Fully Managed vs Unmanaged

One of the big decisions to make when looking at either a hosted virtual or dedicated server for your business needs is whether to get a management plan or not.  Many businesses begin hosting their websites on shared services, so the issue of management seldom comes up. However, making the jump from shared hosting to either a dedicated server or virtualization in the cloud brings with it the need to make a decision on whether or not to invest in a management plan.

While the price difference between managed and unmanaged servers can be considerable, it is important to also consider other factors when making your decision. Going with the wrong decision on a management plan can lead to a lot of unexpected expenses in the future. The information here will help you make an informed decision that best fits your needs.

Is a Server Management Package Right for me?

Managed server packages offer support for the typical tasks and problems you might encounter when using a server to host various services. Naturally, there will be limits to the scope of this support, but the elements your services need to function are generally covered.  For example, the general control panel and operating system are all managed and supported, but help with proprietary website content is not usually covered. In addition, many management plans are bundled with automated backups and monitoring packages.

Management is ideal for someone who doesn’t have the time or expertise in-house to manage their own server.  This approach takes many of the big headaches associated with operating a server off of your plate, often at far less cost than hiring your own dedicated support personnel.  It also comes with peace of mind — when something goes wrong, you can simply call your hosting provider and get it all fixed.

Is an Unmanaged Server Package Right for me?

Unmanaged server packages – this option is cheaper because there are no management options or routine support. Failed hardware will still be replaced and carried out in order to keep your server running, but they won’t install anything for you other than the base operating system. You are in charge of controlling and maintaining everything. From security updates to error messages, you need to decipher what needs to be done. There will be an hourly charge for basic help if you are ever unsure, but be warned that this can become quite expensive in a very short time.

With this option, you have sole control and access to your server, like it is your very own computer. This comes with sole responsibility for the non-physical stability and security of it, too.  This route can significantly cheaper, so if you are comfortable with the administration of a server it may be quite an easy decision to make.

Making Your Decision

Everyone has completely different needs and abilities, so you will need to make your own personal decision when it comes to choosing between a managed or unmanaged server. Consider whether you can cope with troubleshooting a problem, or whether you can confidently apply security patches yourself. Similarly, will the price difference be a huge deciding factor?

Whether it is important for you to have lower costs or fewer maintenance headaches, this will be your decision to make. Only take on an unmanaged server if you are completely comfortable with managing the day to day operation of a server yourself. Otherwise, the inevitable downtime and security compromises will cost you a lot more in the long run. Keeping your workload running on your own can be a lot of work, so consider a managed server if you are in any doubt.