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Managed Hosting Key Features

The options vary when you’re shopping around for managed IT hosting providers. What are the key features you should be looking for? Read on.

The Providers

Before even looking at specific options, you should have some bare minimums in mind for a decent hosting provider. How reliable is their support team? How quickly do they respond to cries for help? Send them an email; is their response quick and friendly? Will you have one contact person within the company, or are your calls rotated through help desk staff?

Ideally, your hosting provider will have flexible options. Every site is different, and you don’t want to end up paying for features you don’t need, or sacrificing features you do need because they’re not part of some package. The staff needs to be certified and know the ropes; it’s your reputation you’re putting in their hands, after all.

Typical Options

Each hosting provider is going to have their own special flavor of options. Some may offer mix and match IT solutions, while others offer set packages for varying budgets. The levels of management provided by each company will vary according to price. Typically, managed services will include site monitoring, server configuration, and security features. Some providers may go so far as to set up all your email addresses, while others give you a little more hands-on access.

Wrangling Servers

A fully managed hosting provider will handle every aspect of your virtual hosting server, from installing updates to putting on patches. Managed hosting providers should also take care of installing security on the server and configuring any additional software. Any monitoring, application management, and database or storage needs are also handled by a fully managed services provider. In fact, the most you’ll have to do is probably read the reports they send you.

Time Is Money

If you’ve had any experience handling your own server administration, you know first-hand how much effort goes into just handling upgrades and security patches. For companies who have a tech department on staff, then you also how much it costs to keep them around. This doesn’t include whatever you pay hourly for emergency services that come up which are beyond the scope of your or your in-house staff’s ability to handle. Paying a flat fee to a hosting provider for fully managed services which includes maintenance as well as emergencies can definitely save money in the long run.

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