Selecting a Cloud Provider: 5 Things You Want from Your Cloud Engineering Team

When selecting a cloud provider… What do great cloud products look like? If you ask 100 product teams, you’ll get 100 different answers. For HOSTING, our mission is to deliver high performing products –customer Experience being king.

When comparing cloud providers, it is imperative that you take a look into the efforts and processes that each Cloud Engineering Team uses to advance their technology. When it comes to HOSTING, our Engineers constantly refer back to User Experience as the highest measure of success. It must be, since they develop and deploy hundreds of changes a year. After years of continuous improvement, HOSTING has a set of values that form the foundation of reliability in our products and services. For those in the Agile community, you will find many of these familiar and refreshing:

1. Continuous Integration & Frequent Releases

Our Engineers commit hundreds of lines of code daily. With each revision, the HOSTING Customer Portal is automatically built to ensure it is ready for production. By releasing our Customer Portal and services as soon as they are ready (several times per week, even), we get feedback instantly as to what works for you, and what needs more polish.

2. Short Iterations

With more companies leveraging Cloud solutions, it’s imperative your Cloud Services Provider evolve as rapidly as the industry. By working in short, i.e., 2-week, iterations, your Cloud Provider not only can put new offerings on the table rapidly, but also offers you sneak peeks into what new offerings are on the way.

3. Testing

In order for any code or services to make their way into your hands, there has to be a well-defined test strategy. On the infrastructure side, we put our services to the test through capacity testing, high watermark testing, and brutal performance tests, not to mention production testing. When the offering is related to automation or our Portal, this also includes unit tests, automated regression tests, and manual testing by anyone and everyone. One gaining exercise at HOSTING is Hallway Testing; a process where our Engineers pull random HOSTERS from the hallway to walk through an experience and ensure edge cases are caught and the service is ready for primetime.

4. High Availability

You expect your infrastructure to be always on, and so do we. All of our product offerings are grilled for availability limitations, and engineered with redundancy in mind. Better than active/passive, our new Customer Portal was designed to be Active/Active and served from multiple datacenters at once.

5. Customer Value

If your Cloud Provider is delivering products and services that don’t help you grow your business, it’s time to find a new partner. Every one of our products (and features within that product) is engineered from the position of Customer Value. From User Story to Sprint Demo, a feature must be beneficial to our customers in order to make it to production.

Movements like Agile, Continuous Deployment, and The Lean Startup are keeping Engineering Teams constantly tweaking their practices. If you want to keep up, ensure the team behind your Cloud is doing so first.

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