Managed vs unmanaged cloud: what is the difference?

  • 16 November 2021
  • Reading time: 4 min
  • Hosting

As an entrepreneur, you want to concentrate on your own business, which is why you prefer to leave all your digital issues to experts in the field. If you want to store all your data on an external server (the cloud has become the new standard for businesses!), managed hosting is exactly what you need.

But there is also such a thing as an 'unmanaged cloud'. We will therefore help you understand the difference: managed vs unmanaged cloud!

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Unmanaged cloud hosting

The name 'unmanaged cloud hosting' says it all: your cloud hosting provider will not manage your cloud system for you.

When you choose unmanaged hosting, you rent a server and an operating system from your cloud provider. That provider will ensure that the hardware remains up-to-date, that defective parts are replaced and that your server is always available. Even when your server needs to be restarted, your cloud provider will do that for you.

It is quite obvious that with unmanaged hosting, your cloud provider will only take care of the hardware side of your infrastructure.

But with unmanaged hosting, everything related to your software management is handled by you. So it will be your responsibility (or that of your system administrator) to install additional software or updates and security patches, in order to solve problems or to back up the data on your server. You will also be responsible for monitoring the performance of your server.

The benefits of unmanaged hosting

The price is the greatest advantage of unmanaged hosting. If you already have sufficient technical knowledge, unmanaged cloud hosting is often a more affordable option.

You should, however, bear in mind that you will need an in-house cloud administrator, who will have to spend time and money on updating and maintaining your server. And, if there are any software problems in the middle of the night, your cloud administrator will have to take action as soon as possible.

Another major advantage is the fact that you have complete control over your server: with unmanaged hosting, you manage everything, which leaves you more room to make certain (technical) choices. You also have complete control over how you configure, manage and maintain the servers.

Having full control is especially useful when you often need to make technical adjustments, or like to experiment with your cloud solution.

Managed cloud hosting

With managed hosting, your cloud provider takes care of everything related to your cloud. The management and maintenance of your infrastructure is entirely (or partially) taken care of by your cloud provider.

The cloud provider is therefore responsible for management, performance, security, backups and monitoring. It also troubleshoots any issues relating to your infrastructure and network. In return, you will benefit from a number of clear guarantees, which you can even formalise in Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

In those SLAs, such guarantees are set in stone: for example, you can always count on fast response and recovery times, as well as on the monitoring of your systems. And if your cloud provider cannot meet these guarantees, it must provide fair compensation.

The benefits of managed cloud hosting

Every cloud provider has its own conditions and benefits. With Combell, these are quite extensive, as you can see below.

Guarantees: Your IT manager no longer needs to be woken up in case of problems: you get rock-solid guarantees for uptime, performance, security and privacy.

Proactive monitoring: Combell monitors your infrastructure 24/7, which allows us to detect certain irregularities or peaks even before they become a problem. Think for example of the monitoring of your CPU load, memory, storage, application performance, etc.

Instant updates: When certain software updates or security patches are available, your cloud provider will install them immediately - if they do not pose a problem to the rest of your infrastructure, of course. This helps keep any security risks to a minimum.

High-quality security: Combell determines the level of security you need in consultation with you. Its specialists will take care of the set-up of the different layers and their monitoring. If your cloud provider, such as Combell, is ISO 27001-certified, you can also be sure that the security of your data is regularly assessed by experts.

Backups available at all times: With managed cloud hosting, Combell automatically creates cloud backups of your infrastructure at specific times. These backups can also be restored immediately when necessary.

Tailored service package: Combell offers different managed service packages. This way, you can perfectly determine what you want to manage yourself and what your cloud provider should do. You can also determine the budget you can/want to spend on managed hosting and the guarantees you want.

24/7 support: You can count on 24/7 support. There is always someone available to follow up on alerts, solve problems or handle incidents.

Reporting: You receive regular reports on your traffic, resource usage, incidents, etc. This helps you stay on top of things without having to deal with hosting on a daily basis.

Managed vs unmanaged cloud: conclusion

In the 21st century, moving to the cloud is the best choice your company can make. When considering the issue of 'managed vs unmanaged cloud', it is best to weigh up the pros and cons of your specific cloud solution.

If you prefer to have full control of your server – and if your company has the technical know-how to do so – unmanaged cloud hosting is a better and cheaper option. Keep in mind the additional costs (and effort) that can come with problems.

If you prefer not to hire your own system administrator, you can opt for managed cloud hosting. With this option, you can always be sure of an optimally functioning, highly secure server. And if there are any problems, your cloud provider will solve them in no time.

Not sure what the best cloud solution is for your business? Ask our experts for advice, without any obligation!