What is Managed Hosting?
Managed hosting is simply a dedicated server that is accompanied with an increased level of service, or sometimes referred to as an “SLA”, or “service level agreement” in which the agreement defines exactly what is included in the support or service. In this case, the hosting provider will handle most of the technical setup and configuration of the server, and will even debug the problem if one should arise. The hosting company will typically have plenty of system administrators or network engineers on staff that they will refer to a “level 1″, “level 2″ or “level 3″ technician. Each level has varying levels of experience (level 3 being the highest experience), and in some cases certifications to be able to deal with your issues appropriately.
Who uses managed hosting?
Many different types of people and businesses use managed hosting. We see a trend where mid-to-large sized businesses who can afford a CTO or CIO on staff will utilize managed hosting services, whereas small businesses, start-ups and freelance web developers seem to prefer either a dedicated or shared hosting solution in an effort to reduce costs. Even for the larger enterprise, managed hosting is extremely cost effective because the company does not need to make large capital investments in infrastructure, equipment and staff to support their needs. A managed hosting provider can drastically reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the equipment that the company is essentially “leasing” compared to managing it in-house.
When should I upgrade from dedicated hosting to managed hosting?
This is a decision that depends on the needs of the technical staff. As a website grows in complexity and popularity, sometimes the server requires more maintenance that is better served for the hosting company to be handling. This will leave your technical staff with more time to focus on the business strategy instead of the technology. To help your decision, ask your technical staff how much time they are spending on a weekly basis on managing the servers, email and other technology and then compare that cost to the increased cost for a managed hosting solution. If you will be able to save time and money, then it may be time to moved to managed hosting.