🕒 Reading Time: 4 minutes  Infographic Layout for modern business data presentation   When looking for a cloud provider it’s very important to keep in mind that your business lives on the cloud provider’s servers. Selecting a cloud provider is very similar to selecting a business partner. The right partner can be the determining factor between success and failure. Here are six questions you should ask when looking to buy cloud hosting:
  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. Do you charge for support?
  3. How much do you charge for bandwidth?
  4. What kind of storage do you use?
  5. What operating systems do you offer?
  6. Is your cloud solution built on server grade hardware?
CARI.net opened its doors in 1997 and we are not new to providing cloud-related services. In 2003 (yes, more than 10 years ago), CARI.net built a hosting solution using what we then called “distributed computing” so that if one server went down, our customers’ websites and email would remain online. Our customers’ websites and email were distributed across multiple servers, making CARI.net the first hosting company in the world to offer what was to become cloud hosting. The system that we built was not what we would consider cloud hosting by today’s standards. That said, it introduced the concept of not having a single point of failure. This system was built on Open Source technology without the aid of any virtualization. Let’s face it; at one time or another we all get stuck. It’s times like this that a cloud hosting provider with good support makes all the difference in the world. Unlike the commodity cloud providers, CARI.net provides support for all our services. Not only do we not charge for support, but also all of our support staff are certified and available 24/7 via case, chat, or phone. Bandwidth is the “gotcha” of the cloud hosting world. A $20.00 cloud server can easily turn into a $1,200.00 cloud server when the bandwidth is added in. For example, one cloud provider charges .12 per GB for the first 10TB of outgoing bandwidth. That works out to $1,200.00 alone if you use the full 10TB of outgoing bandwidth. At CARI.net, our cloud servers come with 30TB of bandwidth for no extra cost. There has been a lot of buzz in the cloud hosting industry over fast storage. Specifically, SSD storage, and there is a reason for this. Storage has a dramatic effect on your cloud server’s performance. In fact, the most performance-impacting components in cloud hosting are disk speed and network speed. Storage is measured in IOPS (input/output operations per second), the standard unit of measurement for the maximum number of reads and writes to storage locations. An I/O request occurs each time a process reads or writes a block of data to the disk on your cloud server. As you can image, if you have slow I/O and a lot of requests your application will come to a screeching halt. When it comes to databases, fast storage is an absolute must. In addition to disk speed, network speed plays a big part in your cloud server’s performance. Your cloud server has to have immediate access to its resources. Without a fast internal network your cloud servers will not deliver the performance your customers demand. Given the importance of storage and its impact on the end user’s experience, CARI.net selected a flash array from Pure Storage. The first thing people notice when running cloud servers with CARI.net is how fast they run. Databases, which once lagged due to a large number of requests on spinning disks that just couldn’t keep up, now run at the speed of flash on CARI.net’s cloud servers.   The applications that you want to run will require different operating systems. This is why we offer cloud servers with Windows, Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, and (soon-to-be-available) Fedora. We have even made your selection easier by allowing you to choose any of the listed operating systems at no additional cost to you, making it your choice and not that of your finance department. We use enterprise grade hardware so that your business is built on the best of the best, not cheap desktop level hardware. This translates into a superior user experience. Pure Storage Logo When architecting our cloud infrastructure our focus was not just on fast storage. We knew our solution had to be flexible to meet the demands of our clients. This is why we selected Plexxi switching to create software defined networks that automatically adjust to the optimal conditions on our network. The Plexxi switches allow CARI.net’s cloud customers the ability to get the resources they need when they need them Plexxi   Going with a provider like CARI.net that can answer these tough questions will greatly improve your productivity and your clients experience. Don’t just take my word for it experience the power of cloud servers from CARI.net today. Start Today Thanks for reading, Mike Dowdy VP of Sales CARI.net