Do You Need Managed Hosting?

What Is Managed Hosting?
Managed hosting, or managed dedicated hosting to give it its official title, is dedicated hosting that is completely managed, maintained, and updated by your host. It basically offers all of the power and advantages of dedicated hosting but is ideal for those that don’t have the expertise, the time, or the resource to manage their server and their hosting themselves. This, in turn, can provide a greater level of security as well as various other benefits that are not associated with other types of hosting account. Not all hosts, in fact comparatively few, hosts actually offer managed hosting accounts so you will have to look around carefully to find the right account for you.

Managed Hosting Versus Shared Hosting
Because managed hosting is essentially a form of dedicated hosting it offers all of the typical benefits that dedicated hosting accounts offer over shared hosting accounts. Specifically, this means that you will witness greater website security because you are not at the mercy of all the other webmasters and websites that share a server with you. With shared hosting one of the biggest dangers is that another webmaster will add a high risk script to their site. Because you share the same server root folder as that website this means that any security problem that script opens will also be a danger to you.

Server And Website Stability
You also receive much greater stability. You can exclude any software you don’t require and only include the software and scripts you need. This combined with the usually lower number of people that have access to your server and the considerably lower number of sites that are being hosted on that server means you can usually guarantee a much better uptime. In a lot of cases, especially with Unix servers, it is possible to virtually eliminate all cases of unscheduled downtime. You can provide your website visitors with a smoother experience and ensure they have access to your site all the time.

Greater Access To Your Server Features
Less software and fewer sites sharing one server also means you have access to virtually all of the system resources. Apart from the software you need to install for the running of your site you can dedicate the entire hard drive to the pages of your site and any files you will be offering on your site. This also allows for a much greater level of monthly bandwidth and a greater share of the processor speed.

Managed Hosting Versus Dedicated Or Colocation Hosting
Managed hosting also offers certain benefits over dedicated hosting accounts. Namely, because a managed hosting account is managed it means that you do not need to provide the expertise or the resource to ensure that your server remains secure or that it offers you its optimal performance. Your server manager will be able to do all of this for you. Dedicated hosting essentially provides you with complete remote access to your server and possibly a disk image of an operating system of your choice but after that you’re left to your own devices. It can be an incredibly steep learning curve if you don’t already possess the expertise required. Until you do, your site is unlikely to offer everything it could be offering and that’s presuming you manage to get your site online at all.

Cost Implications
The single biggest advantage of managed hosting when compared to colocation hosting or owning and locating your own server is the cost implications that are associated with it. The up front payment for collocation is unaffordable to the vast majority of people and even a lot of organizations. Initial costs for collocation hosting include the price of the server, dedicated lines, firewalls, load managers, and software. All of this needs to be paid for before you can even begin to think about hosting your website on your server. With managed hosting this is usually included in the monthly charge and, therefore, spread out over time.

Beating Product Depreciation
As with leasing a product you will not face the financial loss associated with the depreciation in value of the server. You are able to upgrade the server without paying any upfront costs. This makes much more business sense than having to repeatedly buy a new server, pay for upgraded software, and replace lines. The same is also true of maintenance costs. With collocation these are generally your financial responsibility but with managed hosting that isn’t the case.

Checking The Server Is What You Are Looking For
Possibly the most vital aspect of finding a managed hosting provider is the equipment itself. Regardless of how well your server is managed it is essentially useless if you receive a second rate server with useless software installed. Do as much research as possible to find out exactly what is included in the package. Check to see if any software is included as well as regular maintenance and other factors that can affect your hosting.

Access To Your Server Manager
You must also have direct access to the person responsible for managing your account. You will usually require instant communication if you have any problems or if you require any updates or upgrades to your server. All of this information should be readily available on the host’s website so be sure to take a look around.

Managed Hosting Conclusion
Managed hosting is more expensive than shared hosting but despite offering many of the same advantages as dedicated or colocation hosting it is much less expensive than these two options. For the webmaster or business that has outgrown their shared hosting account but doesn’t have the expertise or initial funding for collocation hosting then it is ideal.