Benjamin Ehinger
Benjamin Ehinger

Choosing the right type of cloud hosting makes a difference. When you start looking into it, you’ll have the option to choose managed cloud hosting or unmanaged cloud hosting. Both offer good options, but they are certainly not the same.

Author: Benjamin Ehinger

Understanding the basics of both managed and unmanaged cloud hosting will help you make the right decision. If you’re new to this type of hosting, it’s important to first look at the most basic elements.

What is Managed Cloud Hosting?

Typically, managed cloud hosting starts with a private cloud including dedicated resources specifically for you. It’s very stable and offers a high-performance option.

A managed cloud will be customized to fit your specific needs. Most managed cloud hosting options offer dedicated hardware specifically for you, which does make it a more expensive option. The dedicated hardware also limits scalability.

Some managed cloud options offering more scalability and a lower cost are known as virtual private clouds. This type of hosting is a managed cloud offered at a lower cost with the ability to scale. With virtual private cloud hosting, you still gain many of the benefits of a traditional private cloud.

What is Unmanaged Cloud Hosting?

Unmanaged cloud hosting is known as a utility. You pay for the resources based on your need or what you think you will need in the future. With an unmanaged cloud, you will likely be using a public cloud for your hosting.

With public cloud hosting options, your resources will be pooled with the resources designated for other accounts. Providers of unmanaged cloud hosting operate very large data server networks with several clients. This helps keep costs down and provides spare resources for clients to easily scale, when necessary.

Unmanaged cloud hosting comes in three types:

  • IaaS – This type of unmanaged cloud hosting usually uses virtualized servers and provides the most basic option.
  • PaaS – Offering more tools for building and running applications, PaaS hosting provides a higher level of support, depending on the providers.
  • SaaS – Offering a suite of software, SaaS cloud hosting often provides many of the necessary tools for functionality without the higher prices of managed cloud hosting.

The biggest difference between managed cloud hosting and unmanaged cloud hosting is the role of the hosting provider. With unmanaged cloud hosting, the provider has a very narrow set of roles and doesn’t provide much support outside of the defined roles. PaaS and IaaS options offer a much lower cost with automation and plenty of scalability, but very little support compared to managed cloud hosting.

Major Benefit of Managed Cloud Hosting

While both managed and unmanaged cloud hosting offer plenty of benefits, managed cloud hosting provides one major benefit. Since it’s managed, you can tap into the vast pool of assets and skills. This means if you need help with specific IT strategy issues, you can tap into the resources of the managed provider instead of figuring it out on your own.

When you choose managed cloud hosting, you’re not only getting a hosting provider, but also an extension of your IT department. Support becomes scalable and you get help with far more IT issues than you’ll receive with unmanaged cloud hosting.

Most managed cloud hosting options will provide on-call support and several other options to help your IT team, when necessary.

Managed Cloud Hosting is Catching Up

As the landscape for managed and unmanaged cloud hosting continues to change, managed cloud hosting is catching up quickly. It’s starting to take over areas where unmanaged cloud hosting dominated in the past.

With the ability of many managed cloud hosting providers to scale up workload faster and easier, some of the traditional benefits of unmanaged cloud hosting don’t apply anymore.

On the other side of things, unmanaged cloud hosting provides have started to offer a larger number of services and third-party integrations. Advanced PaaS hosting has been expanded to include more tools for customers to use.

Focusing On Your Business

Another big benefit of managed cloud hosting is the ability to focus on other business tasks. When you become involved in the maintenance of your hosting, it means you have another task on your list. With managed cloud hosting, you can trust an expert team to handle your hosting maintenance allowing you to focus on growing your business.

The Big Question: Public or Private?

One of the main differences, and a huge decision-maker for many, is public cloud vs. private cloud. Unmanaged cloud hosting traditionally uses a public cloud, while managed cloud hosting uses a private cloud.

Depending on your specific needs, one may fit better than the other. If you plan to store sensitive information or you prefer complete privacy, unmanaged cloud hosting probably isn’t the right choice. You’ll want the security and privacy of managed cloud hosting.

Smaller businesses and startups usually choose unmanaged cloud hosting due to the lower cost. SaaS hosting tends to fit the requirements of many smaller businesses looking to keep the cost under control. PaaS hosting can give startups the necessary development tools, and those seeking better security and stability may prefer IaaS hosting options.

Larger companies and those storing sensitive information will likely prefer managed cloud hosting. Some will choose a mix between managed and unmanaged to keep some things in-house while outsourcing others. A hybrid cloud hosting option offers the best of both words and often provides the best benefits for larger companies.

Mid-sized companies and many larger companies will also opt for a fully managed cloud hosting option. The privacy and security benefits offer the right option for many companies and the ability to control costs makes it a good choice. In addition, managed cloud hosting offers a high level of customization to ensure you get exactly what you need.

The best option for your company depends on your specific needs. Both managed cloud hosting and unmanaged cloud hosting offer plenty of benefits. These benefits will help you the most if you match the right hosting option to your specific needs.