Hosting services are an essential part of every solution we build. From websites to intranets through document management systems, all business platforms need an infrastructure which is tailored to their specific needs. Not only is this relevant for running and supporting applications in production, but hosting also plays a crucial role during the development and testing phases of digital projects.
As more and more companies migrate their business applications to cloud hosting infrastructure, many realize sooner rather than later that their original cloud investment can’t handle their business growth, performance issues or compliance requirements. This is where a Managed Hosting platform comes in. Before you ponder going with a self-managed solution, check how you can accelerate projects and optimize resources by combining a robust cloud infrastructure with a hands-on managed hosting services provider.
1. A full suite of advanced features and services from a single partner
Managed hosting traditionally encompasses three main parts: 1) Pure hardware infrastructure (physical or virtual machines); 2) Software stack (operating system, middleware, database software, etc.); and 3) Managed services (monitoring and reporting, scaling, installing updates, etc.). Offloading these concerns to a single managed services provider means you gain access to a wide range of advanced services, highly specialized talent and the latest technologies without having to worry about managing multiple vendor relationships.
2. A consultative approach and customized options for your digital projects
An important point of understanding is that one size doesn’t always fit all when it comes to cloud hosting and managed services. You no longer need to spend time and energy to understand and manage the technology and services associated, but rather that you have your managed hosting services provider on your side to provide guidance and planning. This consultative approach helps you shape the right solution for your platforms’ requirements and to support a company’s evolving cloud environment. For example, for the hardware infrastructure of our Managed Hosting platform, we decided to go for a full cloud infrastructure. But depending on the specific needs of the customer application, we make use of Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure as the underlying technology.
3. More control and enhanced reliability (and no need for extra support staff)
Cloud hosting also means having more control over aspects like security, capacity, availability and performance, which are crucial for running applications in production. By relying on cloud infrastructure, you don’t need to spend resources to manage data centers, networks etc.
In the build stages of projects it facilitates development teams by providing the necessary infrastructure on a timely basis, adding that extra agility which is especially important in this phase. Moreover, with your digital partner overseeing development and hosting, they will tailor the working setup to incorporate support for the existing deployment processes and workflows. After go-live, your teams can focus on delivering value in areas directly impacting the applications and not worry about infrastructure.
At Acolad, our international Service Center team takes care of monitoring the platform, and is responsible for maintaining the platform on infrastructure level as well as on application level, allowing us to quickly scale available resources and spin up extra services when needed.
4. Cloud migration expertise and scalability on demand
For the basis of our software stack, we adopted a container-based architecture. Containers allow us to package various applications and services needed in a standardized format, so we can refine every element of a solution and facilitate reuse across different projects. Moreover, containers are portable across hosting environments (e.g. it allows us to transition a whole solution from AWS to Azure in a relatively short period of time).
Containers also provide us with the necessary abstraction to scale a solution horizontally by dynamically spinning up new instances of an application (or just parts of an application) and automatically distributing these instances across hardware resources. In practice, we use Kubernetes to orchestrate our containers.
Our experience in building and running Digital Experience and Enterprise Content solutions has taught us that tight integration between the application, the underlying infrastructure and software stack is essential to have an optimal end result. That’s why we started to use a Cloud Hosting infrastructure for our customer projects years ago. On one hand, we support our technical teams in the implementation and development phases of the projects, and on the other hand, we ensure our customer applications run exactly like we envisioned them.
Since we adopted cloud hosting in our own project methodology we have seen a huge time saving, not only in preparing for new projects, but also in executing tests, getting the project validated and in transitioning projects from development to production. This definitely leveraged our way of working, because in the end, the benefit is for our customers, to whom we want to deliver successful projects, in time.