Is Your Website Crying Out For Managed Hosting?

Brief Introduction To Managed Hosting

There are various different levels of web hosting account available. Free hosting, shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and even collocation hosting are just some of the options available to you. Some hosts offer almost entirely unique services although inevitably if the service proves successful another host will mirror it. Clustered hosting is one example of this. Managed hosting is one of the most advanced, and expensive, forms of hosting that is really only one step short of collocation or owning and maintaining your own server. They offer many of the same benefits but without demanding similar resources.

The Cost Of Hosting Your Own Server

Running a small business, or any business for that matter, is about making the most of your resources to generate the biggest profit. IT technicians and network managers are a potentially expensive resource for many businesses to employ. Even those small businesses that can employ one or two technicians will find that their capabilities and their time will be spread around the entire business. As well as developmental work technicians will inevitably find themselves embroiled in often trivial IT work. While it may be trivial work it is also essential to the smooth running of the business.

Employing an Internet network manager can cost large amounts of money. Owning your own server also demands a range of other costs that small businesses simply cannot afford on most occasions. The server must be contained in a secure location that uses redundant power supplies and in kept in optimal conditions. Even kept in optimal conditions, though, the life of a server can be short lived and will require replacement. This means further cost and potentially further problems when it comes time to make the change from the old server to the new.

The Advantages Of Having Your Own Dedicated Server

However owning and maintaining your own server offers advantages too. A powerful server can run virtually every aspect of online activity for a business. As well as being used to serve your website it can also be used as an email server, VOIP system, messenger server, and much more. The entire resource of the server is at your disposal meaning that you don’t have to share it with other websites. It also becomes a company asset and in many cases a serious selling point to your clients, depending on the type of business you operate. Owning your own server may be costly and require a lot of resources but it is advantageous.

Potential Problems With Dedicated Hosting

Even a dedicated server isn’t without issue. It is still often necessary to employ somebody to manage the server remotely from your end of operations. The data center, or host, is responsible for the maintenance and the set up of the machine but establishing networks, setting up websites, maintaining email accounts, and all of these tasks are still down to you. Again, this means the costly employment of a technician or administrator. Paying them a full time wage to operate solely as your server administrator means that they will spend a lot of time with little or nothing to do. Alternatively letting them have the run of the IT system in your offices may mean that they have little or no time to maintain your server applications. Neither is ideal.

What Is Managed Hosting?

Managed hosting lies between dedicated hosting and hosting your own server. A managed service provider is responsible for almost every aspect of buying and maintaining your server, running all the systems and applications on that server, and improving the setup on a regular basis. Some of the advantages of this are immediately obvious. Not only do you get a fully qualified, experienced, and usually highly developed professional working for you but because you do not demand their full time attention it is more cost effective than employing a full time employee.

The Advantages Of Managed Hosting

Using a managed hosting account also negates the need to set aside property or housing for the containment of the server. A good data center should be perfectly equipped to deal with every conceivable problem. Downtime caused by power cuts can be avoided because of having several incoming power sources. Having a redundant power source in your own property is costly and incredibly difficult to arrange in the majority of circumstances.

The Need For A Managed Service

In all honesty, there are comparatively few small businesses that require the services of managed hosting. Unless a site has very high traffic or disk space requirements a shared or virtual private server hosting account should be more than adequate to satisfy your needs. However, if you do have or realistically envisage having a lot of traffic in the near future then managed hosting is an affordable and convenient alternative to dedicated hosting or hosting your own server on your own property.

Considering Your Needs

Before you do dive in and opt for managed hosting you have to be realistic about your needs. A brand new website, without a lot of money spent on marketing and advertising, is unlikely to yield the kind of traffic that would demand an intensive service like managed hosting. Managed hosting is only cost effective when it is required.

If you do believe that you require this level of service then shop around. There are fewer offerings of managed hosting than there are of just about any other type of hosting account. Draw up a list of those managed service providers that are most appealing and look at all of the important factors and not just price.

Factors To Consider

Dedicated hosting depends on the quality of the server, the data center, and the managed service provider so look into all of these factors before making your decision. The best service is one that listens to your requirements, offers assistance in deciding on the best server and server software for your requirements and then purchases, or builds a system according to those requirements.

The Data Center

The data center is an overlooked aspect of hosting. They can range from the terminally bad center to high-tech, well-managed locations with onsite staff, climate management, and 24-hour security. The latter is obviously the best option. While many data centers will allow a guided tour of their premises this obviously isn’t always feasible and instead you should only consider services that offer clear and precise details of the center on their website.

The Service Provider

The technical level and expertise of the managed service provider is obviously very important. Some services can provide a range of service providers specialized in certain areas of maintaining your server and your online presence. These services allow for almost any eventuality and offer a very powerful resource. However, some individuals also have the capability to manage every aspect of a server.

Managed Hosting Conclusion

Consider your own requirements as well as those of your website. The more dynamic your website is the more pressure will be placed on your server. The more visitors you receive and the more pages that are opened and files downloaded the greater the load placed on your server. Typically, it is under these circumstances that your server may suffer from difficulties and it is on these occasions when you will need access to somebody able to help. Look at response times, communication methods, and where possible find honest reviews on the Internet or from colleagues.

Managed hosting is a step up from having a dedicated server. It is aimed specifically at businesses that envisage an intensive use of their server. If you intend to run various applications from your server including your website, your mail server, and messenger services then you should look at the possibility of managed hosting. It can save you time, money, and business in the long run.