Any business with a web presence needs to consider web hosting. This means understanding the difference between dedicated web hosting and managed web hosting. In this post, we’re talking about dedicated web hosting.

What Is Dedicated Web Hosting?

Dedicated web hosting is when you get a dedicated server, custom configured to your application, leased to you by a hosting service provider. It is unmanaged, meaning that the hosting provider leaves things like software updates, reconfiguration, security, monitoring, backup, and more, to you.

While virtual or shared hosting consists of dozens if not hundreds of users on a single server, a dedicated server is not only yours to use exclusively, but also designed for your specific needs. You may choose a Linux, Windows, or Unix operating system, install whatever third-party software you need, and configure the server however you want.

What Does “Unmanaged” Mean?

Dedicated web hosting is unmanaged in the sense that the hosting provider sets up the server for you, but after that point management is your responsibility. “Unmanaged” means that day-to-day operations will be handled by you and not the hosting provider. That said, many hosting services provide technical support in the event of server failure. If you suffer some issue that you can’t resolve yourself, the hosting provider may also offer a one-time managed service for an extra charge. Also note that most hardware problems will be fixed by the hosting provider at no extra charge. Software problems are left to you.

Important Considerations

Dedicated web hosting is less costly than managed web hosting. When you pay for managed hosting, you pay also for support.

With dedicated web hosting, you must provide that support yourself. This means you need IT staff that can maintain a server 24/7.

Speaking of IT staff, they are probably the most important factor in considering whether or not your business uses dedicated web hosting. Do they have the expertise to manage a server, including its security? Do they have enough capacity to manage a server twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week?

One thing that dedicated web hosting offers that managed hosting can’t is freedom. If your application is complex, you require a very specific server configuration, you need a great degree of individual control, or you can’t have someone else managing your application for proprietary or security reasons, a dedicated server offers the freedom you need.

The Takeaway

There is a great deal of difference between dedicated web hosting and managed web hosting. If your needs are specific and you have the in-house expertise to manage your own server, then dedicated web hosting might be the best solution for you. Otherwise, you may want to explore the added benefits of managed web hosting.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

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