6 Advantages of Managed Dedicated Servers Over Other Solutions

Managed hosting is available from pretty much every major provider out there, and the main difference between a managed dedicated server and a non-managed one is of course, the fact that everything from the hardware to the software is set up, monitored and managed by the data center’s staff, as opposed to the client.

These packages are great for anyone who needs the power of a dedicated server or VPS, but doesn’t want to have to deal with all the administration and server OS issues that come with a dedicated machine. Most of the time, though, the main customers for such packages are small and medium sized companies that need a reliable, ready to go hosting solution for their mission critical applications, and are willing to pay a relatively small premium fee to avoid spending much more on hiring an IT staff that would manage the servers.

The quality of these managed hosting packages highly depends on the company you choose to go with, but most of the times, all of them are pretty equal. If you get a managed hosting package and the operating system is outdated or the support answers the emails in one or more hours, it would probably be better if you went with another provider.

Regardless of that, choosing a managed dedicated hosting package may be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself and your site or business. Here are some of the many advantages that such a package has over any other solution.

Simpler administration. When choosing a managed hosting package, you can forget about things like regular maintenance and checks, software updates and security probing. All of these things are performed by the tech support on the data center, and if the company you chose is good, they’ll do everything so well, you’d be surprised at the performance of your server(s). Often times, they will also fully optimize all the software to run best with the physical hardware, which is a very good thing.

Cost effectiveness. Even though a managed dedicated server costs $50-200 more per month than an unmanaged one + fees for emergency situations or custom orders (like for example, optimization for a sudden massive increase in traffic or a Postgre SQL server installation, configuration and integration), these costs pale in comparison to what you would’ve paid to have your own server management team, even if it was one person. Plus, there’s the fact that the tech support in the data center has access to the hardware, and most of the times, you are given priority and all your hardware problems are fixed in mere minutes.

Better security. Most of the managed hosting packages include a complete security monitoring of your server and updates and testing of all the software to the latest or most stable versions. And the guys there know what they’re doing, as they’re dealing with various current security threats every single day. With a managed hosting package, your server, sites, applications and data will be much safer than if everything were under your control, at a fraction of the price.

Better software and hardware monitoring. Managed dedicated servers are constantly monitored on all fronts, and the support staff makes sure that everything works correctly, your sites are accessible and there are no hardware or software faults. All the errors are displayed to the tech team and are checked and fixed as soon as possible, which is usually within minutes, depending on the severity of the problem.

Better performance. Because you pay more for customer support and server management, you also get the option or included free bonus of complete software and hardware optimization. The tech support staff will make sure that your software (like the Apache server, PHP interpreter, MySQL server and others) are fully optimized for your site’s or application’s intended use and that the operating system and all the software take full advantage of the physical machine’s hardware potential.

Higher stability and reliability. This is another benefit that stems from having a good dedicated tech support and administration team right next to your remote servers. By having everything optimized and configured for the best compatibility and performance and having all the software updated to the latest versions, you can be sure that your server will always be reliable. Plus there’s a whole staff of people monitoring it in case anything goes wrong.

Another way of ensuring stability that is employed by most (but not all) hosting providers is cutting off your access to some of the vital parts of the server, like the root account and Apache/MySQL main configuration files. This is great when you don’t know a thing about server hosting (and is also more secure), but if you do and you occasionally want to quickly test new settings for a certain site or app, it could be a hindrance, so you should ask the provider about this beforehand.

Better customer support. Most of the hosting companies that offer a managed hosting package also offer a better support and guarantee to the clients that buy them. That is because not only you are paying a premium every month for better support and administration, but because you’ll also more likely to be paying for various custom configurations and optimizations of your software, things for which you pay additional fees and from which the hosting provider makes more money.

Often times, the cost of a managed hosting package is only $50-200/month more than an unmanaged solution, and if you don’t know how to manage a server or don’t have the money to hire and train your own IT team, it may be the best investment you’ve ever made, especially if your server is very important or even vital to your business.

But if you need full control over your server (managed hosting packages almost always have some restrictions in place to keep you from messing the settings up) and you have the skills or people to manage it, you will be much better off by choosing an unmanaged hosting package with good and fast hardware tech support (for cases like bad hard drives, memory or other hardware related problems, over which you don’t have control because the server is located in a remote data center).

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