What is Managed Hosting? - Taking Care of the Details
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So what kinds of administrative tasks do web hosts that offer managed hosting take care of for their customers? The list is almost endless. Reporting and monitoring is one obvious item. Load balancing is another, and is very important for any business with enough traffic to require a dedicated server in the first place. The web host may also offer to manage your serverís security, storage, and databases. Application management may be another useful service offered by the web host.
This might not sound like a lot, but think about whatís involved. Looking just at security and application management, a good web host who offers this service will handle the provisioning, testing, and deployment of security patches and upgrades, among other tasks. Managing the storage means more than just keeping up with the backups; it also means making sure your siteís content is stored in such a way that its performance meets your (and your visitorsí) expectations.
A web host offering managed web hosting wonít necessarily handle everything, however. Some companies that offer this service will let you pick and choose which tasks you want the web host to manage, and which ones you will handle yourself. Working out an a la carte managed hosting situation can be a good compromise between the complete server control you would have with barebones dedicated hosting and handing over full control to the web host.
Depending on the host, you may also have the option of choosing a pre-configured managed hosting plan. You might find that this option works out better for your budget. A web host might offer several managed hosting plans with different levels of services. Either way, a web host that offers managed hosting should be willing to go well out of its way to make sure the configuration and service meets all your needs.
After all, you may have needs of which youíre not fully aware Ė or, if youíre doing business in certain industries, you may be far too aware of these needs. Iím talking about new government regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. If youíre a corporation or a healthcare provider subject to these regulations, then you already know how much of a struggle it can be to keep up with the strict standards they call for in the areas of record keeping, financial reporting, and privacy. A web host that offers a managed hosting service may be able to help you with this challenge.
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