Today, digital agencies are attempting to run their businesses much leaner. Designers and developers want the freedom to focus more on their core business. They want to create, not administer the infrastructure or manage the technology and data. That’s not what gives them passion and it’s not why they are in business. But hosting and infrastructure are what Liquid Web does best.
Liquid Web’s Fully Managed Hosting has been helping agencies focus on their core business for over 20 years.
Let’s talk about how it’s done.
What is Managed Hosting?
Those in the digital space are familiar with Managed Hosting in one way or another.
This is a business model where a service provider leases hardware to a single customer. The service provider also provides management of the servers, software, and networks necessary for hosting for the customer.
If an issue arises, a managed hosting provider is there to help pinpoint the problem and rectify it.
What is Fully Managed Dedicated Server Hosting?
Fully Managed Dedicated Server Hosting is an isolated hosting environment where the provider handles the setup, administration, management, and support of the server or platform application. The resources are specific to the user ensuring that your data alone is hosted in your environment without being affected by the issues that arise from sharing resources.
Shared hosting is the most popular example of multi-tenancy. This is where many sites or applications exist on the same server. Quite often, shared hosting divides the server resources among customers. This would include storage and bandwidth and in some cases RAM and CPU cores.
Think of shared hosting as a home with renters all sharing the same living space.
Managed Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated hosting would be an example of single-tenancy. With this type of environment, a single customer hosts their site(s) or application(s). With managed dedicated server environments, the server hardware and resources for that hardware belong to that single customer.
To continue with the above analogy, think of dedicated hosting as a home with one occupant. This avoids “noisy neighbors” encroaching on your space, disrupting your space and the space of those visiting your site.
What Does It All Mean?
I’m sure you were asking that question. To put it simply, "managed" means that your service provider will manage your environment for you so you don't have to. Moreover, you don’t have to pay someone to do it for you.
Don’t get me wrong, there are those that prefer to manage their environment in-house. We will explore that idea in a moment. But for those that are starting out fresh, managed hosting makes more sense. Most likely, you may not have the overhead for a Systems Administrator yet.
Why Would Someone Pay for Managed Hosting When They Could Manage In-House?
This is a question that every business owner has to face, and it’s a tough one. There is much talk in the industry from agencies and business owners, especially around the cloud, security, internet of things, privacy, and cyber attacks.
What Benefit Does Managed Hosting Offer Over In-House Management?
The answer to this question will differ between companies. It will depend on the project that you are working on. Effective planning can be the difference between success and failure for your business. I learned from past experience that a Business Continuity Plan is a time and money saver. According to cio.com, a Business Continuity Plan outlines procedures and instructions an organization must follow in the face of disaster, whether fire, flood or cyber attack.
No matter the size of the company, when it comes to managing your infrastructure, you value time and money.
There are three large categories of costs that you must consider.
The first set of costs that you will need to consider will be the starting infrastructure costs. You will need to determine the correct server hardware for the project.
Here is a list of questions to consider:
- What size server(s) do you need?
- How many servers does the project call for?
- What is the processor that would best work for your environment?
- What resources are necessary to function while at the same time allowing for growth?
- What software will you need?
- Are there be any licensing costs associated with acquiring the software?
These and many more questions will need answers before making any of your purchases. To answer them and also get the right equipment you may need to hire a Systems Administrator. They or your developer will need to determine what resources will run your project. This may not be known at the onset, but effective planning and monitoring of your environment will help.
If the person building your site or application is unsure you can seek professional help from an IT firm. It also helps to know the software you plan to use and what typical server requirements accompany it. You can always start small and upgrade infrastructure along the way.
This leads us to consider the second group of costs, your operating costs.
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Operating costs of your environment can include many factors. Consider hardware and software support, power and network infrastructure support, storage, and facilities.
Once you have gotten the environment in place you will need to hire staff to maintain it. If you are a company that does not already have an IT staff this is a considerable factor to think about. You will need to deal with IT staffing and labor, as well as training and staffing turnover.
Some staffing questions to think about would be:
- Will these new employees need training?
- What will the salary requirements be?
- Can the training happen in-house, online, or will they need formal education?
- Do you maintain your hardware in-house and outsource only the management to an IT firm?
The last thing to consider would be the unknown or indirect variable costs. If for some reason the hardware fails, you will need to have a contingency plan in place. There are costs associated with upgrading or replacing hardware. It may be that business is growing and you need to add more infrastructure. You will need to consider paying overtime to employees, should the need arise. Also, consider on-call costs should any of the IT staff need to be on hand or take care of an emergency situation. There will be standard updates and patches for software and hardware. Some instances of your contingency plan may never happen but you need a plan in case one of them comes to pass.
The Managed Experience
After counting the cost of in-house management, a look into a managed hosting solution is worth it for comparison. Each hosting provider may have a different cost structure, so make sure to check out a few hosting providers to begin to understand which services come standard and which add-ons you will need to look at.
Liquid Web’s Managed Hosting solutions include no hidden management costs.
Most managed hosting providers have sales professionals available. They can assist you in finding the right solution for your business. Depending on what is necessary, you may cut down some of your starting costs.
For instance, having a provider with their own data center space and support staff means you are not housing the infrastructure or adding to your staff. No extra staff means no extra costs for salaries, training, and continued learning. Not having to worry about facilities and utilities also alleviates infrastructure costs.
There is also security and contingency to consider. Most managed hosting providers have processes in place for these issues and are specifically trained in how to handle situations, should they arise. They are careful to safeguard and protect their infrastructure.
At the same time, you partner with them to protect your data. More products and services would most likely be available at an extra cost as well. These are all things to consider in contrast to creating these things on your own in-house. Also, knowing when and how your provider’s support staff is available is key as well.
Liquid Web’s Support is available 24/7/365, so you never need to worry.
In addition, Liquid Web's Managed Dedicated Server Hosting solution provides the highest levels of performance and security, being single-tenant and built-to-order.
Let Liquid Web Manage Hosting for You, and Let Your System Administrator Work on Other Things
|What We Offer||What’s In It For You|
|On-site Linux and Windows Support, Monitoring, Security, and Network Teams||24/7/365 Support and Management with a focus on our network and platform, and most importantly your servers.|
|Our Beyond Scope Support||Limited support for issues that may be beyond our scope. Our team may investigate, consult, and perform services on such issues.|
|Fully Managed servers with cPanel, Plesk, or InterWorx||- Complete support of the base operating system and all control panel services.|
- Premium Windows or Linux hosting environment backed by our 24/7/365 support.
- Complete support for the Linux or Windows web server stacks.
|Proactive service restoration||If there is hardware or software failure within the OS or stack, our team will work to get you back up and running. If your site or email goes down related to these areas we assist as well.|
|24/7/365 chat, phone, or email ticket availability||You always have access to a helpful human.|
On-Premise Hardware Not Cutting It? Download Our 20 Point Checklist to Vet Your New Managed Hosting Provider.
Ron is a Hosting Advisor with Liquid Web where he assists existing and potential clients in finding the right solution for their needs. He has 7+ years of experience in Technology. He obtained an Associate of Science in Computer Science from Prairie State College in 2015. He is happily married to his high school sweetheart and lives in Michigan with her and their children.
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