6 benefits of Managed Hosting you were not aware of
Regardless of its size, your business needs one or more servers to facilitate daily tasks like e-mail, backups, e-commerce, etc. As a rule, there are three options you can choose from in this context.
- Have your own server in-house, which is maintained by your own IT department.
- Rent a server in the cloud from a hosting provider (dedicated hosting), or have a “colocation provider” host your own server in optimum climatic conditions and protect it from all sorts of calamities, like a power failure. You can have your own IT staff maintain the server or hire specialists.
- Go for “managed hosting”, a solution where both the hardware (servers) and the software (maintenance services) are taken care of for you. Compare this to a car that you purchase with a full guarantee, which includes free oil and maintenance.
Those who value security and scalability above all else should go for managed hosting with a high-end hosting provider like Combell. The small surcharge is largely compensated for by the security, the business continuity, the service level agreements perfectly tailored to your needs and, most importantly, the peace of mind provided by this type of cloud hosting with additional provision of services.
Six benefits of Managed Hosting.
1. Server monitoring, also proactive
- Prevention is still better than cure. And for an optimum uptime of your server, it should be constantly monitored, in order to detect any anomaly that could lead to a failure.
- But monitoring can also be used for other purposes. You could e.g. choose disk space monitoring in order to keep an eye on the available disk space, or user script monitoring that monitors web services, as well as other monitoring tasks that meet your requirements.
- + Choose a hosting provider that gives you the opportunity to keep an eye, in real time, on all these monitoring systems via a web interface, which allows collaborators to analyse the monitoring results and you to suggest changes where necessary.
2. Better safe than sorry
- 2014 has been a year full of hacks and intrusions on web systems – unfortunately often caused by a lack of experience or time of the IT department in charge of system maintenance and configuration. Managed hosting goes hand in hand with strict security checks carried out by real experts, like regularly carrying out security audits, filtering spam, scanning viruses, adjusting the right configuration of the software firewall, and updating the server’s operating system. Check if your hosting provider has the necessary ISO certificates.
- + Check if your provider also offers proactive vulnerability scanning that, via penetration tests, aims at detecting weaknesses before they become a problem.
3. Shrinking and growing
- The space you need today to save data on it, the bandwidth you need today to ease the traffic to the servers... all these settings can change very quickly. With Managed Storage, a package that often comes with the hosting services, you are free to start at the bottom and begin to grow slowly or very quickly. Your servers will grow at your own pace.
- + Does your hosting provider have a reliable and redundant infrastructure? It is very important that, when one system fails, another system takes over.
4. Backups, just in case...
- A recent study by EMC, conducted on 3,300 IT professionals in 24 countries, showed that companies are still not prepared for data loss. Over the past two years, companies have lost 400% more data. And yet, 51% of managers surveyed have no disaster recovery plan for hybrid storage (hybrid cloud, big data, mobile).
Therefore, it is an absolute necessity to regularly make backups of your data, which are then stored on a separate, secure location, preferably off-site.
- + Do not ask your hosting provider for guaranteed response times in case of a service failure, but ask them for guaranteed recovery times. In the definition of the term “downtime”, make sure that this period is understood as the period that begins when the problem is detected by the provider’s monitoring system, not when you find out about it and report it!
5. Private or public?
- In the previous points, we referred to a “private cloud service”, on which only your data are stored in a protected environment on the server(s). But Managed Hosting is also provided for public cloud services like Amazon Web Services or Magento Cloud Hosting. The advantage of such cloud services is that you can build a complex ICT environment in a fast and flexible manner, without large investments. The downside is that you also need to have the necessary technical knowledge to adjust the cloud technologies to your needs so that your platform can work properly. Managed AWS hosting or Magento Cloud Hosting in AWS take this problem away. These services can e.g. be found at Unitt, Combell’s sister company.
- + Check if your AWS provider has certified administrators who can provide you with advice on the various Amazon cloud services: EC2, VPC, S3, Glacier, RDS, ElastiCache, Route53, CloudFront, SES, Elastic Beanstalk, CloudFormation, OpsWorks, AppStream, SQS, SNS, Elastic Transcoder.
6. Guarantees and provision of services tailored to your needs
- The great advantage of managed hosting is scalability. When you start small and grow big, the provision of services must grow in parallel – as should also the guarantees that come with it. What was not so important back when you started your business online may suddenly become essential later on. This is why guarantees and service level agreements tailored to your needs are a must.
- + Make sure that your hosting provider allows differentiation in its security levels, based on recovery times and the actual risk levels.