The hosting market is booming as more businesses look to third-party hosting providers to outsource much of the storage, delivery and network security of their applications. By doing this, business are able to take advantage of emerging technologies and expert level service, while keeping costs low, lowering risk and removing complexity from their IT network.
With that growing demand comes technology maturity and the proliferation of technologies for a cloud-in-a-box solution, which has lowered the basic barrier of entry to the market. While most providers offer basic services — like networking, local storage capacity and processing power provided by physical or virtual machines — there are a number of other capabilities that are needed for enterprise data centers. Let’s take a look at a few of them below, so you know what customers are looking for when searching for their next hosting provider.
Value Added Services for Hosted Customers
- Load Balancing and SSL Termination – This service allows customers to scale their application across multiple hosted servers and virtual machines, while offering full transaction privacy. This is a must have for mid-sized enterprises moving to the cloud. If you already provide this service consider the added value of also providing single, customer dedicated load balancing with an SLA guarantee.
- Web Application Response Time Optimization – New technologies of Web Performance Optimization save development expenses and accelerate the page view time considerably. Hosting providers who offer a Web optimization service are the first choice for any online business that moves to the cloud. This service allows hosting sites to enjoy part of the budget that has historically gone exclusively to content delivery network providers.
- Application Performance Measurements – One thing that is stopping customers from hosting their applications is the loss of application performance monitoring. While hosting providers don’t want to commit to a performance SLA, many offer real-time collection of the user experience, providing customers the full visibility and confidence in their service, plus performance and measurement services that customers can use for capacity planning and trouble shooting.
- DDoS Protection – Cyber attacks have become a major threat to organizations. Many enterprises use DDoS services from their ISP or other DDoS providers when they serve their applications from their local data center, mostly because they don’t have the level of expertise in-house that is required to prevent attacks. When moving to a hosting service, customers prefer getting the services from the hosting provider. DDoS mitigation tools are available today for easy integration to the hosting provider perimeter where they can effectively protect the hosting infrastructure and customers application
- Web Application Protection and Compliance – End-user facing applications, especially those that involve secure transactions, require an extra layer of protection and compliance to regulations. Customers are very happy to hand off the responsibility of protecting their applications and guaranteeing compliance to the experts. That value-added service can be provided by using Web application firewalls. Also, enterprise applications are often similar to each other, using off-the-shelf CMS from Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and others. For that reason, hosting providers find it easy to repeatedly sell the same protection services to a large number of customers.
As the hosting competition increases, it’s important to include all of these extra services to generate increased revenue and secure customers that are searching for feature-rich single source providers. Plus, you will find that increasingly large budgets are being spent on these services elsewhere that could easily be provided by the hosting company itself.