With so many hi tech terms and buzzwords in the computer world today, it’s kind of confusing to know which term describes one thing or another. What makes it even harder is the fact that some of these hi tech processes carry out almost the same function, but are just given new names in order to be catchy to tech users today.

For a few years now, cloud computing has been one of the most popular tech terms being pushed to be adopted in the computer and business world. And then there’s VPS or virtual private servers and managed hosting. If you’re familiar with it, these three things have the same general function – to provide storage and applications by way of off-site or off-premises servers hosted by a third party company that is responsible for maintaining, protecting, updating and fixing these servers to provide their clients with good services. Now, some of you may be wondering why there are so many different terms for these processes or systems if they have the same general function? Is managed hosting the same as cloud computing or VPS? We will be focusing on managed hosting in this article, however, it’s important to know the differences between these three processes to help you decide which process will fit your business needs. Let’s begin.

Image courtesy ofMelbourne.co.uk

What Is Managed Hosting?

Managed hosting services, also known as dedicated hosting services or simply dedicated server, can be described as a type of internet hosting in which the client leases an entire server or servers which are not shared with other clients or businesses. Think of it as your private safe box when you check in at a hotel. The enterprise or the organization has full control over the servers they are leasing including the hardware and the operating system. Another type of managed hosting service is known as complex managed hosting which uses dedicated servers, virtual servers and/or hybrid servers. With this type of hosting the service provider is responsible for managing the dedicated server including IT support, storage, memory and security. Managed hosting services offer high performance, great security, control and email stability to the client. Although this type of service is a bit pricey, it’s used by organizations that receive large volumes of internet traffic.

What Is VPS?            

A virtual private server or VPS is a type of hosting process that functions like a dedicated server within a shared hosting environment. It can also be technically described as both a dedicated and shared hosting service. A virtual private server runs its own copy of an OS and the clients have superuser-level access to the operating system which gives them the ability to install almost any software that runs on that specific operating system. VPS is cheaper compared to managed hosting services but since they are sharing physical hardware with other VPS’s, performance may be lower and will depend on the workload of other OS instances within the same hardware system.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a process where large groups of multiple servers are networked together allowing for centralized online data access and data storage for computer resources and services. Cloud computing is divided into 3 types: public, hybrid and private. Cloud computing relies on resource sharing to achieve the economics of scale and coherence over the shared network. Cloud also focuses on enhancing the effectiveness of the shared resources and can work in allocating different resources that are needed by users. Cloud maximizes the use of computing power by offering the services through a 3rd party provider by using multiple servers at a remote location. It also allows organizations to save money as well as physical space. It provides faster communication, enhances productivity and ensures bigger savings.

Now that we know the basic differences between these three processes, we can say that dedicated hosting is generally a fit for small businesses, VPS for medium-sized companies and cloud computing for enterprise-scale applications.

When Should You Upgrade To Managed Hosting Services?

If you have already established a small business and are considering an expansion of your business online, or you have a large amount of content or are hosting numerous websites, you can improve your processes by upgrading to managed hosting services. When do you know that it’s time to upgrade? When you find that your requirements and needs have escalated beyond what a regular shared hosting account can offer and you also feel that you require a more powerful hosting solution. Dedicated servers may be expensive, however, the enhanced security, improved functions, scalability and powerful resources are all worth the extra money. There will be less risk of downtime affecting your server and all your work will be done on schedule which in turn will improve return on investment. That being said, when is the time to upgrade?

  • When you are planning to upgrade to a media website – media content generally consumes large disk space. If your website is rich with media content, then a dedicated server is the way to go. This will ensure that you have enough hard disk space to save all your video and audio files.
  • When you want to run different customized web applications – by moving to a dedicated server service, you will have the ability to run a wide range of apps because the dedicated server will provide more disk space and more memory. You will have the ability to install any customized web applications anytime, anywhere.
  • When you need admin access to the server – shared hosting has no admin privileges. If you have your own dedicated server, it will give full admin access and complete control to authorized users and authorized accounts.
  • When you need to add a large mailing list to be used for your website – shared hosting have limitations on the amount of email messages that are allowed to be sent in one instance. A managed hosting service has no such limits.
A sample of package plans for dedicates server services. Image courtesy of www.elviowebdesign.com

A sample of package plans for dedicates server services. Image credit: www.elviowebdesign.com

Advantages Of Managed Hosting Services

Upgrading to a dedicated server comes with many benefits, thus making it a very good option for organizations that have resource-intensive websites with lots of internet traffic. Advantages include:

1. Reliable

Whenever you share a server with other hosting clients, there is a high chance that you will not have access to the bandwidth or the required memory you need because the other clients have used up the resources. A dedicated server, as the name implies, is dedicated to one client only. All the resources, whether it be software or hardware, will be at your full disposal 24/7. Plus, you will be provided with regular updates and security patches for your server to run without any glitches.

2. Advanced Tech Support

Top notch technical support will be prioritized in dedicated server services. Response time will be faster and quicker from trained IT professionals and tech support staff. These professionals can give solutions to troubleshooting issues on server settings, website issues, and perform simple maintenance to keep your website running as it should be.

3. More Flexibility And Control

Sharing a server with other clients will not provide you full control, but a dedicated server will. It will give you all the control you need for your organization’s expansion.

4. Safe And Secured Storage

An on-site server has its advantages and disadvantages. On-site will require ample office space and a climate-controlled environment which will require its own IT or database team. With a managed hosting service, you will have all the benefits of having your own server without the additional requirements such as space, climate control and additional personnel of expert IT people. It is a bit expensive, but down the road the money you have invested will be worth it. All maintenance, security and other aspects of maintaining a server will be provided by the 3rd party service provider. All you have to do is focus on your core functions, expand your business and expect an improved ROI.

Image courtesy of dilbert.com

Image credit: dilbert.com

Choosing the right managed hosting services for your organization is not an easy task, but considering the advantages it will bring, the results will definitely be satisfactory.

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.