Feb 1, 2012

Top nine benefits of managed hosting

Ansley Kilgore

Top 9 Benefits of Managed Hosting
Managed hosting offers a variety of advantages. To help you understand its appeal, here is a list of the benefits most valued by customers. Drumroll please…

1. Reduced Capital Costs

Instead of investing in equipment every three to five years, your IT Infrastructure becomes an operating expense (opex), reducing your up-front capital investment (capex). Plus, when the equipment breaks, needs repairs or maintenance, you don’t incur additional charges.

2. Predictable Cost Model

Managed hosting fees are billed as a monthly flat fee so you can easily predict costs, making budgeting for IT expenses simple.

3. Time Savings

The learning curve for new enterprise-level equipment is eased. You no longer need to spend time and energy to understand and manage new hardware that would typically be placed on your own network.

4. Customized Options

Managed hosting solutions aren’t “one-size-fits-all.” You customize a solution to meet the particular needs of your business. For a company with significant IT staff, many different business units and diverse technologies to support, a more customized managed hosting solution makes everyone’s lives that much easier.

5. Scalability

Managed hosting allows you to easily scale your infrastructure as your business grows. Scalability can help accelerate global expansion through a managed hosting provider with a global footprint rather than building data centers in-house, managing employees and coordinating third-party providers.

6. Technical Support

Leading managed hosting providers have a staff of skilled engineers delivering customer support. Make sure there is always a person on the phone when you need support. Check if you will receive alerts or a prompt phone call when something comes up. Knowing the provider is really keeping an eye on things frees your staff to focus on business critical issues.

7. Single Partner

With managed hosting, you don’t have to worry about managing vendor relationships for standard hardware and software. The provider handles this, and you never have to be bothered. In addition, by selecting a hosting provider that offers other services you can “future-proof” your infrastructure with the option to leverage other solutions such as colocation or cloud from a single partner.

 8. Network Availability

A managed hosting provider should be able to offer you an advanced network connection that dynamically routes your traffic over the Internet. Availability is usually expressed as a percentage of uptime in a given year. Many providers will state their availability in their Service Level Agreement (SLA) as a percentage such as 99.999 or 99.9. The difference? Two fewer nines means an average of 86 seconds more downtime every day, or 43 minutes more downtime every month. An SLA with five 9’s will ensure your network is up and running when you need it.

9. Controlled Access

A managed hosting environment offers top-notch security with limited physical access to the facility where your data and applications are housed. Some important features include 24/7 on-site guards, biometric fingerprint and retina scanners and, of course, key card and padlocked doors. Providers should be accessing your equipment through Secure Shell (SSH) or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). This ensures that the interaction with your data is secure. You will also want to know who has access to your servers and how passwords are distributed and stored. Ask how often passwords are changed and make sure the provider always changes passwords after churn. All access to your environment should be logged as well.

Sold on managed hosting? You now have an even more important decision to make: which provider? Download our managed hosting checklist to help you get started.

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Ansley Kilgore

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