10 Tips on how to identify a quality hosting provider

Finding a quality hosting provider can be harder than it seems despite the development of the industry and a huge choice of suppliers. Setting up a quality internet infrastructure, be it dedicated servers or cloud services may have become everyday business, but choosing a provider should definitely not be left to chance. LeaseWeb has put together a list of key questions that should definitely be asked to ensure the right choice is made.

1) Find out how long the hoster has been in business.
It’s important not to have a fly by night operator. You want a host that has a track record and understands the industry.

2) Understand how good the host’s connectivity is.
The internet is global. You want a host with good “peering” to other carriers to provide good performance. The best European carriers, for example, have peering with the Frankfurt internet exchange {DE-CIX}, Amsterdam {AMS-IX}, and London {LINX} exchanges as well as good connectivity to other carriers.

3) Check the quality of the support offered if there is a problem.
Is there 24/7 support? The best hosts have support technicians on the premises around the clock so that in the event of a problem the issue may be quickly addressed. Do technicians and engineers have technical certifications and regularly take continuing education?

4) Ensure that the host provides quality equipment.
This includes not only the servers themselves, but also the quality of the switches. Ensure they are well-known and reliable brands. It’s important not to necessarily save with the initial investment only to find that quality has been compromised.

5) Does the host maintain sufficient supplies of spares to deal with any equipment failures promptly?
How fast does the host promise to fix or replace failed equipment, such as servers. No one can afford long periods of downtime and needs immediate help should problems arise.

6) Does the host have redundancy?
For many organisations uptime is critical and this means there must be redundancy built into the system. Does the host have backup power in the event of a mains failure? Does it have redundant connectivity, so that if one connection goes down the host is able to smoothly transition to another?

7) Look at whether the host occupies a commercial grade datacenter.
Is the datacenter a purpose-built facility or is it just an office building with some servers in a room? A quality hoster should have a professional and secure facility center.

8) Examine how the host follows environmentally friendly procedures.
Datacenters consume a lot of energy. Is the datacenter embracing environmentally friendly initiatives, such as Cold Air Corridor to minimize cooling energy or Free Cooling to utilise outside air when the temperature outside is low?

9) Does the hoster have a good website
Any company in the internet business should have a first class website and a hosting provider should detail all services and products it owns. Look out for a press section and blog too, which will show the success and knowledge of the company.

10) Does the company have a good reputation?
Check out its customer testimonials and whether it gets a good write up in the press. There are several lists out there showing league tables of the best and worst hosting providers so check these out. Find out if its part of any initiatives such as improving online security.

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