Managed Hosting Is The Most Cost-Effective Way To Run Dedicated Servers

As a website owner, you may need to upgrade from shared hosting to dedicated hosting. When it becomes necessary to do so, you are faced with the critical decision as to whether you should:

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Should you run your own dedicated server?

a. Run your own dedicated server, or
b. Use a managed hosting company.

If you decide to run your own dedicated server, you then have to decide whether you will build your own in-house data center or use a third party service to provide you with the physical infrastructure.

While every situation is different, every website owner will need to be aware of what is involved in setting up his or her own data center. It will only be possible to make a rational decision on the best solution when all the factors have been taken into account and priced. That way, a financial comparison can be made between opting for managed hosting services, or other hosted solutions, and doing everything in-house.

Here are some of the issues that have to be addressed.

1. Environment

If you opt to run your own servers at your place of business, you need to build your own data center. That data center will have to be protected against many different threats. Physical access to the center has to be controlled, and restricted to authorized personnel. You also have to consider protection against hazards like flooding and fire.

The temperature and humidity must be kept within safe levels to prevent hardware malfunctions. That normally requires the installation of heating and cooling systems. The data center will also have to be equipped with an adequate power supply. All of these factors are going to cost a substantial amount of money.

2. Support

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One of the principal advantages of setting up a website is to allow people to access it at any time from any part of the world. Since the world is split into 24 different time zones, that means the website must be available 24/7, and that means it has to be supported 24/7 every day of the year. It takes quite a few support personnel to achieve this level of cover.

3. Maintenance

There will be a significant maintenance overhead in running a local data center. Stringent backup and recovery measures will be necessary, and systems will have to be constantly monitored to ensure everything is working properly. It will be necessary to purchase additional hardware to replace any failed component in the system.

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There will be a significant maintenance overhead in running a local data center.

4. Network

Communications to and from your website will be via the Internet, and you will have to install a telecommunications infrastructure to facilitate this. You will be dependent on the facilities provided by telecommunications providers in the area that your data center is located. If these are not up to par, your service will be restricted. Even if you will have access to top class telecommunications facilities, these come at a cost.

5. Security

Protecting servers against malicious attacks is an integral part of managing a data center. You only have to look at the big names with massive resources that have fallen victims to hacker attacks to realize how difficult a task this is.

Additionally, the speed at which hackers are finding their way around the latest security measures seems to be increasing, making security a full-time job. It may be possible to allocate support, maintenance and security tasks to the same group of personnel, but this is rarely a practical solution.

6. Time factor

It is clearly going to take a considerable amount of time to put in place the entire infrastructure that is required to build and set up a local data center. Even if there is an available building into which the hardware can go, it will have to be fitted out properly.

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Don’t forget to consider the amount of time it will take to test your data center.

There will also be a considerable time lapse in acquiring and configuring the hardware, and testing that everything is working in the expected manner. It will take time to set up and test crash drills and recovery routines.

While all this is happening, the website that is to be moved will probably be coming under increasing stress. Even worse, its stress levels could be falling as traffic decreases because visitors have become frustrated with its poor performance.

Multiple dedicated servers

Perhaps you are an owner who has identified a need for multiple dedicated servers, and are wondering at what point you would benefit from colocation hosting. Colocation hosting is a way of having dedicated servers without the expense of building and running a data center.

With collocation hosting, you buy your own servers, configure them as you want, and then install them in a data center. You pay the data center a fee for each server you install. You still bear the responsibility for running and supporting the servers you have installed.

That means you will still have to address a lot of the issues, such as protection against hacker attacks and providing 24/7 support, which you would have if you built your own data center.

Another factor that may influence your decision as to whether colocation hosting is right for you is that the data center you choose will have to be geographically close to where your technical expertise is based. This is because you will have to dispatch somebody to the data center to deal with any hardware issues, such as disk failure.

Managed server hosting

Managed Dedicated Server

Running your own servers requires ongoing investment in training and upgrading security.

A managed hosting service has all the benefits of dedicated hosting with the added advantage that the hosting company looks after all the technical aspects relating to the server. This means owners do not have to worry about physical server management.

It allows small businesses to have a state of the art IT infrastructure in place to run their websites without having to bear the costs of recruiting qualified staff members to manage the server. It is a cost-effective way of upgrading technology, since the hosting company bears all the capital outlay costs.

Most small businesses will find it cheaper to use a managed hosting service than to upgrade their in-house hardware, software, buildings and telecommunications infrastructure to the required level.

In summary
a.Opting for one or more managed dedicated servers requires a lower capital outlay than buying your own servers.
b. Servers are likely to have a short lifespan, and will need to be replaced fairly soon, requiring additional capital outlay.
c. The physical resources needed to house servers locally may have to be built from scratch, another significant capital cost.
d. You may have to bring in highly paid people to run your in-house data center.
e. Running your own servers requires ongoing investment in training and upgrading security.
f. Choosing managed hosting services requires a monthly outlay in hosting charges, but should cost significantly less than meeting the costs of running servers locally.

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It is not really practical for a small business to finance the capital costs and ongoing support costs of setting up its own data center. It makes more sense to choose a managed hosting service that comes with all the technical and physical support needed.

It is, however, an absolute necessity to go with a hosting company that is dependable. If you are still uncertain of the best option for your business, you can contact us and we will be able to talk you through our service and its benefits.