In the world of gigabits and terabytes, there is a lot going on – new products are being developed and the plethora of information that you have been told about securing your data as a business owner can be, from time to time, overwhelming. You aren’t the CIO and you don’t employ an arsenal of IT staff to help guide you through the decision of migrating your data into a secure Data Center. You’re inundated with choices and weary of company salesmen who may or may not be trying to oversell you. Every web hosting service has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. It is crucial for every business owner to familiarize themselves with the different types of services a Hosting Provider offers before researching your data center. So how do you know what service is the right fit for your company?  Continue to read and see where you feel your company fits best before signing on the dotted line.

Many data centers offer Dedicated Servers, Managed Servers, and some have even begun to offer cloud hosting, also known as virtual computing or cloud computing. Let’s start with the basics.

You are researching because you have noticed that your operations aren’t running so smoothly. Your website is slow and sluggish, and you have thought about disaster recovery or that centralizing your core business data would be a great idea.  You probably need a dedicated server.

A dedicated server is a server in which you can host your website, your email, or any other software. You may even run your dedicated server as a backup server in the event your other provider or in-house server were to fail.  These servers are not owned by you but by the hosting company and are leased to you.  If you choose to go with a dedicated server you will not have physical access to the server and will only be able to control your server remotely. Much like purchasing a car, you are responsible for the maintenance of the server and if you need assistance with a project or repairs you can contact the provider for assistance.  This could get costly with most consulting agreements starting around $150 an hour or more, depending on the skill level of the technician. Consulting agreements also typically include a minimum estimation of work time.  Management and maintenance of the server could serve to become a burden if your organization is not staffed with a skilled IT department.

This is where managed servers come into play. Much like the dedicated server, the equipment is not owned by you but leased to you for a monthly fee. With managed servers, your provider installs security patches and updates, completes backups, provides technical support, and other actions that fall under the managed hosting scope of support.  Managed server hosting will allow you to employ a smaller IT staff or, even none at all. Many small to mid-size businesses find this option to be better than using a dedicated server, as it allows their operations to run more efficiently with less money being spent on IT salaries and more on development with little out-of-pocket expenses.

If you are looking for a flexible platform that allows you to easily scale your computing resources and is often costs less than dedicated or managed servers, you could always consider “the cloud”. Cloud hosting typically allows multiple users to share computing resources and scale up to fully dedicated systems in a seamless manner.  It is often offered in a pay-as-you-go or contracted monthly structure.  As of now, the cloud is somewhat new to the market and is not widely in use.

In general, if you are a small to mid-sized business, any of these options can work for you.  Before signing a contract, it is important to take into consideration your IT budget, applications for cloud server use, and the investment you wish to make.  Being in this industry for 30 years truly gives us an edge and expertise in helping prospective customers determine the best solution to meet their needs. Best of all, we offer this consulting service for free. So feel free to contact us today.