Top 10 Managed Hosting Companies


What is Managed Hosting ?

If your current shared-server hosting plan plagues you with many unexpected problems, you may need to consider moving to a managed dedicated plan. In the hosting industry, managed hosting is a relatively new solution, which is worth checking out. For a layman, it’s easy to separate hosting users into two categories; those who do everything in-house or those who place online data in a hosting company using shared servers. The former option is only feasible for corporates with enough money and resources to cover the high equipment and manpower costs. However, the latter option often suit most small- and medium-sized businesses due to the cost-effective arrangement. Lately, managed hosting has become more popular among customers.


Managed hosting is a good solution for businesses with a thriving websites and large traffic. With this hosting plan, the provider manages all the functioning of the dedicated server and administrative tasks. As the results, customers don’t need to manage their own server, software, hardware and other related components. Obviously, managed hosting plan is appropriate for companies that need a full support for its dedicated server. Many companies guarantee 100% up time and while this promise remains questionable, it’s clear that the technical support and infrastructure provided by managed hosting providers are usually much better than typical hosting services.


For many website owners, the transition to managed dedicated hosting plan has been a boon, since it offers them all the benefits of dedicated service plus the practicality of having everything taken care of. For many businesses, typical dedicated hosting plans still can’t provide ideal solution. As the result they still need to deal with some technical issues such as working with server administration. The services offered by managed hosting plans vary from provider to provider, however, they may include assistance, server monitoring, regular security evaluation, troubleshooting, testing, upgrades and updates. Obviously, consumers need to shell out more cash to pay for the extra hands provided by the hosting companies’ technical experts.


Although a managed hosting plan is more expensive than typical hosting, it does offer some savings because customers can get software packages and other components needed to update the server at a lower price. From a business perspective, managed hosting is equal to outsourcing technical workers to manage the server.


Another drawback of managed hosting is less overall control of your server. With this hosting plan, you are relinquishing the control of the server administration to the web host. The negatives of managed hosting may be a few, but they can be significant in some cases. For example, changes in business climate may require you to cut costs and for some companies it may mean they need to move to the unmanaged hosting plan. This is a good choice only if you can employ competent IT staffs with reasonable salaries.


Large companies who want to focus their effort on improving their core business should choose managed hosting plan. They will be less affected by security and performance issues as the hosting provider continuously monitor the server for any sign of trouble. Make sure the managed hosting company has skilled, professional IT specialists that can handle possible problems that may happen with your server. Many providers offering managed hosting plans acquire marketing leverage by gathering the capable IT teams.


Before signing the contract, you should be sure that you receive state-of-the-art equipments and infrastructure as you deserve nothing less. Be clear about the hierarchy of responsibility should something goes wrong. You need to seek accountability in order to get the most of your investment. Remember to ask questions, many of them; to make sure that the provider can give you the best and won’t trouble you in the future.

Tips to Choose Managed Hosting

The first thing that you should do before selecting managed hosting is to understand the difference between managed and un-managed hosting. Un-managed hosting lets the users be in control of the server, giving them the power to keep a record of the system and use it according to their needs. But it is suitable only for those who have the capability to work around the technicalities of the system. Therefore it is hardly chosen by most.


Managed hosting is a service in which most of the work is cut out for you. All the surveillance and record keeping is done by hosting companies. Users just have to keep their websites functioning. Also, if the server faces any problems, the staff at the hosting company deals with it without letting users face much difficulties. Hardly surprising, for everyone, managed hosting is the more popular choice. It is more affordable and offers great flexibility, security and stability.


Once it has been confirmed that Managed Hosting is the option to go for, a number of key things need to be thought over before choosing the right company. As a customer you should expect the best hosting services equipped with the latest features from the provider.


Experience:

Before partnering with the host, you should find out how much experience the provider has in running a global enterprise. While majority of hosts provide software as a service (SaaS), not all are properly equipped to handle the complete needs of the customers. The host provider you choose should be well aware and experienced to take proper measures to enforce global hosting services.


