If you’re trying to learn about what managed cloud hosting is, you’re in the right place. We’ll explain in terms how cloud hosting works and the benefits it can offer your company.
At first glance, cloud hosting might seem abstract and difficult to understand. To help bring it to life, we’ll define cloud hosting using an example you’re very familiar with.
Defining Cloud Hosting in Simple Terms
When you started your business, you had to make choices about how to power your office building. You could either generate your own electricity or buy it from a power company.
If you choose to generate your own electricity, you’ll face large startup costs. Whether it’s a windmill or solar panels that you plan to use, the infrastructure will be pricey.
Even once you get your system online and start generating power, you'll face other challenges. For example, let's say you host a meeting that requires you to use your whole building.
You’ll have 500 people plugging into your power source for laptops and smartphones. Under normal usage, you have about 20 employees in the building. Your power production won’t be able to keep up.
So you purchase equipment to generate power on the heaviest days you can possibly imagine. Now you’re paying a premium year-round for power needs you’ll only have a few days per year, which means you’re wasting tons of power.
Instead, let’s think about what happens if you get your electricity from the local power company. Now you’re paying a monthly fee for service based on your specific needs that month.
During summer when employees go on vacation and you use less power, you pay less. Or during the holidays when few people are in the office you can enjoy those savings.
But during your in-office seminars when you pack the space, you’ll have the power you need without making any changes to your service manually.
That’s essentially what managed cloud services are. They provide reliable, scalable solutions for your business.
Another company manages all the servers, switches and cables. You just pay a subscription fee for the data and bandwidth your company needs. But it can scale and grow with you and handle any network surges you undergo.
Your IT team can then focus on analyzing your needs and configuring your cloud hosting platform in conjunction with your cloud partner’s team.
The Difference Between Managed Cloud Hosting and Unmanaged
There are some really big companies out there that provide cloud hosting. But what you need to know is that some of these hosting companies just sell you space on their servers. This is what is known as unmanaged cloud hosting.
In this format, you’ll have much more of a do-it-yourself setup. You’ll need to make sure you have the right technical team and resources to administer the server.
From the electricity example above, it would be like the power company telling you that you have to figure out how to connect to the power grid on your own. And once you’re connected, you’ll be responsible for evaluating power outages and getting your building’s electricity back if anything were to happen.
This unmanaged cloud hosting experience means that you need to be prepared to complete regular software upgrades, watch out for security concerns and monitor everything.
The large setback to an unmanaged cloud hosting arrangement is if the servers go down at inconvenient times. You might struggle to reach customer support until normal business hours.
But with unmanaged hosting, you’ll also face a variety of other challenges. You could have slow load speeds due to improper administration of the servers.
Or you could become the victim of a cybersecurity hack because there was one small vulnerability in your cloud network that you didn’t know about.
Your IT budget could fluctuate as you bring in teams to help set up your cloud hosting or monitor it long-term. You'll need security experts to make sure you don't become a target for hackers.
With managed hosting in the cloud, your technical partner provides more than just space on a server. The experience is completely different than the one we just described.
You won’t have to worry about server upgrades, security patches or monitoring the network. A team of experts will do that for you.
And because you have these experts as an extension of your team, you’re less likely to experience an outage. That’s because they’re constantly looking out for your cloud-hosted network and taking care of things behind the scenes before you ever even know there’s a potential threat.
Benefits of Managed Hosting
If you're here reading the beginner's guide to cloud hosting, you're probably a better candidate for managed hosting than unmanaged cloud hosting.
For companies looking to modernize their IT infrastructure, managed hosting provides many great benefits. Here’s a look at some of the most valuable benefits of this convenient way to move to the cloud.
Less risk: all the work and maintenance of your cloud hosting environment won’t fall directly on your team. Instead, you’ll have a team of experts working with you and looking out for your best interests.
Ability to scale: as your business grows, your cloud experience will grow with you. And your managed hosting partner can make recommendations on how best to scale your service to meet your needs.
Keep your technology current: the burden will no longer rest on you to upgrade to newer, faster servers. Your cloud hosting partner will do that for you. You can focus on staying current with other technology, such as AI or the internet of things.
Expand your team without hiring: with a managed hosting partnership, you'll have access to a team of experts. But you won't have to hire those experts. You'll benefit from their expertise without having to expand your IT staffing budget.
Compliance: companies that operate in industries, such as health care or legal, face special challenges in remaining compliant with rules and regulations. Choose a hosting partner who understands those unique challenges and can help you ensure compliance.
Learn More About Cloud Managed Hosting & Cloud Services
Now that you’ve learned from this simple primer on managed cloud hosting and how it works, you can learn more by scheduling a free consultation with us. We’ll guide you through understanding what’s best for your business and how to choose a plan that works for you.