In today’s world of business application web hosting, business decision makers are presented with several options. While cloud computing has garnered a high amount of buzz over the last couple of years, many businesses prefer to keep their web applications hosted on dedicated hardware resources in a more traditional IT environment. If you want to host your web applications on a dedicated environment, you basically have two options.
The first option is to hire your own administrators to purchase and maintain your web servers. This is a good option if you want more control over your new IT environment and have a decent amount of monetary resources to make your own server and software purchases and hire a full time server administration staff. Many small companies, however, do not have the resources to hire their own staff or to purchase their own servers. In this case, a second option is to go with a vendor who provides managed dedicated server hosting.
Managed dedicated server hosting provides small businesses or managers of small projects the ability to host their web applications in a dedicated environment without the need to dedicate a large expenditure to an IT infrastructure and IT staff. There are many benefits to contracting with an IT vendor to manage your server environment.
Security is often the number one reason why small businesses decide to go with managed dedicated server hosting over cloud solutions such as Rackspace and Amazon. The reason for this is that cloud hosting providers share their hardware resources across several customers. This means that your business’s sensitive data is potentially saved alongside other data. This situation can increase the risk of potential security breaches, either accidental or malicious, that could put your company in legal danger. Traditional security solutions such as firewalls and DMZs can be utilized in the dedicated server environments that are not possible through cloud based solutions.
Managed server solutions also provide important monitoring capabilities. Since the vendor’s support several different clients, they should already have a monitoring infrastructure in place that allows them to see when your server goes down. They can also provide you statistics on a daily, weekly or monthly basis of when your application had the most traffic, when the servers were unavailable and when the application was unresponsive. Additionally, since these monitoring services are already part of the contract, IT server administrative staff is available around the clock to take care of any late night emergencies or patches and upgrades so you do not have to lose sleep over your web presence.
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Full Access to Application Environments
One of the major concerns with cloud computing is that you are limited to a limited number of software programming environments. In the Google Apps cloud solution, for instance, users are only allowed to utilize the programming environments of Python or Java. In addition to this, these cloud based services from Google require custom Java and Python environments. The Windows Azure cloud solution has similar limitations in its offering of the .Net cloud programming environments. If you have a programming environment that is specific to your needs that do not fit into one of these predefined cloud computing molds, however, managed dedicated server hosting may be one of the only options available to you outside of hosting and maintaining your own servers. Many small businesses may have access to a programmer who understands their business model and business needs implicitly, but their programming proficiency is in the area of something like Ruby. In fact, programming environments such as PHP are still some of the most popular on the web and so many programming resources available for hire may fall into this category.