Thursday, February 17, 2011

what is the difference between managed and unmanaged dedicated server?

At times, shopping for a managed or unmanaged dedicated web hosting server solution can be a bit daunting, to say the least, even to a seasoned hosting professional. There are some basic differences between the "managed" and "unmanaged" variety of server solutions, and it really helps to know what some of those are.
With an unmanaged web hosting account, it is necessary for someone within your organization to know how to deal with the server on a first hand basis. This would be the time to consider hiring a system administrator, if that sort of person does not exist in your company. It will be their responsibility to handle all of the server side issues and various configurations. However, for small businesses, it is rarely an option to handle the expense of a technical professional for that purpose. This is when a managed dedicated server option can be most beneficial.
With a managed dedicated server, more of the issues of the server will be in the hands of the web host that the server was purchased from. This is why it is important to ensure that the web host has a high quality staff in place who really know what they are doing – when it comes to handling the dedicated server.
Webmasters responsible for the performance of a high-traffic web site generally consider it very beneficial to enlist the most reliable managed dedicated server environment possible. For smaller to mid-size business operations, however, it is often an issue of cost that will determine whether or not they are in a position from a budgetary standpoint, to enlist a fully managed dedicated server hosting solution.
Dedicated Server Reliability
The dedicated server or cluster being used must be properly managed, whether it is done internally or outsourced, in order for it to be reliable. Some of the general issues will include the management of hardware, operating systems, applications, and the e-commerce solution.  Another high priority of concern will be security, data backup and disaster recovery. Reporting, monitoring, database management, Virtual Private Networks (VPN), connectivity, bandwidth, and load balancing are also all very important tasks that all need to be addressed.  As anyone can see, the aforementioned areas consist of quite a bit to manage on a constant basis.
Utilizing dedicated servers in a managed hosting environment usually means that the managed dedicated hosting provider is renting servers, while providing system administration support for most, if not all of the management issues discussed above.
Webmasters who use managed dedicated server solutions for businesses of all sizes can rent pre-configured, out of the box web hosting or application hosting servers – which is advantageous for anyone involved in the maintenance of a web site. In this case, the dedicated server is used only by the company who purchased the solution – unlike shared web hosting or "virtual hosting" which allows for sharing on a single server along with often hundreds, if not thousands of other web sites.
Managed dedicated servers can cost quite a bit more than most shared hosting plans, but there are often specials by some of the more popular hosting firms and prices drop from time to time, often significantly, compared to what they were just a few years in the past.
Dedicated servers provide control of options including:
  • Choice of operating system
  • Tolerance for 3rd party software
  • Server space sharing (if desired)
  • Specific performance tweaks as necessary
Managed dedicated servers offer advantages that are almost too numerous to mention, when compared to the shared hosting environment. Large web sites or a sites with a great deal of traffic should always have a dedicated server in place. When using additional third party security for a web site or having many emails could be a concern, a dedicated server solution will allow for the kind of freedom that a shared hosting environment simply will not technically offer. Webmasters generally use dedicated servers so that will have the most comprehensive access to the server, with the ability to configure and optimize it in any way that may be required.
When considering everything, there really isn’t a downside to having a professionally managed hosting service with a dedicated server. As long as a good provider is chosen – all in all, the dedicated server solutions are actually extremely cost effective and a good value for most small to medium sized businesses that either have, or want to grow a popular web site.
Costly internal resources for a dedicated server can be avoided by delegating responsibility for system administration to a managed hosting provider very easily, especially when considering the cost of hiring a full time IT staff. The managed hosting solution with dedicated servers in place offer a highly trained IT staff at the disposal of any company, which is definitely something that small to medium businesses can appreciate, and rarely afford on an in-house basis.
Ultimately, how the value of managed services is determined could depend on how efficiently the managed host responds to needs and support issues. Slow response time isn’t going to be any better than an internal short staff situation, especially during times of peak administration requirements. However, it is safe to assume that overall, a good managed hosting company will always know how mission critical their job is and respond accordingly and quickly.
One of the largest advantages of the managed dedicated server hosting solution is the flexibility that it allows for businesses over general web site operation expenses. While negotiating the terms of service with any provider, do some intelligent comparison research before signing any contract, to ensure the best deal available.
In any case, the cost of managed dedicated server hosting can vary quite a bit. Below are some of the main considerations to be aware of:
– Server Hardware Options (CPU, Memory, Backup, Number of IP addresses, Bandwidth)
– Operating System (Unix, Linux, Windows, etc.) and Type
– Number of VPN users
– Software Configurations (SSL, MySQL/PHP, Control Panels)
– Security Options, Firewall
It is a good litmus test for any managed host to see if they are able to help you figure out exactly what is needed for your situation. It could also be an indication of how responsive they will be when support is needed later. Any prospective managed dedicated server host provider should be able to provide details about connectivity and the up-time track record. For example, the Network Operations Center (NOC) should be located in the US, to allow for the fastest, most reliable connection. In addition, any reputable company should also offer money back guarantees on their services.
In order to determine what a company’s exact needs may be, the answer will be determined in how well the server can keep up with the growth of the website and business. If it seems like expansion of internal IT resources will be necessary, it is more likely that it is also a good time to explore managed dedicated server hosting options thoroughly.
Managed dedicated servers have become the best resource for mission critical and enterprise level applications over the past few years. However, there are still also countless uses for managed dedicated servers in many other situations. The reduction in prices and extension of features have made the managed dedicated server a much more affordable, as well as the best overall business choice, for many personal and small business ventures.
Superb Internet provides a complete range of managed dedicated server and web hosting solutions, from virtual shared web hosting through to high-volume, mission-critical dedicated server solutions.’s core focus is customer service, and continuous service improvement, with offices and 24-hour/365-day operations in McLean, VA, Tukwila, WA, and Vancouver, BC, serving customers in over 150 countries worldwide.