If you, a business owner, are looking to evolve your operations online or start an eCommerce venture, at some point you’ll likely have to decide between managed VPS hosting or self-managed VPS hosting.
A virtual private server (VPS) performs the same tasks from the cloud as a dedicated server on your business’ premises. A VPS solution provides the advantages of both dedicated hosting and shared hosting without the prohibitive cost of a dedicated server or the privacy and security concerns of shared hosting.
Over the past decade, many small and midsize business owners (SMEs) have outsourced most of their in-house IT duties to cloud-based managed services providers. A VPS is a logical progression of this trend.
VPS software lets a single cloud-based server offer multiple virtualized operating systems (OSs) simultaneously to users. Each virtualized OS functions as a dedicated server, isolated from other virtual OSs operating on the same host yet sharing server resources with other users.
This arrangement differs from shared hosting where each user shares a part of a server with other users in the same OS environment. However, by sharing an OS with other users, you potentially expose your website to others on the same server.
Shared hosting is fine for small Mom-and-Pop websites with relatively low traffic. But as your business and web hits grow, your site(s) will need enhanced UE, such as web applications for customers. So, you’ll want the flexibility and security managed VPS hosting offers.
Choosing Between Managed and Self-Managed VPS
As with other managed services, the cost of a VPS is far lower than the expense of buying and maintaining an on-premise dedicated server. Still, you’ll have to choose between deploying a managed or self-managed VPS solution.
You should base your decision on an honest assessment of your organization’s tech expertise and experience. How comfortable are you with configuring and maintaining an OS, managing scripts, and performing software updates and patches? Unless you have an IT guru in-house, undoubtedly your time is better spent building your business and optimizing your website.
Pros and Cons of Self-Managed VPS
With self-managed VPS, you essentially rent floor space from a server. While you have leeway to customize every facet of a server’s functions from software installation to hardware updates, realize you’re responsible for maintenance, data security, and management. The hosting provider is only obligated to grant you access and availability to the server.
If you’re confident in your organization’s ability to supervise every aspect of your network’s functionality, a self-managed VPS solution is an optimal choice. A self-managed VPS always costs less than a managed one but should performance suffer, you alone shoulder the consequences.
Pros and Cons of Managed VPS
Conversely, a managed VPS solution performs and oversees many critical network tasks on your behalf. Managed VPS services include system monitoring to ensure network availability and security, data protection, and backup (to facilitate disaster recovery if and when needed), server maintenance, and 24/7/365 tech support.
The benefits of a managed VPS invariably cost more than a self-managed option. Too, customization can be limited since the user’s control over the server is confined. For example, the provider decides what and when software and hardware are to be installed. While a managed VPS customer can request the installation of specific software and hardware elements, the provider performs these requests—not the customer.
Managed VPS vs. Self-Managed VPS Summary
|Managed VPS||Self-Managed VPS|
|No maintenance or management required||Total admin access with complete control|
|No server experience needed||Freedom to manage and customize server functionality|
|Automatically receive software and hardware installation and management||Responsible for all software and hardware installation, configurations, updates, and applications|
|You manage your website and emails||You manage everything|
A managed VPS option is a turnkey solution, appropriate for those with limited tech-savvy. If you would rather devote your resources to growing your business instead of learning the intricacies of VPS processes, choose a managed VPS.
If, however, your web needs require more than mere access to an OS control panel, opt for a self-managed VPS. Knowledgeable and experienced users want the freedom to customize server capabilities such as storage, specialized software, bandwidth usage, etc. Just remember you assume complete responsibility for its performance.
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