There are a wide range of possible choices for businesses that need to expand or upgrade their IT Infrastructure. The most popular among them is Managed Web Hosting. In this post we will explain what managed web hosting is, and the benefits it can bring.
Web Hosting: Meaning
Web Hosting is a service which allows websites to be published and hosted on the internet so that they are accessible around the world on the World Wide Web. A Web Hosting company installs many servers (computers designed for the specific task) in a datacenter (also called a Colo, or colocation facility) which is connected to the Internet, preferably over very high bandwidth redundant connections. Websites are either on a dedicated server (one website or one customer per server), dedicated virtual servers (a server running multiple software servers that function just like a dedicated server except sharing the total resources of the server), or many websites on a shared server, which is called shared web hosting.
With Shared Web Hosting, which is the most popular, the hosting company rents a partitioned space on the server to each business requiring a website or group of websites. This allows website owners to pay a comparatively small fee compared to a dedicated server or virtual server, as the cost is spread across many other websites on that server.
Generally, with shared web hosting the hosting company is responsible for the hardware along with the operating system and software that allows customers to host their website, and the customer is responsible for either managing the website themselves or finding someone to assist or fully manage the website.
Managed Web Hosting: Meaning
Managed Web Hosting is a service where a professional or a team of professionals helps in maintaining your website so that you can focus more on your business. Website management can either be from the same company that hosts your website, vps or server, or they can be a person or team hired separately. In managed web hosting services, most hosting companies require that you own your domain in order to host with them
Managed vs Unmanaged Server
If you are leasing a server or VPS (virtual private server), someone will need to manage it, either the same company you lease the server from or a separate entity. If you lease the hardware for your website, including servers, storage and network, this means there is a single owner which means no other customer can have control over the same hardware. This gives the customer complete control over the hardware and all the computing resources. However, while the company that leases the server is responsible for the proper operation of the server, with an unmanaged server it means the customer is responsible for most of the software installed on the server, and for monitoring the hardware and operating system for any problems. With a managed server, you are paying someone to manage the server for you, including monitoring the server and the proper operation of all software.
The basic difference in managed and unmanaged web hosting is that the managed web hosting allows the hardware to be securely accommodated in the service provider’s datacenter. The service provider manages, administers, and provides technical support for the hardware. Whereas, unmanaged web hosting is the one in which companies hire the hardware and the datacenter space, but manage it themselves.
The list above covers a wide range of management and administrative tasks which are done on your behalf. These might include real-time server monitoring, performance optimization, server patching, backups, intrusion prevention, and application installation. These services let their IT teams focus on more business-related projects, rather than worry about hardware and other issues.
Managed Web Hosting consists of all the features normally included in your hosting plan, plus management of your website administration services such as updates, security and repair of the website. Some website administration services also include content management, scripting, redesign of elements and other “care and feeding” types of tasks.
Pre-requisites of a Managed Hosting Service Provider
Apart from services mentioned above, there are a range of other factors you would consider while looking for a managed hosting service provider. They are:
- Technical support: Make sure your service provider offers 24/7, 365 days a year technical support. That way, if you have any issues, you’ll know there is an IT expert there to help.
- Firewall security: All managed hosting should provide strong firewall protection. Look for technology, such as Fortinet’s Fort iGATE firewalls, which protect against a wide range of security risks.
- Port speed: Network performance is crucial for today’s websites. Look for a 1Gbit port speed.
- High–availability: If you are paying for a managed service, you want it to be available all the time. Make sure your service provider guarantees at least 99.99% uptime.
- High–performance hardware: You should be provided with exceptional hardware such as multi-processor Intel Xeon CPUs and fast, redundant hard drives or SSD drives.
- Full root access: If you are leasing a server, you should have full control over it. Ensure the provider you choose enables full root SSH / RDP access.
- Control panel: the quality of the control panel you are provided with can make a huge difference in taking care of the tasks which are not part of the managed service. cPanel is the industry standard, with Plesk the second most popular.