Consumers are not expected to understand the nature of the IT computing services they use, to know what’s behind, and to be able to differentiate one provider or another. Brand means a lot in any business – the bigger the better. Therefore, the big IT Hosting and Cloud computing brands get the most clients. They might or might not have the best possible IT infrastructure and they might or might not have a service that is stable enough. What they can’t do better than their smaller and middle-sized competitors for sure is to personalize the service and the customer support.
In this article, I’d try to summarize the pros and cons of using IT infrastructure and Managed Services from both groups.
What The Big Service Providers Are Good In?
They are stable and their core hardware infrastructure must be bulletproof. The purchasing power of companies like Amazon, Rackspace, Softlayer (IBM) allows them to build stable infrastructures.
The big providers have a scale. They can accommodate large projects and should be able to allow fast deployments on new computing capacity in a short time.
Going with a large company means that the client is supposed to receive an IT Service, defined and delivered in accordance with certain procedures. The whole process behind the service delivery should be well organized. Otherwise, the company would not be able to deliver at all.
Big companies usually have their own (or just lease) network and it is usually built for a specific purpose and clients should expect that it is reliable enough.
Network connectivity is another thing that is expected to work well for a client of a large Web hosting or Cloud service provider. Such companies usually host their infrastructure in large IT facilities or data centers close to the major Internet traffic hubs and peering points.
What The Big Brands Aren’t Good In?
They cannot beat the smaller competitors in Customer Support. Their Support operations are usually divided between different departments and the support process is usually slow. It would be very frustrating for their clients. Support Tickets are escalated and moved between departments, so it a lot takes time before someone takes responsibility to resolve an issue. The smaller the client is, the slower the resolution process would be.
Inflexibility is one thing that clients must worry about when they are going with any large or corporate provider. Any change on the service, contract amendments, extensions, or cancelations are always difficult and usually, come with additional charges. Just imagine that you need an ISP to activate an IPv6 session on your physically dedicated internet port which is already configured and in use for IPv6 Internet traffic. You’d be asked to pay both for setup and a monthly recurring fee for that if you use any of the large ISPs. It would be different if you buy from a small carrier.
Contracts must be honored and if a client has signed a 1 or 2-year contract, one would be expected to fulfill one’s obligations. However, this does not mean that Service Provider should refuse to consider or discuss any contract amendments in favor of its client.
Data transfer and bandwidth are usually expensive with large companies. Clients who haven’t taken their time to understand how overage data transfer usage works would find a huge bill in their accounts at the end of any service month. They will be expected to pay that one within a certain time frame and their service provider would not be flexible on that.
Billing is another issue for clients of large web hosting, application service providers, and ISP. It lacks transparency and clarification as those who work in the Billing departments have nothing to do with those who provisioned the service and those who support it. Therefore, one can always find a mess in one’s account, and should it happen it is a nightmare. It takes ages for corporate structures to correct a mistake as most people who work for them just do not take responsibility for anything and prefer to transfer the issue to someone else.
Many other things make going with any small or middle-sized web hosting or cloud service provider the right choice.