Managed Hosting Versus Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting

Why A Dedicated Server May Be Necessary

The more traffic intense websites generally require more than the average shared hosting account can offer. Shared hosting offers an excellent introduction to the Internet for you and your website, however, there will come a time in the lives of many business and even personal websites when the limitations of a shared account become blatantly obvious. These limitations can come in many ways. As well as the limitations of bandwidth and disk space, shared hosting accounts do not offer the same level of flexibility or security that managed and unmanaged dedicated hosting offers but which of these, if either, is the right choice for your needs?

The Two Types Of Dedicated Server Hosting Plans

Both are a type of dedicated server hosting plan. They offer Webmasters and businesses the opportunity to be the only website hosted on an individual server. This means that they are at less risk of being hosted on a server that is overloaded with websites and it also offers increased security. Other Webmasters can not implement high risk scripts endangering all sites on that server and because of the usually lightened load on a dedicated server your visitors will reap the benefits of a lightning fast website, reduced download times, and reduced website downtime. As long as your visitors benefit so do you.

Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting

Unmanaged hosting is the cheaper of the two alternatives and is essentially the entry point to using your own server. While you will not own the server that your website is hosted on you do lease it from the host company. The benefits of leasing are well known to most businesses. Server leasing is usually done on an annual basis meaning you can change server after twelve months to an improved, better performing one if needs be. Alternatively you may be able to negotiate improved terms to remain on the same server.

The Limits Of Service From Your Host

Unmanaged dedicated hosting is just that. While the host will be responsible for the initial tailoring of the server to meet your requirements their interjection is minimal after the installation and setup process is complete. Following discussions between you and the host, they will virtually speaking provide you with the required machine that has the appropriate operating system and some other administration software also included. They will then provide you with remote access details. Some unmanaged dedicated plans may offer managed service plans, as well, to help get you on your feet but anything further than this and you really are looking into the realms of managed hosting.

Once your unmanaged dedicated server has been setup and you have been provided remote access you are virtually on your own. The host is responsible for ensuring that the server is kept in clean and climatically controlled surroundings as well as providing routine, general maintenance to ensure that the server remains in perfect mechanical order. However you are the one responsible for the administering of software and maintenance of the server. Obviously if you don’t have the technical knowledge to do this then you need to use someone that does.

The Cost Of Unmanaged Plans

Employing a technician to deal with the administration of your server and the regular updating and maintenance of the software can prove extremely costly, much more than the leasing of the server itself in most cases. For individuals and small businesses alike it is likely to be a cost that is simply not affordable and the requirements for such an employee would also be low. While they may be required to perform complex tasks occasionally it is unlikely that they will be required full time. This is where managed dedicated hosting really comes into the fore and offers extensive benefits to the business owner or individual.

What Is Managed Hosting?

Managed hosting is similar in most respects to dedicated hosting. You still lease the server and the host themselves provide you with the data center room, the server itself, and the operating system software. They also provide regular maintenance of the server. They do this because the server is still their machine. They want to ensure that it doesn’t break down through any fault of their own. If it does then they should be liable to provide you with repairs or a replacement. Clearly it is in their interest to look after the mechanical well being of the server.

Server Management

However, where managed hosting differs is in the provision of server management services. A managed hosting team will assist you in all aspects of maintaining your server. They will discuss your options in terms of the software that you can use (although the final decision is yours they can provide invaluable help). The server is yours for a year and during that year you can basically do as you want with it. This includes installing your own software and your own applications.

What Is Offered With Server Management

Once you have decided on the software you want installed, the server manager or an administrator will install the software onto your service so that you have complete access and any required control over it. By using a server manager in this way you can ensure that the software is properly installed but it also offers another advantage. The person installing the software should be fully versed with your server and should also be able to determine the best configuration for the software on that server. This can ensure that the server is not subjected to unreasonable loads or decreased levels of security.

Managed Or Unmanaged

Using a dedicated server can become essential for the running of your website. If you run a mission critical business website then it is even more likely to be important. A dedicated server gives you control and flexibility not associated with shared hosting plans. However, unmanaged dedicated servers require a level of technical expertise that very of us actually possess. A managed plan offers this expertise on top of the benefits of using a dedicated server with no management facilities.