Whether you look at yourself as a traditional hosting provider, a managed service provider or some other type of hosted service provider, chances are good that you’ve given at least some thought to how you might provide your customers with an infrastructure as a service cloud service, and how you might go about building the platform for that.

The good news is that you have plenty of options when it comes to the software for developing that infrastructure as a service cloud platform. But evaluating those options can be a daunting project, considering how many variations, and degrees of sophistication, there are in the market.

What may be of particular significance to the service providers out there is the degree to which some of these tools may be designed around their businesses and business models, with functions for packaging cloud services for customers, billing and other key service provider functions.

Here are a couple of reasons why HostingCon might be the best place to do some of that comparison shopping.

Access: First of all it’s a great place to meet the people who develop cloud components face to face. Companies like Dell, Rackspace, Citrix, CA, OnApp and many others have had a significant presence in the HostingCon exhibit hall in the past, and plenty of presence around the show. Meeting with the companies whose tools you want to evaluate is one of the best ways to get a detailed look at the selling points and the value propositions of a given tool.

Advice: Even more valuable than access to the platform vendors themselves may be the opportunity to meet with the service providers who are building on those platforms. The HostingCon attendee list is filled with hosts, managed service providers and other hosted service providers, many of them a few steps further down that path to building out the cloud. In many cases, attendees are happy, even eager, to share notes about the choices they’ve made and the impact those choices have had. Talking with peers may be the best way to get answers to your specific questions about the tools you’re evaluating.

Education: We’re very aware that this choice is one faced by a large chunk of HostingCon constituents, and that it’s something they want to see addressed in the program. To that end, we’re tapping both the vendors and the service providers in the cloud space to help hosting providers who haven’t yet made that move fully understand the options at hand, and why they might make one choice versus another.

If infrastructure as a service cloud services are on your horizon, HostingCon could definitely be the event that helps to get you there.


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