Post Series: Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Managed Hosting Provider
Let’s be honest: Websites aren’t easy to manage; they take time, money and effort. And then deadlines, juggling clients, and researching the latest industry trends adds stress due to lack of adequate time. And you don’t want to be interrupted by server problems in your off-work hours, while trying to sleep or walk the dog.
Servers are also more complicated than desktop computers. And desktop computers can already be frustrating even for savvy and experienced users.
You just don’t have the time or energy to add managing a server to an already-full work and personal life.
The answer to your problem = managed hosting.
Managed web hosting has existed since the 90s, and has often been the go-to solution for webmasters and developers. Most site owners don’t want to be burdened with managing servers; they want to use it, not simply make it work. Even experienced server administrators often opt for managed hosting, as they value having extra eyes and hands (or like to sleep).
Myths of Managed Hosting
Managed hosting has too many myths and misconceptions:
- It’s not just for newbies.
- It’s not just for small developers or digital agencies; it can especially be a life saver to larger organizations.
- It’s not a luxury service for rich lazy admins.
- It’s not something you only need when problem arise; by then, it’s often too late.
- etc etc
None of this is true. In fact, most myths originate from companies selling unmanaged hosting or “cloud” servers … which brings us to the next section:
Managed vs. “the cloud”
Managed hosting is experiencing a market upswing. 451 Research predicts that managed hosting will grow 60% faster than infrastructure-only providers like Linode, DigitalOcean and AWS in the near future. And honestly, it’s not unexpected. “Cloud” has been hype all along.
Now don’t get me wrong – the public cloud is extremely useful for developers. And it isn’t going away anytime soon. But the buzz of recent years is quickly fading, because customers are souring on the hidden tax of “the cloud” – aka management.
Using public cloud providers always comes with a greater expense – either as a larger workload for you, or to hire outside management (either freelance or a management company). Large organization will often require more full-time employees – and experienced sysadmins are not cheap!
(Not to mention that some “cloud” providers don’t actually have cloud infrastructure. It was “cloud” in name only! That “cloud server” was just a generic VPS on a single server.)
New EuroVPS customers are often refugees from a bittersweet self-managed public-cloud hosting experience. The lure of cheap hosting didn’t last long, and almost ruined many of them. No management and poor service long-term cost their businesses greatly.
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It’s not about money, stupid!
Too many managers and executives opt for a cost-driven business model. They try to minimize all costs as low as possible. And at face value, it sound great! A decrease in operating costs nets more profit. It’s simple arithmetic!
But web hosting has many variables. It’s not a simple equation of 1+1=2.
Cheap prices are also due to cost-cutting at the host. For example, problems are far more likely on retrofitted desktop “servers” as opposed to enterprise-grade servers. And a cheap hosting probably outsources support. Scenarios like this are a nightmare waiting to happen, and it happens all the time.
But worse yet, not all management is created equal. Even non-cheap hosts can give your terrible service!
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“Managed” vs. managed
As was the case with “cloud” hosts that don’t actually have cloud infrastructure, many hosts are cashing in on the term “managed” and providing poor or non-existent management.
These hosts are managed in name only (MINO).
The difference between a quality managed host and a MINO host is whether they deliver positive return on investment to your business. You shouldn’t feel as if you’re a nuisance, or find yourself still managing a server yourself.
The best managed hosting providers:
- provide fast support
- provide conclusive solutions to issues
- deliver satisfactory server performance with minimal downtime
- monitor your security
- solve all of your day-to-day server maintenance needs
- have data protection and disaster recovery plans
- understand the special needs of your business, field, or industry
- provide unsolicited feedback and suggestions to improve your hosting
Quality managed hosts don’t see themselves merely as your vendor, but as a business partner. When your business excels, the host also excels.
They will ask you questions like:
- What applications are you using?
- What is your vertical?
- What are your performance targets?
- What is your RPO/RTO objective?
These are the types of questions that you’re going to start hearing when you talk to a great provider. And it will be a pleasant conversation, because the great ones also know how to communicate highly technical subjects in a clear concise manner that anyone can understand.
Alright, so now you know why managed hosting is an excellent idea. In part 2, we’ll tell you what to look for, specifically, when seeking a new managed host.
EuroVPS is, of course, an excellent managed VPS and managed bare-metal dedicated server host. We use true cloud architecture on all of our VPS and shared hosting. Our bare-metal solutions are available both individual or in a private cloud cluster.
We have true 24/7 on-site support staff and network engineers who provide management to freelance developers and major corporations alike. Everything we discuss here is what we do, and has been what we’ve done since 2004.