Application hosting services are increasing in demand as more business come to realize that outsourcing to a qualified managed service provider can greatly enhance the deployment process and reduce costs across the board. To help you find a service that meets the needs and expectations of your organization, we have listed some of the important factors that must be considered for an application hosting solution.
Because storage can be a rather costly proposition, it is best to take a just-in-time approach towards your inventory. By answering the questions below, you can draw a more accurate picture that might defer costs until they are absolutely vital:
– How much storage do you need now?
– How much storage will you need in the next 3 to 5 years
– How much additional storage will you require each year?
– Will you need to archive data and pull it from the main storage area? If so, how much and when?
Applications to be Hosted
How many applications do you need to host and what type of applications are they? Staging, testing, development and deployment are just some of the environments you may need hosted. In most cases, each environment has different hosting requirements in terms of availability, operational tasks, access and support. Make sure you assess the use and flow of data within and between these applications to precisely determine the requirements for each one.
Backup and Restore and Disaster Recovery
Before deciding on an application hosting provider, it is critical to define what is to be backed up, when and how often. When focusing on this area, it is also a good idea to keep disasters in mind and think of what would happen if something bad occurred and the provider’s data center became completely unusable. This is a place where you need to put a business continuity plan into effect.
SLA Monitoring and Reporting
Key performance indicators come in handy, but only when they detail what is important to your organization. Make sure you know what levels of availability the service level agreement covers as well as the applications that will be monitored. If monitoring reports are available, find out how they are to be structured and provided.
System root access usually isn’t given to parties outside of the data center staff. It is also important to know that some application providers will waive their SLAs if they can determine that a non-root access account is the cause of an outage. Because this can have a major impact on your availability, it is vital that you inquire within the provider about their root access policies before signing the contract.
The Service Contract
When it comes to application hosting, contracts define much more than what products or services will be provided and how much they cost. They also explain how organizations are to interact with each other. It is wise that you go over the contract with a fine tooth comb to prevent confusion and enable a framework for dispute resolution and continuous enhancements.