When setting up a dedicated hosting contract for your website or online service, you will need to specify whether you are requesting managed or unmanaged dedicated web hosting. Management, when talking about servers and computers, typically means maintenance and configuration tasks such as applying software updates, making changes to settings, installing new features, and making sure the server is secure from hackers and malware. The two options for server management for dedicated hosting can be defined as follows:
Unmanaged hosting means that the hosting company keeps your dedicated server in their datacenter, providing fire protection and restricting access to authorized personnel, but their technical support staff does not perform other server management tasks. This requires the client to provide their own server management resources.
Managed hosting includes management of the servers in the list of services provided by the hosting company. Under a managed hosting contract, your servers are taken care of by technical support personnel trained and employed by the hosting company.
Server management is sometimes thought to be optional. Just like oil changes on a car, however, if server maintenance is not performed on a regular basis, it is only a matter of time before something goes wrong. If your business depends on your dedicated server being up and running, you don’t want your website to go offline due to out-of-date software, corrupted databases, security breaches, or other problems. Here are several advantages to a managed hosting contract for your dedicated server:.
Easier Staffing. Unless you already have server management personnel on staff with enough spare time to run the dedicated hosting servers, it can be difficult to hire good technical people and provide training to create the necessary skill sets within your company. A managed hosting contract means the hosting company provides all the needed skills, in addition to handling all the human resources concerns such as scheduling, taxes, payroll, and technical management.
Greater Flexibility. There are many different brands of server hardware, and numerous types of server operating systems. Each of these options requires different skills and resources to manage, making it difficult to hire enough server management talent to cover all the options you might need. Hosting companies usually maintain a staff of technicians with the diversity of experience necessary for any type of server, allowing them to support any type of server configuration you might need for your dedicated server.
Quick Response Technical support personnel who work for the hosting company tend to have direct access to the dedicated servers themselves, enabling them to respond to technical issues more quickly than a client’s technical staff. This faster response can save valuable minutes in the event that your website goes offline, reducing lost business and client complaints.
These advantages offered by managed dedicated web hosting contracts can be extremely valuable to a business that depends on a working and available website to communicate with customers or clients. However, there are a few disadvantages to managed hosting contracts as well:
Higher Price. Managed hosting contracts do take much of the hassle and concern off of your shoulders by providing their own technical staff, but at a higher contract price. Managed dedicated hosting contracts tend to be more expensive than unmanaged hosting contracts, in some cases significantly more so.
Support Request Queues. Even the best outsourced or managed contract is not quite the same as hiring your own people to perform a task. In many managed hosting arrangements, requests for status updates or feature installations go through technical support queues, while many managers prefer to make requests and receive reports directly to and from specific employees. For some management styles, an unmanaged dedicated hosting contract may be preferable to managed hosting.
Who is my server Technician? The downside of having your hosting company handle the hiring, training, and personnel management of the technical support staff is a certain loss of transparency. If you prefer to know who is working on the dedicated servers that support your website, what the hiring process is, or whether there may be disciplinary issues, an unmanaged hosting arrangement might work better, as this information is generally not available to the client. These technicians are given full access to your server so understand what this means.
Whether a managed or unmanaged dedicated server hosting contract is right for you, it is a decision worth considering carefully when setting up hosting for your website. Whether you prefer to hire and supervise your own technical people, or to contract these services at additional cost from your hosting company in exchange for fewer technical and personnel details to worry about, it is important to have a clear understanding of both your business requirements, and the options available to you from your dedicated hosting company