What is Managed Server Hosting?

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Managed server hosting is a new service that is the future of computing. Simply stated, managed server hosting puts together all the pieces needed to operate a computer server.

Instead of purchasing and setting up a server at your office, hiring additional staff to setup & manage and maintain the server, a managed server is located in our data center and managed by our staff of experts eliminating many of the costs, time, and effort associated with running a server.

Some examples of managed server hosting include:

Managed Server for Web Hosting allows companies to have a web site (www.yourcompany.com) available for their customers to interact with to order products & services, get more information, or get support for an already purchased product.

Managed Server for Email includes a e-mail server (such as Microsoft Exchange) and e-mail boxes ([email protected]) allowing a company to have its own e-mail service for its employees. In addition, the server may be configured to block spam or junk mail, inappropriate content, or archive all e-mails received/and sent for compliance purposes. [More…]

Managed Server for Accounting/Specialized Application would allow companies to have a ready-to-go platform to install their 3rd party application/program (for example, a accounting or scheduling program) which would have adequate memory, disk, and internet access/connection speed to be capable of serving many queries.

Managed Server Hosting is a superior strategy to purchasing servers because it lowers cost, saves time, and eliminates effort to maintain a server/IT infrastructure:

Lower Cost – Managed server hosting requires no big ticket up front commitments because the server price is built into the month fee. This means no big capital expenditures plus it gives IT departments flexibility. Unlike leasing, managed servers can be kept online beyond their contracted service period (month-to-month, for example) allowing IT managers to refresh when they want to, not having to avoid being gouged by high payments, additional contracted terms associated with traditional leasing. Because managed servers are purchased as a service, they are an expense and not a asset that has to be depreciated. Organizations can achieve a more balanced cashflow since the payments are steady throughout the service period, versus large upfront payments. Because no additional or relatively little headcount is added when adding infrastructure, managed environments have a rapid payback since server management/maintenance is included in the monthly fee; manage server providers are able to accomplish this because of scale of their operations. Managed service providers are given sizable discounts from software vendors when implementing their products, and are able to pass on the savings to their clients. For example, Microsoft Exchange is virtually free since the fee is on a per user basis, instead of each software license. Managed server hosting is extremely cost effective versus legacy implementations of software and hardware.

Saves time – Managed service environments can be ramped up/down based on demand and/or volume of transactions. This is especially important for Internet based applications where a sudden spike in traffic would normally be unaddressable because it can take months or not be possible to get the needed bandwidth support the traffic spikes. Managed hosting environments have enormous capacity (once again, economies of scale) making scaling bandwidth literally a “flip of the switch “process. In addition, accounting for active assets becomes trivial since only active assets such as load-balancers, servers, firewalls that are active are billed greatly simplifying the auditing process. Because of the highly structured nature of managed server hosting, there is less finger pointing between vendors (since the managed server provider is selling the “cake” versus just the “ingredients”, the managed server provider is responsible for delivery of a cake).

Saves effort – managed server hosting eliminates all the chores associated with running a server infrastructure – maintenance, server upgrades & patches, hardware refresh, data backup , and skilled IT staff are the managed server provider’s responsibility. Like a hospital, the managed server provider will have a team of high skilled personnel (such as routing/switch, applications support, platform support) to keep things running smoothly. It is either cost prohibitive or impossible for organizations to staff these ‘experts’ since their skill sets might be extremely important, but only needed for a few days a year. This eliminates the need to shop for these skills and get better accountability of spending on projects, and thus higher ROI. (Historically, organizations have been challenged with throwing money at the “IT blackhole” – constant spending with questionable return on investment). Spending on managed servers can be quantified and thus shows reasonable ROI.

These are a few of the basic benefits of managed server hosting. Many of the other benefits, such as being located in a data center with generator power & uninterruptible power supplies, proper cooling, and redundant Internet links are important additional benefits.

Managed server hosting is the future of the industry. Besides computer servers, managed server hosting applies to the full gamut of network services, including firewalls, switches, routers, and most importantly tying it all together. Organizations looking for quantifiable ROI, and a better solution to IT infrastructure needs are already moving to managed server hosting. We recommend trying managed server hosting on server refresh cycles or new IT projects to see just how much better it is than legacy solutions.

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