Are there third party hosting providers that offer Zulu hosting?
Yes. And if you're not using FileMaker Server, using a hosting provider can be a big step forward in terms of security, scheduled backups, and the ability to take advantage of Zulu.
Why Third Party Hosting
Hosting your database with one of the providers below means someone else is taking care of your FileMaker Server: of updating it, tweaking it, and managing backups. Unless you have reliable automated backups in your current setup, you should consider 3rd party hosting for that reason alone. Or get your own FileMaker Server: it's invaluable.
But hosting really shines for distributed teams. These providers have fast machines on high bandwidth connections, so they can offer your users a better experience than they'd have connecting in to your office.
And of course these folks all have experience with Zulu.
The key to successful hosting is that the server you choose be "close" to you. This can be partly measured by a ping test and you'll want to ping the server you hope to use: if you're getting around 30ms pings I think you'll find it pretty peppy. More than that and you'll see some slowness. Of course what is acceptable to one person may not be to another.
But just because one person's connection to one server is slow (or fast) doesn't mean yours will be. Call the provider you're thinking of using, ask if they have a server in your part of the country, get an IP address for their server and ping it. Ask them how if you haven't done this before.
The following companies have indicated that they are set up or willing to configure their servers to host Zulu:
- 360Works ( email your request to infobox[at]360works.com )
- ODI ( http://www.oditech.com/ )
If you are interested in being a part of this list, please contact us at plugins [at] 360works.com
Zulu hosting is BYOL (bring your own license) so you'll buy a Zulu license from us and then tell your hosting partner you have one; they'll set you up with your own Zulu directory where you can register Zulu and get to work.