Communication:

While most of the companies provide world class services, few keep in regular touch with their customers to be aware of their constantly changing needs and updating their packages accordingly. The best host will work with the users to help expand their business by offering carefully crafted solutions and opinions which would help customers reach their full potential.


Supervising Key Areas:

A good host provider supervises and manages most of the systems framework, freeing users from worrying about the minor details. An expert IT team should always be in place, ready to assist whenever need be. The team should also be able to handle any and every sort of breakdown and glitch that a user might encounter.


Network of the Provider:

If your provider pays too much attention to your site, and tries to solve all your problems without outside help, it is time to look for a new host. If the host has a limited network, it is not exposed to the wide variety of difficulties customers face and cannot address them all individually.  A good service provider should have an extensive network of affiliation with others to be able to help solve the different kinds of problems faced by users.


Uptime:

Most hosting providers make sure they offer users an uptime of around 99 percent. This ensures proper functioning of the server. If any technical difficulties arise, companies try to work them out as soon as possible so that customers do not suffer.

Managed Hosting Vs Dedicated Hosting, Which is Better?

For many website administrators, choosing the right kind of web hosting is a complicated process. There are so many providers and platforms to choose from, it’s difficult to know which direction to go in. If you’ve outgrown the capabilities of shared hosting or VPS hosting and need something more powerful and robust, you essentially have two choices. You can either utilize managed hosting, or decide to use dedicated hosting for your website. Both are fairly similar in most ways, with a few crucial distinctions. Before you make the decision between the two, there are some important facts that you should take into consideration.


What Is Managed Hosting?
Managed hosting typically refers to a situation where you lease an entire server from a hosting company for the exclusive use of your websites. Unlike Virtual Private Servers which host multiple websites on one physical machine, a server leased under a managed hosting plan is yours alone to use. Such a hosting account is “managed” in the sense that the hosting provider will deal with all of the on-the-ground maintenance and upkeep required to keep the server running. They’ll take care of hardware configuration and backups for the most part, meaning you won’t have to physically visit their data center to reboot a machine if necessary.


Benefits and Drawbacks
The obvious upside to leasing a managed server is that you don’t have to waste time fiddling with it or worrying about hardware failures. You can have your website up and running faster and more easily when you have the technicians at the data center managing the hardware setup and configuration for you. If you’re picky about your hardware setup and configuration, managed hosting may not be for you. Managed hosting also costs a bit more, as the hosting provider is giving you significant technical support.


What Is Dedicated Hosting?
Dedicated hosting is a lot like managed hosting in that you can also lease a whole server from the hosting provider solely for your website or websites. It’s housed in their data center, and you get the same level of bandwidth and storage as with managed hosting. Unlike managed hosting, the setup and configuration of the server is your responsibility. You have to handle backups, troubleshoot hardware problems, and physically go to the data center if problems arise. They provide the fiber optics and lease you the server, but everything else is up to you. Many dedicated hosting companies allow you to bring in your own server if you happen to have one.


Benefits and Drawbacks
The major advantage of dedicated hosting is that it’s somewhat less expensive than managed hosting. All the technical work and maintenance of the server is on you, so you’re not paying the data center for their expertise. If you know what you’re doing and don’t mind having to travel to the warehouse to configure your server on-site, then dedicated hosting is a good idea. If you’re not technically inclined when it comes to servers, this may not be such a good thing. The hours you could spend on-site working with your server can really add up if you don’t have reliable hardware.


Final Thoughts
The type of hosting you should opt for depends entirely on your circumstances. If time is more important than money to you, then managed hosting makes a lot of sense. The costs of managed hosting aren’t significantly higher than dedicated hosting, and you’re getting peace of mind with your purchase. On the other hand, you may prefer dedicated hosting if you own the server in question and don’t want anyone else working on it. In any event, choosing a quality hosting company is far more important than the type of hosting you purchase. Find a reputable hosting provider, and you’ll thank yourself later.