Claranet has offered managed application hosting for many years, but when you look out into the hosting market I am constantly surprised by other hosting companies running for the hills at the very thought of taking over the control and ownership of a customer’s live environment, and offering an SLA based on anything above the OS.
Why are most hosting companies scared of taking control above the OS?
It's clearly no mean feat, you simply can't take over a customer’s application and not expect issues. You have to learn how the customers application works, the issues it faces, and devise a contingency plan just in case something goes wrong. Organisations need to invest in processes such as ITIL which is a best practice framework for the provision of quality IT services, build the processes and documentation, and ensure they have sufficient qualified engineers to be able to support an application and all the infrastructure around it 24/7/365.
Why should developers care about managed application hosting?
It's simple, the developer’s core focus is usually based around delivering great code. However, we typically find that they somehow manage to also get burdened with having to run the hosting environment as a side-line. This generally happens because they possess the technical ability and understand their app, but running infrastructure is not what they have studied for years and trained for, and when problems happen this diverts their attention from core business projects.
By letting Claranet manage the application, developers can concentrate on spending more time delivering code, meeting deadlines, and adding more value to the strategic projects their organisation demands.
Does it mean you lose control?
Initially it might feel like you lose some control as you don't have direct access to the live environment, but this is part of applying best practice to how your application is managed and will mean that we can offer you an application availability based SLA. An application availability SLA means that we simply guarantee the uptime of your application. We can even go so far as to guarantee user journeys as being the bench mark for the SLA, so can users click the checkout button on an ecommerce site for example, and if not the application is classed as down and our engineers are notified and take action to remedy this. A developer can’t offer or support an SLA like us because they have many other responsibilities to focus on.
What does a typical managed application hosting solution look like?
We provide customers with access to a pre-production (Optional) and staging environment and have change control processes in place to transition new code to the live environment. The change control process is an essential part of the service ensuring best practice is adhered to. Emergency escalations are available should they be required for urgent changes.
I'm still confused by what you’re offering, what is it again!?
The following diagram does help to visualise the service, with the red dotted line outlining the area we wrap the SLA around,
Is our service right for you?
It does depend on your focus, the application, and how critical it is to your business. We find it is typically revenue generating applications that suit managed application hosting, where any downtime is simply unacceptable and costly to the business. The service also suits teams or organisations who just simply have no expertise or do not want to concern themselves with running a hosting environment. If you are a software developer for example, consider if that is really core to your business, could you free up your team to concentrate on delivering the next release? By outsourcing application management to Claranet we can quickly demonstrate an ROI compared to in-house management, and have plenty of case studies to back up the benefits.
Managed application hosting case studies