There are numerous providers for virtual desktops services available and as such, finding one that suits your specific business needs can be difficult. However, it pays to plan and before you begin you should have a list of your needs and questions to ask your hosted desktop service provider. One of the most important aspects has to be disaster recovery; whilst you will find that most data centres have a plan in place to protect your data, some may not be adequately prepared in the event of a power outage, or internet services going down, for example.
Having a back-up plan is vital to the operation of your business and as such, there are a few things that you need to ensure that your provider has put in place to protect you, the customer, and your business.
- Does the supplier have secondary, backup servers in the event that the main servers fail
- Does the supplier have more than one internet connection available in the event that one should go down
- Does the supplier provide 24/7 support so that you can call them if you experience problems at your end
- Does the supplier have safety and further backup measures in place such as fire-suppression systems, generator and battery backups in the event of a power outage and is the data sent between you and the data centre secured with encryption
- Up and downtimes – obviously data centres will need necessary maintenance carrying out on their systems at some points and it’s essential that you discuss this at the outset. Most firms will carry out essential works outside of working hours so that your business is not affected, but this may not always be the case, so do ask about what percentage of uptime your contract will include
As well of this, there is also the question of security as many companies worry about this, often unnecessarily. Ensure your provider is protected via firewalls and other, software/hardware related security practices and that the data centre itself is secure in that it is physically manned.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that should anything happen to make the data centre go down as in Force Majeure (acts of God) then how far down the customer line will you be in importance as far as your provider gets to you. It may be worth paying for a premium package if you rely heavily on SaaS services as you will then be given more priority for customers who are paying for less important products (to their business).
In addition to this, does your provider give you a get out clause in the event that they perform badly? Many contracts are on a pay monthly basis but you may still be contracted to the firm for a certain term – check this out and ask how easy it is to walk away should your service provider prove to be unreliable.
If you’re an IT company and looking for a good provider who you can become a reseller for, then these are certainly questions that you should be asking too; here at GoCloud, we have all of these covered, of course and are one of the few companies that actually own all of our equipment in the UK. Check out our FAQ and Features pages for more details.