Jacob Colton of Catalyst2 – Dedicated Server Hosting; Managed vs Unmanaged

Dedicated Server Hosting; Managed vs Unmanaged

When you look at the various different moving-parts that are involved in modern business practices, it is not hard to see why things can quickly spiral out of control. As a manager, you have a responsibility to keep your firm operating at optimal capacity, which is a task that is easier said than done. If you were to devote your time to one specific element of your business, however, it is advisable that you try to improve the functionality of your website. In order to make this a reality, it is imperative that you evaluate your hosting requirements.

Although there is a seemingly-endless number of servers that you can take advantage of, there are certain packages that stick out as being leading contenders. Namely, these are managed and unmanaged dedicated server hosting. Unfortunately, to the untrained eye, it can sometimes be a little tricky to ascertain which is more-appropriate for your particular organisation. Thankfully, this is not a decision that you have to make alone – in catalyst2, you have a provider that is transparent, and will gladly provide you with the information that you need to make an informed choice.




Benefits of Managed Hosting

If this is your first step into the world of hosting, it is understandable that you are currently lacking in the expertise and specialist-knowledge that is required to take full-control of the situation. For example, if an eventuality arises which means that you are in need of additional power-output from your server, it will be rather tricky for you to facilitate this alone. However, if you enter into an agreement that is fully-managed, the problem is taken out of your hands; rather than struggling alone, you will have representatives whose responsibility it is to oversee this type of project to completion.

On the face of it, you would be forgiven for thinking that due to the additional level of support that you will be provided, this is a service that will cost you significantly-more than the expenses that are incurred from its unmanaged counterpart. However, you need to take into account the long-term savings that can be enjoyed from a managed service. First-and-foremost, this will quickly eliminate any unnecessary costs that you are currently paying; your provider will identify the services that are rendered obsolete, and this can quickly see your financial situation improve. You should also take into account the additional profit that can be made by having a more-efficient website. By enhancing your online presence, it will not take long to see your sales soaring, and this will help to offset the investment that you have made in a hosting service.

When weighing up the pros and cons that are linked to managed server hosting, it is impossible to ignore the level of support that you subsequently have access to. If the worst was to happen, and one of your on-site appliances were to fail, it would not take long for the issue to be resolved. This is, of course, provided that you opt to collaborate with a renowned hosting provider that has an immaculate track-record within the industry. Not only will they be at your beck-and-call, regardless of the time of day it is, but they will also oversee the routine back-ups of your website. The reason why this is quite so-important is that if you are subjected to a blackout, it is possible for any recent updates that you have made to be lost. Instead of taking this to be an unfortunate side-effect that is out of your control, you can see to-it that any power outages do not adversely impact your operations.


The Attraction of Unmanaged Services

Though most companies will recommend that you immediately opt for dedicated server hosting that is rigorously managed, there is another option that you need to take into consideration, and that relates to an unmanaged package. One of the most-prominent benefits that is associated with this service is that, on the whole, you will be paying a much-more affordable fee. This partially explains why it is usually independent, smaller businesses that are attracted to this service. Due to the fact that you are not routinely making-use of the manpower of your provider, we are sure that you will be surprised by the fee that you are quoted for plans of this nature. 

Should you be part of a company that has a history of operating in a technical capacity, you might not have much-use for outside input from a third-party. All of the advice and direction that they would provide you with is information that you are already aware of. This means, in essence, that a managed service would be a redundant type of service for you, as you would constantly be on the receiving end of instructions that you have already taken care of. Rather than put yourself through this type of hassle, a preferable solution would be to enter into an unmanaged agreement. The result of this is that you will be provided with the raw equipment that you need, and then left to your own devices.     

There will naturally be some people reading this that believe that having total autonomy, in relation to your hosting, should be perceived as being a bad thing. After all, this means that the final decisions relating to important business decisions rest with you – make the wrong choice, and there is nobody that you can point the finger of blame at. On the other hand, some would regard this to be a license to try new and innovative things, in the name of good business practices. Instead of being dependent on the judgements and opinions of others, you can weigh up your options, and act accordingly. 


