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Managed Web Hosting FAQ
By: Rich Smith
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    Our Managed Web Hosting FAQs guides you on various aspects of Managed Dedicated Web Hosting, including when you would need such services and what to look for in a Managed Web Hosting provider.

    What is Managed Hosting?
    Managed Hosting is for customers who prefer to have their web host provider maintain and monitor their dedicated servers, operating system and all supported applications. Companies or individuals who do not have the required system administration resources on-staff, commonly choose this option to augment their dedicated hosting service.

    When do you need a Managed Server? 
    Managed Hosting is an excellent solution for mid to high level hosting needs. Designed to host busy e-commerce sites and dynamic, database driven Web pages, Managed Hosting offers small and large business owners a fast, powerful, reliable and professionally maintained Web presence. If you have a need for a dedicated server, and don’t have the IT resources, expertise, or time to manage your own servers, then Managed Hosting is for you.

    Why shouldn't I choose Managed Server Hosting? 
    Managed Hosting is only an issue if you have a need for a dedicated server. If you have the resources and desire to manage all aspects of your server(s), then you may be a candidate for Unmanaged Hosting.

    What are the advantages of Manged Server Hosting? 
    Managed Hosting offers many enticing features such as:

    •As you are the only client on the server, upgrade capacity is practically unlimited. Additional drives can be added, more memory and even cluster servers together when your web site requires additional resources.
    •Most Managed Hosting services include server backups for free. This service will ensure that your data is safeguarded from faulty hard drives and accidental loss by overwriting or deleting.
    •No technical expertise is required.

    What should be my main concerns when searching for a Managed Hosting Provider? 
    First, you need to determine whether or not your website is large enough to justify the cost of such an endeavor. That aside, the most common concerns are:

    • The cost
    • Security of Data and Equipment
    • Bandwidth Availability
    • The knowledge and integrity of the web hosting provider
    • Technical support from the web hosting provider
    • Uptime
    • Site and Data Backups

    What are some good questions to ask a Managed Hosting Provider before I sign up? 
    Some good questions to ask your prospective hosts are:

    • What brand computers do you use?
    • What kind of connection to the Internet do you have?
    • What hours is your management staff available for problems and issues?
    • How often do you backup the servers?
    • In the case of a loss, how quickly can you restore from a backup and get me back up and running?
    • What software typically is installed on my machine?
    • Are there any software packages that you wont manage?

    What qualifications should the host provide? 
    This depends mostly on the hosting environment. The largest area of concern, due to the complexities, is the Windows platform. It is essential that the support and management staff be properly trained to handle all of the nuances associated with networking and hosting on the Windows platform. The two most acceptable certifications in this matter are the MCSA and the MCSE. The MCSE certification covers the planning, design, and implementation Microsoft Windows server solutions and architectures. The MCSA is more of an administration certification, which covers the management and maintenance of typically complex computing environments of medium to large-sized companies.

    Glossary of terms:

    Dedicated Hosting - The Dedicated Hosting environment provides an exclusive server or servers devoted solely to your web site. You do not share a server with other customers, as with shared hosting.

    MCSA - Microsoft Certified Systems Administrators (MCSAs) administer network and systems environments based on the Microsoft Windowsฎ platforms.

    MCSE - Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSEs) analyze business requirements to design and implement an infrastructure solution based on the Windows platform and Microsoft Servers software.

    Shared Hosting - Shared hosting is Web hosting in which the service provider serves pages for multiple Web sites, each having its own Internet domain name, from a single Web server. Most web hosting companies provide shared hosting. Although shared hosting is a less expensive way for businesses to create a Web presence, it is usually not sufficient for Web sites with high traffic.

    Unmanaged Hosting - Unmanaged Hosting is for customers who have extensive system administration expertise to maintain and manage their dedicated servers. This option generally provides customers with full access to their server allowing them to customize configurations.

    Uptime - Uptime is a computer industry term for the time during which a computer is operational. Downtime is the time when it isn't operational. Uptime is sometimes measured in terms of a percentile. For example, one standard for uptime that is sometimes discussed is a goal called five 9s - that is, a computer that is operational 99.999 percent of the time.

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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