Unmanaged vs Managed Dedicated Servers – Reliablesite

August 2014

Managed vs. Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting

Unmanaged Dedicated Servers

Your company decides that it needs a dedicated hosting server — now what?

A quick online search will tell you that you should choose between a managed and unmanaged dedicated server provider. We’d argue that there is more to it, but first an overview of the two choices.

First, Why Do You Need Dedicated Hosting?

Dedicated hosting is one type of hosting through which you lease a server and are in full control of its use. Ideally, the equipment is leased from a provider with access to a low-latency network, and a secure and fully redundant data center.

In contrast to shared hosting, dedicated hosting insures that all resources (like bandwidth) are yours to control and monitor. This also means that you are responsible for all system administration, though you can choose to pay for support and management.

Dedicated hosting servers are essential for companies that need excellent latency, quick-loading websites, and handle high volumes of traffic. You control what happens inside the dedicated hosting server, while the provider ensures the parts are maintained and kept in a safe environment.

Unmanaged Dedicated Server: D. I. Y.

An unmanaged dedicated server is fully controlled by you. When leasing a server this way, you should have some knowledge on how to keep the machine’s software running. You are accountable for any maintenance or emergency fixes outside of what is promised in your dedicated hosting provider’s SLA (service level agreement). This means that either a single person or an “IT” department will be in charge of keeping track of bandwidth, memory and security. They will know how to optimize your server for its appropriate function, whether it’s a high-volume gaming host or a web server.

Managed Dedicated Server: Let the Professionals Help

Despite having this knowledge, some prefer managed dedicated hosting so that they can focus on other parts of their business.

A managed dedicated hosting server is one that is owned or leased by your organization, but maintained by another company. There are many companies that offer their services and each vary by levels of support. Basic support can include notifications about malfunctions or suspicious activity coming from your box. Other levels can include variations of the following:

  • Email or phone support
  • OS configuration, customization, debugging, updates
  • Support for uncommon software or tools
  • Monitoring of bandwidth, RAID, CPU or hard drive usage
  • Tracking uptime/downtime (pinging)

Many will help configure your server to suit your work. If necessary, these companies can follow the server day to day and make sure it’s running smoothly. The managed dedicated hosting service should fulfill any functions either you or your provider does not. ReliableSite, for example, handles all network and hardware issues, along with OS installs (or re-installs), so any management services would work in conjunction with us.

Which type of dedicated hosting does your business need: an unmanaged dedicated server, an email-only support system or 24/7 managed hosting?

ReliableSite offers both bare-metal dedicated servers, as well as an option for full server management.