Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to do everything in-house. You wouldn’t deliver your own letters, service your company vehicles or rewire the offices; you’d pass those tasks on to expert third parties like the Post Office, a garage or an electrician. Surprisingly, not every company uses the same logic when it comes to the complex matter of managing their IT infrastructure. There are, however, several advantages of moving away from a DIY approach and opting for managed hosting services and in this post, we’ll explain what they are.
Managed hosting – the basics
Managed hosting is a service designed to alleviate the server management burdens faced by in-house IT staff so that they can focus their time and efforts on business-related projects. Offered by leading service providers like eUKhost, it provides companies with all the hardware and computing resources they need (servers, high-speed storage, network, RAM, bandwidth, CPU, etc.) and provides a flexible range of management services which reduces the time, money and effort needed to carry them out in house.
With the hardware being housed securely at the service provider’s datacentre and its expert IT staff taking care of management, admin and technical support, companies find it easier and more cost-efficient than operating their own system on-site.
Range of managed hosting services
Different service providers offer different ranges of service. In general, however, the typical managed hosting package will include datacentre operations such as server housing, site security, national grid and back-up power, air-conditioning, building maintenance and IT engineers, etc., together with hardware and networking.
Aside from managing the infrastructure, other aspects of the provision will include the operating system (including updating and patching), application infrastructure, application installation, real-time server monitoring, performance optimisation, Next-Gen firewalls, intrusion prevention and remote backups. In addition, there is expert technical support on tap, 24/7.
Many hosts offer a flexible range of services, extending beyond those mentioned above to include such things as application management. Here at eUKhost, it is even possible to create bespoke IT solutions to meet the precise needs of your organisation.
Versatile uses of managed hosting
Managed hosting is ideal for a wide range of computing scenarios, offering practical solutions for website hosting, running legacy applications, extending company infrastructure and more. By providing single tenancy hosting, it is also beneficial for companies which need outstanding IT performance, significant data storage and which wish to make use of data analytics. Many organisations also use it to back up data and for disaster recovery.
The single-tenant hosting that comes with managed services also provides better compliance for organisations which need sensitive or personal data stored securely.
Aspects of managed hosting to consider
Aside from the information mentioned above, when looking at different managed hosting solutions, organisations should also consider the following aspects:
- High availability: If you are hosting mission-critical apps on your managed service, it is crucial that they stay online all the time. Make sure you opt for a provider which guarantees 100% uptime.
- Control panel: Although a managed solution, there are still aspects of your IT that you will need to take care of in-house, such as managing user accounts. A quality control panel, like Plesk or cPanel, will make this much easier to do.
- Firewall: Not all firewalls offer the same level of protection. Next-Gen firewalls, like FortiGate, offer the most advanced protection from a wide range of threats.
- Port speed: Port speeds of 1GB offer the network performance needed for faster loading websites.
- High–performance: Whether carrying out data analytics or handling thousands of customer requests simultaneously, you want hardware that can perform exceptionally, such as Intel Xeon CPUs and SSD hard drives.
- Full root access: You should have total control of your server, so make sure your provider enables full root SSH / RDP access.
- Technical support: IT issues happen for a variety of reasons and when you least expect them. For this reason, 24/7 expert technical support is absolutely essential to help you get things sorted in the quickest possible timeframe.
The range of services included in a managed hosting package can make it more expensive than unmanaged hosting, however, it can work out significantly cheaper than managing your system in-house. You won’t, for example, need to spend capital on hardware or pay for overheads such as server housing, IT staff time, power or insurance. Aside from the savings, many of the technical headaches caused by IT management will be taken care of on your behalf, freeing up your staff for more critical tasks. In addition, you’ll benefit from tighter data security, enhanced compliance and servers which perform better.
For more information, take a look at eUKhost’s managed hosting solutions.