The Downsides to Both Options

Before you get ahead of yourself, and push ahead with either of the aforementioned options, you should take a moment to consider the negative attributes of both of the packages. With an unmanaged server, it is rather clear in regards to the biggest problem that you will face. Unfortunately, this is a service which does not come with much in the way of additional support. After you have signed on the dotted line, you are almost-entirely independent. This means, for instance, that if you notice issues on your control panel, it is up to you to rectify the problem under your own steam. The circumstances can become confounded if you are lacking in technical prowess, which is not a situation that you will want to come face-to-face with. 

You may be thinking that, to all intents and purposes, there is nothing inherently wrong with a managed hosting package. After all, this is proving to be one of the most popular technical services across the country, and is certainly deserving of this glowing reputation. That being said, there are a couple of drawbacks that you need to be wary of. As we have already touched upon, this is not a service that comes cheap. When you factor in the amount of equipment that you are able to utilise, as well as the number of individuals that will be working tirelessly to benefit your organisation, it should come as no surprise that your bill will be, in a word, expensive. Therefore, it is advised that you only entertain the possibility of this service if you are a long-standing business that has a number of sources of income, and has the financial stability necessary to pursue this plan for years to come.


Things to Consider

Prior to making your decision one way or another, there are a few considerations that you need to keep in mind. By doing this, you can effectively determine the optimal route to success, thereby safeguarding your business for the foreseeable future. Without a doubt, one of the most important factors relates to the funds currently at your disposal. Whilst we recognise that you will want to make use of a bespoke and comprehensive package, the reality of the situation is that you might bankrupt yourself in the process. What you might wish to consider is engaging with a firm that offers both managed and unmanaged services. This allows you to start with the latter, and as your business grows switch to the former.  

You would also be neglectful if you didn’t, at some stage, pause to take into account how reliant you are on your website. For example, if you are a business that is entirely-focussed on your local area, and are mainly looking to offer services rather than products, you might be able to get by through word of mouth, as well as strategically-placed advertisements. The same cannot be said for a firm that is trying to secure a large market share, and wants to take the next step in becoming a multinational organisation. In situations such as these, you will need to take every available measure to get your website to a standard that people would regard to be elite. The level of professionalism that exudes from your website is an indication, to your audience, about how hard you will work to satisfy their needs.   

Please note that there is no guarantee for success with either of these high-performance packages. There is always room for error, in the same way that there is always room for improvement. The decisions that you make will no-doubt have a huge impact on the fortunes of your firm, and that is why you cannot rush such choices. The information that you have just consumed should, in theory, give you food for thought. After some deliberation, we are sure that you will be able to come to a conclusion, and justify it accordingly.


Our Final Thoughts

As you can hopefully see, there are positives and negatives associated with both types of dedicated server hosting. In truth, there is no right or wrong answer in regards to the course of action that you can take – it essentially comes down to the position that you and your company find yourselves in, and the direction that you would subsequently like to go in. Should either one of these appeal to you, the next logical step involves a company that offers first-class hosting solutions. In this department, catalyst2 are unrivalled in terms of quality.

Part of what allows us to stand apart from the crowd is the sheer number of hosting services that we have available to offer our clients. When you come to catalyst2, you can enjoy a level of variety that is seldom found at other web-hosting companies. We want to ensure that you have access to a package that is tailored specifically towards your needs; whilst this may sometimes relate to managed dedicated server hosting, this is not always the case. There are certain situations, for instance, that we would recommend that you take a closer look at what VPS hosting has to offer.

Should you have come to the conclusion that our server management capabilities are far-superior than those of our rivals, we would love to hear from you. The managed services that we provide are open to tweaks-and-changes; we always want to reassure you that your firm has full-control over the plans that we offer. For those of you that have questions-or-queries in relation to any pieces of information that have been divulged above, it could not be easier to get in touch. Simply give our team a call today on 0800 107 7979, and they will do everything in their power to satisfy your curiosity.