Capacity in crisis: Key factors that determine hosting providers’ service capability during COVID-19
Internet infrastructure is under immense pressure, as it has to accommodate the increased reliance on the network, affecting end-users and businesses alike. Heficed, a full-suite network infrastructure provider, shares key factors to consider in order to determine a hosting provider’s capability to handle the impact of COVID-19, says Vincentas Grinius, CEO at Heficed.
The surge of remote workers and the increase in the public’s demand for online entertainment placed immense pressure on the entire network infrastructure, which puts the capability of hosting providers to offer quality service into question, as some may not be fully equipped to handle the increased loads with the same capacity and efficiency.
As people confined to their homes turned their focus on online shopping and services, maintaining a solid digital presence became essential for businesses trying to stay afloat. Considering the current tension in the market, determining the right hosting provider to collaborate with may not be a simple task, however, knowing the telltale signs to look out for can significantly ease the process. Here, Vincentas Grinius, CEO at Heficed, elaborates on these aspects, along with a few insights to keep in mind when choosing a solution that suits the business best.
Accumulated stock supply
A sudden stop in China’s economy due to the pandemic severely impacted the server supply chain. Data processing machines and their components are among the country’s top exported goods, therefore, with many large manufacturers forced to shut down, the stock shortage became quickly apparent.
“We always stock-up for a few months in advance so we’d be ready for any sudden changes that may occur in the market,” said Mr. Grinius. “When the pandemic hit, this security blanket allowed us to sustain our operational capacity without compromising service quality,” he added.
Making sure the hosting provider has enough bare-metal stock is one of the first aspects businesses should consider, as insufficient hardware resources could crumble under the current strain placed on the network, rendering clients unable to continue work.
Remote work preparedness
Due to enforced security measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, many had to adjust to “the new normal” by starting to work from home. Equipping staff with the necessary tools for remote work has become essential in order to sustain an efficient workflow. According to Mr. Grinius, the current circumstances exposed “companies lacking digital solutions” and “quick adaptation is the only way to come out on top.”
“Digital solutions, such as encrypted VPNs, remote desktops and other tools are not “nice-to-haves” anymore. Being technologically sophisticated is necessary to maintain operational sustainability, as well as protect employees by providing them with a safe alternative to carry out daily duties,” stated Mr. Grinius.
Hosting providers are not an exception, therefore evaluating their readiness to overcome remote work challenges can help determine their capacity to provide quality service during the crisis.
Sufficient security measures
Cyberthreats have always been a concern, however, the recent events encouraged a new wave of phishing and ransomware attacks, as hackers and other scammers are exploiting the crisis.
“Many have lowered their defence, focusing on the bigger picture – what kind of impact will the outbreak have on their business. In the meantime, scammers are leveraging the increased dependence on online communication tools to mask their illicit activity,” said Mr. Grinius.
It is crucial for any hosting provider to put up preemptive measures that could catch cybercriminals red-handed. As a result of the increasing threats for system breach, Heficed introduced Abuse management as part of their service package, which will help protect data integrity and pave the way to a more secure network.
Guaranteed hardware supply
The pandemic exposed how vulnerable international supply chains are to disruption. Due to the restrictions for air travel, cargo shipping, and closed-down borders, businesses are compelled to search for new suppliers. According to Mr. Grinius, casting a wide geographical net should be at the top of the mind for everyone seeking to scale their business.
“It is hard to predict when the current havoc will be over and, more importantly, how quickly will the industry bounce back to normal,” said Mr. Grinius. “It is vital to fill in the gaps in the supply chain, as it will not only keep the business afloat but also prepare it for the challenges that await in the aftermath.”
Lacking a trusted source for hardware supply could lead hosting providers to getting overwhelmed by traffic, in turn, limiting their service capacity.
The number of reliable ISPs
It is important to have several dependable sources for internet service, as relying on a single ISP may put the company at great risk: any interruption in the bandwidth could lead to a glitch in the service. Furthermore, if the ISP experiences a system shut down, it could enforce a full-stop upon all services offered by the hosting provider.
“Having a single ISP can put any company in serious trouble, as in an event of a system breakdown the hosting provider has no alternative source to rely on for a stable network connection,” said Mr. Grinius. “Therefore, businesses, whose data they are hosting, would suffer serious revenue loss, as consumers would not be able to complete purchases.”
According to Mr. Grinius, Heficed has several internet service providers to ensure a fault-tolerant infrastructure and prevent such worst-case scenarios, guaranteeing that the integrity of their clients’ data is well-protected.
The author is Vincentas Grinius, CEO at Heficed.