The Internet has provided many advantages to both small and large businesses all over the world. Two of the best of these advantages for businesses are managed hosting and cloud computing.

Although managed hosting and cloud computing provide many merits, there are still businesses that choose to stick with “traditional” in-house servers to manage their information and data. Having in-premise servers is not a bad idea at all, but keeping the systems up and running requires hard work. Troubleshooting every server issue consumes most of the IT department’s time, energy and budget. Plus, it takes up so much space that could be used for other core services for the business. Regardless of size, most IT departments spend at least 70% of their energy, budget and time simply keeping the systems running as they should be by religiously performing routine maintenance tasks. Given this statistic, many team members who are highly trained and highly paid don’t have the time to work on projects that could have a real impact on the enterprise as a whole.

According to a Kaspersky lab survey, less than 1/3 of businesses keep their virtualisation servers on-site and managed by their own internal IT staff. This is why many companies and businesses are turning to managed hosting services that can handle every aspect of managing, running and maintaining a server for your business needs.

What is Managed Hosting?

In its simplest terms, managed hosting or dedicated hosting is defined as a hosting provider that takes care of all your server related issues. It can also be described as a type of internet hosting in which you lease an entire server or servers all for yourself, not to be shared with other clients or businesses. You pay the service provider for renting the hardware needed for the business, but you also pay them for managing the servers for you.

Image credit: datacentred.co.uk

Image credit: datacentred.co.uk

Un-managed hosting on the other hand is a type of service wherein you only rent the servers and other hardware from the hosting provider. In this type of service, you will be responsible for all the maintenance tasks. There is also an option of self-managed hosting. Self-managed, as the name suggests, usually means you are in charge of handling most aspects of server maintenance. This will depend on your agreement with the hosting provider however. For example, some basic maintenance might be provided by the provider, but the daily server management including troubleshooting will be handled by you.

Benefits Of Managed Hosting For Businesses

Technical benefits of managed hosting includes:

1. Security

Security is a huge priority for any business; every business wants to make sure their servers are secure and safe from any unauthorised access. Server security can cover different processes such as spam filtering, running security audits, operating system updates, software firewall configuration and virus scanning. Dedicated hosting providers are well equipped with many tools and experience in handling server security related issues. The hosting provider scans all core applications and the operating system in search of any security vulnerabilities which they can fix in order to prevent the server from getting attacked.

Image credit: www.123rf.com

Image credit: www.123rf.com

2. Database Management

Database management is the same as managed storage, but database management requires the skills and expertise of an experienced database administrator. Database administrators serve as the service and software consultant in designing the best database system to meet your company’s requirements. Dedicated hosting providers have their own database administrators who are experienced in Oracle, MySQL and SQ Server.

3. Enhanced Performance

A managed hosting provider will monitor the servers for any spikes or dips. They can do load balancing and resource allocation which will help in keeping the servers running as smoothly and as efficiently as possible.

4. Storage Management

A company’s digital storage requirements change from time to time. The amount of space required by present day companies may not be the same in a few years, thus getting the balance requires specific IT skills and an ongoing commitment to give it the proper attention it needs. Storage management is also beneficial for all companies because it will help in reducing costs related to purchasing and administering storage services.

5. Data Backups

Data loss is a painful and costly experience, especially for a company or business. Thus, it is essential to have a process that regularly checks and backs up your data, keeps it secure and preserves the integrity of the servers. Experts have also pointed out that a small or medium business can lose about 50% of their data after natural or man-made disasters. With managed hosting services, you will have peace of mind that your data is backed up all the time and disaster plans are well taken care of because your chosen provider has procedures that ensure the safety of your data when said scenarios occur. Backups can be performed automatically according to a set schedule. Prevention is the key in keeping your data safe.

Imagge credit: www.russbellew.com

Image credit: www.russbellew.com

The business benefits of a managed hosting service include:

1. Reduced Operating Cost

The service providers charge a flat rate or metered rate for their services. This type of payment scheme is normally less than maintaining a complete staff of IT experts to handle the servers. You will not deal with human resource issues and benefits requirements when using the services of dedicated hosting. It is more financially feasible to hire the services of a hosting provider that are already manned by experienced and skilled IT people that can handle any server related issues.

2. Money And Time Saving

Time is money for every business. The time you spend managing IT people and managing the servers themselves is time that could be better utilised doing core business processes instead. As a business, you should concentrate on making the business successful while the technical and IT staff should be left to handle tech aspects of the business. It can be easy for you to spend too much time focusing on tasks like server management but you have to leave this to the experts and a dedicated hosting provider can give you expert server management. This way you can be more focused on making your business grow and reaching your most important business goals.

3. Customised To Meet Your Business Needs

Every company is unique and therefore will have different business needs. A good managed hosting provider can go beyond a one-size-fits-all solution to meet the requirements of your business. You can get a customised package based on your particular business needs. Negotiate with your provider to get the services that are critical for your business and of course within your budget.

Managed Hosting And Mobile Devices

The popularity of mobile devices has contributed to another major change in how businesses do things. You have probably noticed that most people in your office have their smart devices with them at all times. A smartphone or a tablet may be pulled out at meetings to clarify some information or to provide more information to others. Because of this, the concept of BYOD (bring your own device) is also contributing many changes to the business and IT environments. As a modern business, you should adjust accordingly!

This BYOD phenomenon creates an operational environment that is beyond what most IT departments are designed to handle. Mobile devices need flexible, scalable, integrated and universal application access. Unless your business has a private cloud that is developed to support scalable mobile use, your resources will be used to their full potential.

Image credit: www.secureidnews.com

Image credit: www.secureidnews.com

Dedicated hosting providers can take on your company’s mobile application architecture and ensure all end-users have access to what they need at all times. The service can be used to establish a solid foundation for connectivity and mobility infrastructure required for critical applications and data deliveries for mobile users. You can also use hosting services to support web-based apps and services, delivering them to users efficiently.

Managed hosting services are not created to eliminate the routine functions of IT department staff, but it is an option that is worth exploring if you want to increase the value of your business IT infrastructure.

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.