For SMBs, maximizing technology investments, and having secure, reliable, easily accessible and, of course, affordable solutions can mean the difference between success and failure. That’s one reason why so many SMBs are turning to managed Web hosting to take care of their server and compute needs and to gain a huge competitive advantage.
As Janakiram Mocherla, cloud technology consultant, evangelist and author outlines in this article, there are a number of reasons why startups should consider adopting a cloud-computing based managed Web hosting solution. While his article is geared toward startups, any of the arguments can also be applied to SMBs, since both types of businesses often struggle with personnel needs, costs concerns, and a lack of technical expertise.
There is one major difference between managed servers and unmanaged servers that’s pretty obvious. The difference is – you guessed it – who manages the server, according to the Web Hosting Blue Book, and this article.
Managed servers are hosted and managed by the web hosting company. As a customer, you will be able to set up the basics, like domains and mailboxes, but the web host company remains responsible for all necessary configurations and maintenance of the server.
Unmanaged servers are actually managed by you, the customer, the article explains. Unlike the managed server, you are responsible for configuring and maintaining the server, including monitoring performance, handling security concerns and issues, updating software and applications – in short, handling all the IT responsibilities for the server as though it was on-premise. While an unmanaged server is less expensive, remember that you’ll need to have personnel with the knowledge and the time to maintain and configure the server, deal with software issues, security, updates and the like, the article said, all of which can make an unmanaged solution much more pricey. For SMBs, it’s often less expensive – and hassle-free – to invest in a managed Web hosting solution so that the management burden is removed.
“Remember that the increased cost associated with managed servers is due to the increased service a managed server provides. You can either pay someone else to deal with the management of the server or you can save a little money and do it yourself, if you have the knowledge to do it properly and can afford to invest your time into the maintenance project, then, great. But if you are not familiar with or have little experience with server monitoring and maintenance, then this decision should be a quick one for you – pick the managed server situation,” the article said.
Of course, the biggest advantage for SMBs looking to outsource to a managed hosting provider is the ability to spend more time on your core business and less time and money worrying about how you’ll make it work, said Mocherla. By outsourcing to a managed Web hosting provider, you can stay focused on your business instead of on power, cooling, bandwidth and the maintenance of the infrastructure. Instead, you can work to add more value for your customers, he said.
This is a guest post by Sharon Florentine. Sharon is a freelance writer who covers everything from holistic veterinary care to data center technology and occasionally blogs for managed hosting provider Rackspace Hosting.