It’s a common complaint among businesses using a hosted infrastructure provider: while the initial services provided go above and beyond expectations, it soon becomes clear that continual improvement isn’t a top priority for the cloud provider. Instead, long-term contracts lock-in customers to mediocre service, leading to them missing out on benefits and new functionality with their hosted private cloud solution.
The answer? Choosing a hosting provider that continually invests in improving their private Cloud.
While vendors do their best to wow potential customers during the sales cycle, they can’t replace a demonstrable history of continued improvement and innovation – and this is what customers should be looking for in selecting a cloud provider. Gartner notes that:
“The most differentiated providers will be able to support customers’ workloads today while preparing them for a more cloud-native future.”
Two of the most important areas to look for vendor investment are the efforts towards internal DevOps and proprietary IP, and external connections to value-adding partners:
DevOps, Automation, and IP
As privately hosted clouds lack the massive trove of resources available to hyperscalers, it’s increasingly important for vendors to continue their investment into internal DevOps solutions that bring business value to their customers. Traditionally, this means automating repeatable processes or adding new features to an existing cloud offering.
One of the most important tools for hosted private clouds to provide value to customers is automation. Automating processes improves the agility of an organization and lightens the burden on operational teams. Take the server build automation tool, Hydra, as an example: this internal DevOps initiative allows hosted customers to spin up numerous servers in a fraction of the time it would normally take manually. Server build automation gives customers the scalability that often prevents wary prospects from implementing a private cloud, allowing for the best of both worlds: the control of a private cloud with scaling ability.
Managed Service Partner Ecosystem
While internal initiatives are crucial to building a consistent stream of value for customers, it doesn’t end there. As hosted private cloud providers are much smaller than public hyperscalers, supplementing their offerings with valuable partnerships is key. Customers should evaluate vendors to understand where any gaps exist that are relevant to the customer needs, and if they have existing partnerships to address them. Common areas to look at when evaluating a partner ecosystem include automation, testing, end-user education.
Hosted private cloud providers offer a trade-off from the hyperscale clouds: more control over your infrastructure, in exchange for what is usually perceived as less agility and functionality. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Matching your business requirements with a hosted private cloud vendor that has the internal resources and external connections to satisfy them can provide the sweet-spot in private cloud solutions.
For more information on how a service provider’s own investment in their hosting capabilities helps customers, check out the eBook Oracle Infrastructure Technologies – providing an in depth breakdown of the DevOps solutions built for our hosting customers.