As an entrepreneur, the last thing I would want to spend my time and money on is server management. Thus, the best solution for my business is managed hosting service.
My statements aren’t prejudiced or biased. I have premised my arguments on my experience in the hosting industry. Working as an executive in the hosting business, I have seen several businesses getting into serious troubles due to their servers. Even with the expertise that these businesses had, they weren’t able to resolve those issues until their website had taken a serious blow.
Put simply, managed hosting is a great choice no matter what people say.
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Managed Hosting service
Before I start my musings stating how great managed hosting is, I believe you should know what managed hosting is in the first place.
Managed hosting means the web host takes cares of every issue on your server. This means you have less work to do on our end because your host is responsible for everything in the backend.
That is to say, you aren’t only renting hardware but also paying your host to manage it. Though technically, managed hosting service is a tad bit more expensive than unmanaged hosting, the added convenience is worth the money.
Unmanaged hosting service
From a technical standpoint, managed and unmanaged hosting are two entities from the same lot except that the latter does not offer technical support.
In unmanaged hosting, you get just about everything that you get in managed service. The only difference is, the host is no longer liable to take care of issues arising on your server. You are left to figure out solutions to your problem on your own.
There is a middle ground to managed and unmanaged hosting too – it is called self-managed service. Unlike unmanaged hosting, self-managed hosting does provide some level of support from the provider but there is still a lot for you to do.
The day to day running of the server is for you deal with. As long as the server is running, the host isn’t liable for anything. Internal issues, however serious, are yours to troubleshoot.
The advantages of Managed hosting
With managed hosting, you get a multitude of benefits which could be way too difficult to write unless classified intelligently.
To discuss its key advantages, I will break down the perks into two parts –
- Financial or Business benefits
Monitoring server and all the related activities is critical for your business. It is a process by which you constantly scan the network for vulnerabilities and potential failure. Monitoring these issues is critical because it helps the administrators to identify problems associated with the server.
The bottom line is, you need a dedicated workforce to track every activity on your server. Constant vigilance and preparedness is the key to safe and secure computing.
In Managed Hosting, consistent and detailed attention is given to the servers and the traffic, which helps ensure a good uptime and network availability.
Server monitoring isn’t rocket science but demands a certain level of skills, money and time. Without the given skills, it might not be worth investing in an unmanaged server.
Hosting service Security
Businesses, small or large, lay huge emphasis on safekeeping data because data is money in this digital world.
Hosting providers constantly scan their storage drives and look for vulnerabilities and viruses. The biggest downside with unmanaged hosting is that the clients miss out on the security. Sure, server security wouldn’t be a problem if there is a dedicated security team but without one, you’d be compromising with the security of your server.
Server security in itself is a broad field that covers the following –
- Running security audits
- Spam filtering
- Virus scanning
- Software firewall configuration
- OS updates
Hosting providers are very well equipped – both technically and skill-wise – and have tons of experience dealing with the intricacies of server security. Let’s face it: you could be good enough but not better than your host when it comes to security.
How often do you change/upgrade your storage?
Well, as your business becomes popular, you need increasingly more space on your disk. Recall how different your requirements were when you first started.
The amount of storage that you now have might become insufficient a few months down the line. Storage requirements will change over time. Without your host’s expertise, you might not be able to get your storage balance right again.
Managed storage means that your storage needs have been outsourced to a managed services provider. Thus it becomes the responsibility of the host to manage and scale your storage as per his expertise.
This will help you to cut down on costs related to administration and purchase of storage services. But again, if your organization is its embryonic stage, you might not need one in the first place.
Managed database is very much the same as managed storage but requires a higher level of skills and expertise.
A structured set of data held in your computer is called the database (DB). In layman’s terms, every bit of data in your computer/server is the database.
Database administration in a server isn’t anywhere near to DB administration in a computer. Files on a server cannot be dragged from one folder to the other. Second, you cannot move a single file without having consequences.
For example, when you move a file (on a server) from one folder to the other, the file may no longer be accessible from your website because the associated directory gets changed.
Database administrators (DBA) thus have a challenging job that requires them to be on their toes at all times. The DBAs work like a software consultant and design DB systems that meet the business thresholds.
With a managed hosting, you will find all the database expertise that you will ever require.
Backups are your Forced Majeure clause that you invoke when data loss occurs in your server. Not to mention, it is also your last ray of hope.
An old friend once told me, “There should not be a single byte of data without a backup copy on the server.”
Lost data can be extremely costly to recover. Moreover, a 100% recovery isn’t fully possible. It is therefore essential that you regularly backup data to protect the integrity of your organization.
The last thing you would want is to face an existential crisis because you were too careless to create backups.
If you think we are done here, we are not. Managed hosting has a plethora of benefits and we aren’t wrapping up this article without discussing a few of its business benefits.
Business Benefits of Managed hosting service
Customized to meet your goals
Who knows your goals better than you!
Within the same company, needs and goals vary among departments. As with any other service, there is no one-size-fits-all solution so you should know what to vary and when.
Lower Operating Costs
If you had enough money, you’d rather setup your own data center. Won’t you? The whole idea of hosting service began so that organizations can lower their upfront cost by leveraging more on their operating expenses.
By purchasing a managed hosting service, you can significantly cut down on operating costs as well.
Think it this way, without managed hosting you would need –
- A network engineer
- Network security engineer
- Database administrator
- Storage services, and what not
So, managed hosting might feel like a tad bit more expensive but it can actually help save cost in the long run.
Save time. Make more money
With managed services, you not only save money, but you also save time.
The time you would save this way could be better utilized elsewhere. With managed hosting, your staff will have more time to focus on business-enhancing activities rather than fixing petty bugs and glitches.
A business that has an online presence won’t be terribly surprised by the facts that I have stated here. My statements are based on personal experience and I, by no means, intend to demean any service or project one as superior to the other.
However, I strongly agree that some businesses, despite knowing all this, continue using unmanaged hosting because they haven’t considered changing.