Top 15 Attributes of an IaaS Hosting Provider

Choosing an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) hosting provider and getting it all set up, and then discovering that the service cannot provide all the functions your company needs, is going to result in a problem. This kind of decision requires knowing what to look for and what your company will need before you subscribe.

There are many differences between IaaS hosting providers, and you need to select them based on the needs of your company and by best features. Here is a brief rundown of the top 15 attributes you want your IaaS hosting provider to offer.

  1. High Availability – Every cloud company will guarantee a certain amount of uptime for its hosted servers. Most will offer a refund based on the amount of downtime if they fail to provide it. This should be tested carefully during the trial phase.

    The best IaaS providers should be able to offer 99.99 – 100% uptime on most services.

  2. Storage Options – The amount of storage available is important and so is the type. Companies need to offer both object and block storage to give you the greatest amount of flexibility. Pricing will be different.
  3. Ability to Scale on Resources – One of the primary benefits of IaaS is its ability to scale as needed. It is not necessary to buy anticipated size or resources in advance of an actual need, since simply paying for more services enables instant access.
  4. Offers Load Balancing – Load balancing enables spikes in traffic to not slow down your speed. It automatically diverts workloads in the cloud infrastructure to more than one server as needed, ensuring that you continue to get the performance you want.
  5. High Quality Data Center – There will be a difference in cloud services that are housed within a corporation and a stand-alone center. Data centers may be registered by Tiers and certified, which enables you to know how well it is prepared for uninterrupted service. Tier 1 is the lowest and Tier 4 is the highest and best. Often here top IaaS Providers offer SSAE Audited Data Centers.
  6. Ability to Monitor Services – Being able to monitor your servers and usage is important, so you can see what is happening and know how to save money. Amazon’s monitoring lets users see features such as load balancing, the condition and usage of your servers, in-out data, the number of connections, and your current billing. Monitoring is provided free by some companies, and it is not third-party.
  7. Response Time – When problems occur in the cloud, you want fast responses. Cloud companies may offer guaranteed response times when certain types of problems occur. Be sure that support is available 24×7 and that an unlimited number of support requests are available. Response time to expect from a trustworthy provider should be within one hour.
  8. Provide Alerts – Alerts are provided to the cloud company when a problem is detected. In some cases, such as Rackspace, they also monitor the user’s websites and applications to ensure smooth operations. This is regardless of where the data center is located. Some companies give customers access to the monitoring information.
  9. Security – Be aware of what kind of security the data center has, as well as how secure the server is that you are using. The amount of security you want depends on the nature of the data you will be using. Companies using IaaS also need to know their responsibility when it comes to security. Look for SAS-70 type 2 certification for the best security.
  10. Customer Service – When you need help, companies offer different levels of customer service. Some may only direct you to forums, but the best will provide multiple ways to interact with the company, including 24×7 services.
  11. Backups and Recovery – Getting backups and recovery service is essential. Some companies, such as Microsoft and its Azure hosting, offers geo-replication, which provides data redundancy in multiple regions to ensure it is not lost if a local disaster occurs.
  12. Pricing Plans – Plans are available that offer monthly, yearly, and pay-as-you-go options. Discounts may be available, but the most money could probably be saved with the pay-as-you-go plans.
  13. Costs for Data Transfer – The costs of transferring data in and out will vary considerably between companies. Some companies continue to cut their costs for data transfer. Cloud users need to know the exact cost for data transfers to determine projected cost upfront.
  14. Free Trial – The trial enables the potential customer to test and tweak your configuration on the virtual machines, as well as features available, and to test pricing based on peak loads. It will also enable you to see if problems occur while at peak loads, such as slower performance or outages.
  15. Location of the Datacenter – Knowing where the data center for the IaaS hosting provider is located is important. This is because you need to know if it is in a corporation, or a dedicated facility as a data center, if it is local, and what features does it have in the way of environmental climate control and security.

Knowing these attributes of an IaaS hosting provider will help you choose the best one for your needs. Take your time and consider all of these as you make your decision.