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Improving Your SaaS Cloud Reliability with Colocation

By: Blair Felter on July 9, 2020

When customers sign up for a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, they do so expecting to have access to the platform whenever they need it. That’s why cloud reliability is a critical factor in the success of any SaaS company. Although many SaaS companies are naturally drawn to public cloud services when it comes to hosting their network, their services could benefit immensely by turning to the more reliable infrastructure offered by colocation data centers.

How is Cloud Reliability Measured?

Since all cloud-based services are delivered over an internet connection, their reliability is measured in terms of network uptime. A measurement of how much time the provider’s systems are up and running over a set period of time (typically a month or a year), uptime reliability is expressed as a percentage. The closer uptime gets to 100%, the less likely it is to experience periods of network outages or service disruption that impact data availability.

Every cloud provider guarantees a certain level of uptime to customers through a service level agreement (SLA), which stipulates the percentage of uptime customers can expect and how the provider will compensate them if uptime falls below that level. This is important because system downtime can have a devastating impact on an organization, costing them substantially in terms of lost revenue, missed opportunities, and damaged brand reputation.

Most providers deliver 99.99% uptime when it comes to cloud reliability. This might sound like a high number, but it actually translates to almost an hour of downtime over the course of a year. Broken down by month, that’s a little over four minutes of downtime. Again, it might not sound like much, but a few minutes of downtime at the wrong moment (like, say, a heavy shopping day for the retail industry) can have outsized consequences that are difficult to overcome.

Why Cloud Reliability Matters for Your SaaS Business

When SaaS companies are setting up their networks, they need to keep cloud reliability and uptime in mind. Few things are more damaging to an online-based business than a reputation for unreliability. If customers think a SaaS provider’s solutions are unreliable or suffer frequent outages, they will quickly move on to a competitor (of which there are probably several).

Unfortunately, uptime reliability isn’t entirely within the SaaS business’s control. Unless they’re managing their own infrastructure on-premises (which is typically only available to major enterprises with the capital resources to do so), they are relying upon their hosting provider to deliver high levels of uptime availability. If a SaaS business is building and hosting its software in the cloud, it won’t be able to offer an SLA that exceeds the provider’s cloud reliability.

It’s incredibly important, then, for SaaS companies to find the right infrastructure that is capable of meeting their uptime expectations. Developing stable, reliable software services is difficult enough without having to worry about whether or not a cloud provider can hold up their end of the bargain by delivering reliable network infrastructure. When the network goes down and customers are unable to access their data or applications, they’re not going to stop to question whether the fault lies with the SaaS provider or their chosen cloud vendor. All they know is that they can’t use the software they’re paying for and may begin looking elsewhere for more reliable alternatives.

Choosing the Best Option for Your SaaS Cloud Reliability

While public cloud platforms offer tremendous flexibility and affordable pricing, they aren’t always the most attractive solution from an uptime standpoint. The biggest names in cloud computing (Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and IBM Cloud) may be powerful and easy to work with, but their cloud reliability leaves something to be desired, rarely exceeding an SLA of 99.99%. While some less prominent cloud providers may offer higher levels of cloud reliability, there is always some risk these smaller companies won’t be around for the long haul.

For many SaaS providers, the best choice for hosting their network can be found with a colocation data center. While this may require them to host their essential data and applications on physical hardware, the tradeoff in terms of reliability, security, and control is often well worth the investment in equipment.

The Colocation Advantage

Colocation data centers are built from the ground up with reliability and redundancy in mind. They feature an extensive array of backup systems and safeguards to ensure that they keep their clients’ essential systems up and running no matter the circumstances. vXchnge’s data centers, for example, are engineered for perfection with full N+1 redundancies and backed by industry-leading 100% uptime SLAs. Hosting SaaS networks within a data center environment also gives companies access to disaster recovery services and geo-diverse backup options that help to mitigate risk and ensure business continuity.

More importantly, colocation data centers offer far greater control and visibility than SaaS companies could hope to get from leading cloud providers. That’s because public cloud services tend to be rather vague when it comes to allowing customers to see how they’re utilizing cloud resources. This can lead to some unpleasant surprises when the bill arrives each month. With intelligent monitoring platforms like vXchnge’s award-winning in\site, however, colocation customers can monitor their power and bandwidth consumption in real-time, allowing them to make adjustments to their capacity as they’re needed. Thanks to this unprecedented level of transparency SaaS companies can manage their resources more effectively and develop more accurate plans for scaling their services in the future.

Even better, since colocation data centers provide a robust, carrier-neutral connectivity environment, customers can easily access any additional services they need through lightning-fast direct cloud on-ramps. Far from giving up the flexibility of cloud computing, colocating assets in a data center infrastructure actually gives SaaS companies more options when it comes to scaling their services and building dynamic hybrid IT networks. Essential data and applications can remain safe within the highly secure and reliable data center environment to ensure that cloud reliability never becomes an issue for their customers.

Boost Your Cloud Reliability with vXchnge

With data center locations in strategic growth markets across the country, vXchnge offers colocation services that allow SaaS companies to deliver low-latency services that put their networks closer to their customers. Backed by 100% uptime SLAs, our data centers provide the most secure and reliable environment for SaaS solutions to keep their systems up and running when it matters most. To learn more about how vXchnge can enhance your SaaS cloud reliability, contact one of our colocation experts today.

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