Dedicated servers can offer you a smooth and dependable experience for establishing your presence on the web. However, there are two kinds of these servers that you need to be aware of before making a decision to follow such a path. Managed servers allow you full support while unmanaged servers, unlike the implication of their name, offer you limited support. Which option is right for you depends on a variety of factors.
First, how complex is your website? If you are a small operation with very few online demands, unmanaged servers may be the right selection. For starters, “unmanaged” is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, you will have to take care of software upgrades and routine maintenance on your own, but for major issues, you can still have access to the same support you would get from a managed provider. Chances are good, however, that you will have to pay extra for the service. One way that companies choosing unmanaged servers get around this is to hire a local professional on an hourly basis whenever critical issues arise. This is often a cheaper alternative to managed server hosting.
If your business needs are more advanced, managed servers are probably the way to go. With managed hosting, you get full-time support from server administrators who work hard to make sure things stay operational for your website so that you can focus on core business objectives. With growth, the likelihood of this option is far greater than for an upstart, where every minute of every day counts just to make ends meet. Managed server administrators will run software upgrades for you. They will maintain the safety of your site by keeping out viruses, spam, worms, trojans, and other harmful Internet parasites that feed off your stability.
Without the full-service functionality of a managed server, you may have to tackle these issues on your own, and if you do not have the faith in your staff to rise to such challenges, then your site is a sitting duck for the ne’er-do-wells of the World Wide Web.
Still, many people find the extra work of an unmanaged server worthwhile. The decision to go with a more stripped-down form of Internet stability rests entirely on cost. Managed servers cost more than unmanaged because you are essentially employing a full staff of tech professionals for a fraction of the cost that onsite employees would cost you. While it may seem like a lot of money when compared to unmanaged servers, the long-term savings are obvious. No matter what you choose, however, you must first bet on reputation before deciding on anything else. If you can’t trust the provider, then either service will do you little good.
Here are the main types:
Fully Managed: This is when the dedicated server company provides all the necessary maintenance and the customer does absolutely nothing! The company does all the updates, reboots, upgrades, and monitors the web hosting.
Managed: This level of dedicated server hosting is just beneath the fully managed plans. The customer has limited say so which depends on the guidelines that the company sets. That could include reboots and patches. Usually, the dedicated server host will still provide all the necessary updates but it is important to check with the company.
Self-Managed: This type of managed dedicated server hosting involves the host company the least. The customer completes all the major tasks while the host only monitors them.
Unmanaged dedicated server hosting is when the customer does all the work on the server; including maintenance, reboots, patches, system upgrades and anything else needed. Typically there is very little done by the actual dedicated server host company other than security maintenance. This is because the server is still the property of the host company and they don’t want it to be corrupted.