Managed server hosting can seem like an expensive option, but it’s a time-saving option for busy IT teams.
By taking away much of the overhead in server maintenance, managed hosting leaves the work to the cloud host’s support team. This not only means a business has virtually no delay in support if a server fails, but the IT department can focus on more day-to-day office tasks.
Scalability is one of the main reasons to move to the cloud. The cloud offers elastic scalability, which means the IT manager can scale resources up or down, depending on the server’s current needs. Traffic spikes occur at all times of the day, and seasonal traffic means the webmaster must watch the server during busy holidays. With managed hosting, the business can let the host scale resources. A reputable host has software to detect when traffic spikes. The business gives the host a range for bandwidth and server resources, and the host IT team scales these resources as needed.
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With dedicated servers, the business buys the servers and just uses the host’s facilities. Any upgrades or changes to server hardware are purchased by the business. With managed hosting, the business just leases the equipment. As the server ages or if hardware fails, the cloud host adds hardware. The cloud host incurs all hardware costs regardless if the hardware is a simple upgrade to new equipment or if the upgrade is due to hardware failure.
With dedicated servers, the business is responsible for monitoring server resources, configurations and any changes that might affect the business’ web presence. If the server crashes, the cloud host helps, but typically the IT manager is responsible for responding to critical issues. With managed hosting, the cloud host support team installs the necessary monitoring software and responds to alerts. When server resources crash or any process freezes the machine, the host fixes the issue.
Security is one of the biggest issues when hosting content in the cloud. Customer data must be encrypted, and any data passed over the Internet must use secured sockets layer (SSL) encryption. With dedicated servers, the business is responsible for all configurations related to security and encryption. If data is hacked, the IT team must react and secure the server.
A reputable cloud host has an IT support team well-versed in any security issue. Software and hardware firewalls alert the host if any suspicious activity occurs on the server. Alerts can mitigate any security issues, and the host support team can quickly take care of these issues before any serious breaches occur.
For busy IT teams, managed cloud hosting takes away much of the hassle associated with busy web servers. Managed hosting lets the business’ IT team take care of day-to-day office issues and leave busy web servers to the host’s IT team. In fact, managed hosting is more effective, because the host has more resources and the ability to act quickly if something goes wrong. Although managed hosting is more expensive, the cost is well worth the advantages.
Jennifer Marsh is a software developer, programmer and technology writer and occasionally blogs for open cloud company Rackspace Hosting.