What is Managed Hosting?

Managed hosting is managed infrastructure in an external datacentre provider’s facilities.  This can consist of servers, storage, networking and more, depending on the service you need.  It’s the next layer up from co-location services.

Managed Hosting gives you the ability to tailor your IT services to fit your business compared with true cloud services. This is especially useful for customers with legacy IT environments who may not be able to move all applications or workloads over to a cloud solution or a virtualised environment.

Some Managed Hosting services are delivered up to and including the Operating System (OS) layer, whereas some go up to application layer. Some providers offer Platform-as-a-Service as part of their Managed Hosting offering; such as delivering database servers to customers for them to install their own applications.

Managed hosting is usually physical servers with an OS provided to the customer by the service provider for them to manage.  The service provider is responsible for the OS and hardware maintenance, whilst the customer manages everything above the OS.

Who does Managed Hosting suit?

Managed hosting suits organisations who want to specify the build of their servers and storage down to the last detail, or for organisations who may need that little bit more control over their IT environment and how it operates compared with traditional cloud services.

Managed Hosting providers can deliver the infrastructure and OS layer whilst supporting and monitoring all systems, leaving you to manage your own applications and services.

For applications or industries that require workloads and data to be kept separate from other customers, organisations can instead choose dedicated Managed IT environments without the burden of delivering the services from within their own datacentres.

This helps customers who need to achieve certain compliance or industry regulations, as they often need to have their systems delivered in a more bespoke or dedicated model.  For example, certain Government organisations are required to keep their IT systems and data separate from other companies so may need dedicated servers and storage.

On the other hand, a company might want to move their entire IT environment to a cloud model to reduce Capex costs, but need a solution that can continue to support their legacy IT environment.

Different Managed Hosting options:

What is Dedicated Server?

Dedicated Servers are dedicated, physical servers that the service provider houses in their server racks.  The service provider sets up the OS and networking so that customers can connect into the server to manage everything themselves.

In this scenario, the service provider monitors the health of the physical server, and provides availability and support assurances around the physical functioning of the server.

This is for customers who want to manage their own physical servers from the OS up, but don’t want to house the server or be responsible for the physical health of the server.

What is Managed Server Hosting?

Managed Server Hosting offers more support than Dedicated Server.  In Manager Server Hosting, a service provider delivers the server and OS layer to the customer, but also offers a wider support capability and more comprehensive SLAs, often including some platform services around applications and performance monitoring.

Managed Server Hosting can sometimes overlap with cloud services where the service provider also includes some degree of application management on top of the servers.

What are Virtual Private Servers?

Virtual Private Servers are like dedicated servers, but they are virtual – not physical – machines.  This means the physical hardware is shared between multiple customers.  However, Virtual Private Servers often don’t have the same scaling ability as true cloud services, so these are designed for more static environments.  The virtual server is delivered to the customer and they then manage the installation and management of their applications.

What is Managed Storage Hosting?

Managed Storage Hosting can fall into two categories: dedicated and shared infrastructure.

In dedicated storage hosting, a service provider manages the physical storage in their datacentre, and monitors the physical health of the storage array whilst the customer accesses the storage array and manages everything else themselves – such as how data is replicated, stored or what type of storage the data resides on.

For dedicated storage hosting, there is a minimum entry price and capacity requirement as an entire storage array needs to be purchased for a particular customer.

In shared storage hosting, a customer takes a slice of a shared storage array, meaning they can access enterprise storage without minimum price and capacity restrictions.

In cloud storage, usage is based on consumption and charged for based on how much capacity is used.

What Are Managed Desktop Hosting Services?

Hosted desktop services are where desktop instances sit in the central datacentre, rather than on individuals’ PCs and laptops.  Desktops are delivered virtually to devices, so the risk of losing data or a device experiencing downtime is lower as everything is managed centrally by a service provider.  Patching, monitoring and support is delivered centrally.

There are two options for customers exploring Managed Desktop Hosting:

Shared Session: Users are sharing a central desktop, and accessing a centralised ‘view’ of their desktop and applications through their local devices.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI): In VDI, a user’s desktop sits on its own virtual machine so when they connect, they access their own customised virtual desktop that can be tailored to each user.

With Managed Desktop Hosting, customers can choose between dedicated environments or shared infrastructure where multiple organisations are using the same physical resources to reduce costs and reduce the barriers to entry such as the number of users or capacity.

More control

With evermore focus on achieving cloud compliance, a shared, standardised cloud environment may not always be the answer for certain applications and data.  That’s why customers may choose Managed Hosting services which can be tailored to suit your exact needs, within a hosted environment.

For legacy applications and systems that can’t move to the cloud, Managed Hosting and Dedicated Server offer an alternative to bridge the gap between in-house IT and cloud services.

In short

Managed hosting enables you to choose exactly what you want.  So, perhaps you want to host a mix of virtual and dedicated servers with an external hosting provider, but plan to keep your storage at your own datacentre. In this scenario, a cloud service might not be able to flex to meet your needs across your entire IT environment.  However, a Managed Hosting solution from Pulsant can be crafted to fit your specific IT and business requirements.

Find out more about Pulsant Managed Hosting services and options.

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