As virtualized dedicated servers or “virtualization” gathers popularity in the U.S., Europe and Asia five re-occurring myths appear to dominate customer minds prospecting for a potential cloud hosting provider:
#1: Cloud hosting is not secure
Securing mission critical data and applications is no joke. It’s one thing to have your own I.T. team manage this headache on-premise but quite another to trust this task to an outside agency like a hosting provider. While SaaS vendors are not perfect, leading providers like Virtual Internet have established impeccable credentials with regards Service Level Agreements that guarantee 100% uptime and managed private firewall protection delivering the highest levels of security.
They also offer fully redundant hosting environments based on High Availability (HA) server architecture with multiple HP servers, Firewall’s, Load balancers, switches and SAN arrays.
While public cloud offerings executed through VMware and Xen continue to gain sophisticated new features and elevated near-native performance, security will remain a key concern through 2011. However, expect to see hosting providers continually reevaluating their best practices and compliance levels to ensure your data remains safe.
# 2: Lack of high-level support
There is a perception amongst some sectors of the I.T. industry that enterprise-level public cloud offerings from hosting providers may lack sophisticated and consistent levels of support. In reality, there are only a few providers that employ certified professionals that have the necessary experience to handle enterprise cloud software such as VMware. Virtual Internet, for instance, is the only provider to offer VMC qualified staff who not only demonstrate the necessary technical skills but resolutely adhere to the trademarked VI-tal support policy that demand friendly, round-the-clock service from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. They also assign a technical account manager who knows you and your account and remains with you throughout the lifecyle of your term as a VI cloud customer.
#3: Cloud services are over-hyped.
It’s true that the term virtualization has been around for a long-time but it is only recently that cloud computing has reached critical mass on a grand scale. Fortune 500 companies such as Salesforce.com and Amazon.com are two leading examples of how Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms have become iconic figureheads of the cloud revolution. Any web-hosting platform without a cloud strategy is perceived to be behind the curve in offering customers cheaper, flexible and more powerful hosting options. Virtual Internet, the first provider to roll out enterprise VMware in the UK will shortly announce new cloud sandbox offerings to its customers. These examples illustrate that cloud offerings are no longer a side-play for hosting companies but perhaps one of their most important business streams.
#4: Cloud services are complicated
Not at all. Yes, there may be several confusing variations of the term cloud hosting including public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud and even community cloud, but in essence cloud hosting is meant to simplify your job as an I.T manager or CTO. Most of these services can be utilized on-demand and quickly customized to meet just about any scenario. The key word is “flexibility”. A dedicated virtual server can quite literally save you money and time.
# 5: Not all cloud services are create equal
Yes, this is true. There are very few hosting providers that offer a full complement of cloud services from the business level up to the enterprise level. Some may offer private clouds; others public. A few may offer clouds driven by Xen software but not by VMware. Virtual Internet is the only UK provider to offer both in equal quantities, including its new ‘sandbox’ cloud product. To really excel as a cloud provider requires a level of maturity that many hosts have yet to achieve. Examine comparison charts carefully to see which hosts have the most firepower to win your business. They are also usually the ones that have been around the longest and learned the hard way what is actually required to genuinely deliver world-class hosting products and first-class customer support.
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