Announced today, uRefer, the leading referral marketing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, has signed an agreement with Online Tech to host their SaaS referral platform in Online Tech’s SAS-70 certified data centers. Posted on uRefer’s company blog earlier in the week, uRefer had this to say about the new partnership, “Online Technologies is an Ann Arbor-based company with an incredibly rich service offering. They have been able to handle every requirement that we have thrown them, from physical security to backup and …

To some extent, managed dedicated servers hosted in an outsourced data center have now become a trusted data bank on which the SaaS business model depends. That explains why many SaaS providers are being required to achieve PCI compliance or HIPAA compliance, as well as periodic and detailed audits of their systems, such as a SAS-70 audit. Excerpt from:  e-Tips: Seven Essential Hosting Questions For SaaS Providers.

Nothing is more frustrating as a SaaS company than getting little to no information about a service issue from your hosting provider.  The SaaS best hosting providers have a genuine and very visible culture of service that prevents this from happening to their clients. Expect to see systems such as port-level network monitoring plus automated trouble ticket notification in the event of a service degradation or break/fix issue. And any reputable provider will be following clearly documented guidelines for all …

SaaS companies are nervous about getting locked into hosting solutions that restrict their growth and profitability.   Imagine you had to build a store but you’ve no idea if it should be 500 sq feet or the size of two city blocks. It’s very important to select a SaaS hosting provider who has the infrastructure to support your growth and not be a bottleneck. Excerpt from:  e-Tips: Seven Essential Hosting Questions For SaaS Providers.

Real-time Maintenance Windows Should Not Affect Your Customers.   If you design your hardware stack properly (see the model described in the Internet Delivery Stack) and make use of redundant hardware, you can still maintain full production availability even during a maintenance window. Real-time maintenance allows you to roll out new features more quickly as you avoid having to schedule and announce maintenance windows to your customers.  Your developers will appreciate it because they’re able to work more normal business hours, …

Business-class data centers can cost from $1000 to $1500 per square foot to construct, equating to 10 – 20 year investments. This means that significant capital investments are required to provide and maintain space, power, cooling and network functionality in a way that is cost-effective for SaaS companies to take advantage of. At the server level this translates into being able to deliver a range of high-end and affordable managed server solutions that match business requirements. Excerpt from:  Seven Essential …

Want to know a SaaS company’s worst hosting provider nightmare?  Signing a contract only to find their SaaS hosting provider does little more than deliver ‘ping, power & pipe’. What’s can be saved in lowered monthly costs can be lost many times over by not being able to scale up the infrastructure to support rapid growth, or recover quickly enough from operational problems. Look for a framework to that helps you understand your SaaS Hosting service offerings appropriately. At Online …

Q1: Is a 100% Service Guarantee the Same Thing as an SLA? Many hosting providers will offer you a “guaranteed 100%” uptime. However, this doesn’t mean they’ll actually deliver 100% uptime.  Many give you get a service credit if they don’t deliver 100% uptime. Make sure you carefully review their uptime statistics and SLAs to make sure it is consistent with the SLA you’re offering to your customers. Excerpt from:  Seven Essential Hosting Questions For SaaS Providers

Update: SAS 70 reports only on controls related to financial reporting. If you need assurance of controls directly related to data centers, including privacy, security and availability, look for a SOC 2 report. SAS 70 was replaced by SSAE 16 in June 2011. Many of our clients require SAS 70 because their SaaS products are being delivered to publicly held companies or their customers require SAS 70 as a “good housekeeping” seal of approval. Others look at SAS 70 as …

Monitoring Increases Uptime for SaaS Hosting and E-Commerce Hosting (Ann Arbor, MI – September 2nd, 2009) The majority of user frustrations with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and E-commerce applications aren’t caused by hosting infrastructure failures, such as power or Internet connectivity. Rather, most user problems are rooted in application and server performance problems that can be proactively monitored and addressed before they impact the user experience. To overcome this issue, Online Tech introduced OTMonitor™, a multi-probe monitoring service for colocation servers and …

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