, Louisville, KY, Newark, DE, and San Francisco, CA
Peer 1 Hosting – Amsterdam, NL, Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Frankfurt, DE, Fremont, CA, London, UK, Los Angeles, CA, Miami, FL, Montreal, CA, Munich, DE, New York City, NY, Portsmouth, UK, San Antonio, TX, San Jose, CA, Seattle, WA, Toronto, CA, Vancouver, CA, and WashingtonD.C.,
Windstream – Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Andover, MA, Charlotte, NC, Chicago, IL, Houston, TX, Jacksonville, FL, Little Rock, AK, Milwaukee, WI, Brookfield, WI, Nashville, TN, Bethlehem, PA, Ephrata, PA, State College, PA, Philadelphia, PA, Phoenix, AZ, Raleigh, NC, Cary, NC, Research Triangle Park, NC, Richmond, VA, Tampa, FL and WashingtonD.C.
If you are judging a Cloud hosting platform on the basis of how many data center locations they operate from, you would be right to gravitate towards Windsteam and Peer 1 Hosting over Hosting.com. When it comes to data center geo diversification, both Windstream and Peer 1 outperform Hosting.com.
Now, the last item we need to discuss are the differences within Hosting.com, Windstream and Peer 1 Hosting when it comes to Hybrid Cloud solutions.
Hybrid Cloud Solutions with Hosting.com, Peer 1 Hosting and Windstream
If you have spent any time around the Cloud industry in the past two years, you know that hybrid Cloud deployments are all the rage. Every company from Rackspace, to Amazon and VMWare to IBM have been pushing their hybrid option hard.
For those out of the know, Hybrid Cloud deployments allow a company to utilize both public cloud infrastructure for less secure data and private cloud infrastructures for more secure data. A hybrid cloud deployment enables consumers to allocate resources where they need and to more granularly control the security permissions of on-site/off-site data.
A quick comparison between Windstream, Hosting.com and Peer 1 hosting.
Windstream Hybrid Cloud
- Provides cost control and flexibility of the public cloud plus the secure, dedicated environment of the private cloud
- Works to handle overflow situations during time of peak use
- Cross-connects existing back-end resources
Windstream markets their hybrid cloud deployment for “businesses that want cloud benefits while meeting the requirements of a physically separate environment” and for companies in need of “large CPU demands and storage capabilities” matched with “organizations with limited physical infrastructure.”
Hosting.com Hybrid Cloud
- Provides consumers with the ability to harness virtual and physical resources within the same virtual local area network (VLAN)
- Enables incremental virtual hardware refreshes and updates
- Auto scale determined by set limitations
Hosting.com markets their hybrid cloud deployment as a service with, “increased computing power and improved data management with high security and 100% availability” mixed with a custom fit infrastructure which “can be mixed and matched to create hybrid managed cloud environment fully suited to the organization’s unique requirements.”
Peer 1 Hosting Hybrid Cloud
Peer 1 is unique in this context when compared to Hosting.com and Windstream because they do not openly market their hybrid cloud option. Although they provide a hybrid option which can be custom built through chatting with a member of their sales team, unlike Hosting.com and Windstream, Peer 1 doesn’t openly cite their hybrid option as a major offering.
This said, the Peer 1 hybrid cloud allows for various types of virtualization (VMWare, Xen), burst and auto scaling, comprehensive disaster recovery plans and utility based pricing plans custom built to suit custom budgets/needs.
A Final Note on Cloud Pricing with Hosting.com, Peer 1 Hosting and Windstream
While many hosting review sites choose to focus on price models of Cloud services, it serves no purpose in this context simply because every good Cloud hosting provider – Hosting.com, Peer 1 Hosting and Windstream – all function by building custom solutions per client. Instead of simply purchasing a group of virtual servers at a singular price, all three featured providers work with consumers to create a public, private or hybrid deployment of their need.
As such, pricing will run the gambit and can only be fully determined once you, as a consumer, understand your need.