Solar VPS Blog

How to Decide Between a Managed or Unmanaged VPS Plan

Image of Website Hosting Service on Computer
Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay

If you’re in the business of using your website to connect with current or future customers, you’ve got enough things to worry about without having to think about hosting for your site. The goal of today’s blog post is to help you weigh the differences between a managed or an unmanaged VPS package for your business.

What’s a VPS Exactly?

VPS, or virtual private servers, are one of the most popular solutions to hosting content and securing data for an organization of any size. Think of a VPS as a home that holds all of your data behind it and only a select few people hold keys to that information. VPS plans are popular because the sky’s the limit of what that space can be used for. Many organizations prefer VPS to shared server spaces that typically come with web hosting plans. 

Instead of a home, think of shared server space like an apartment building–a lot of different people doing a lot of different things. Sometimes, the plumbing gets clogged up and the elevator is running slow. If your business uses a shared server space, chances are you aren’t getting the most bang for your buck. Spring for the private home instead of the cramped apartment building.

What Is a Managed VPS Anyway?

VPS plans offer customers a variety of specific features and controls. By default, most plans involve managed VPS agreements. In a managed VPS, the hosting company handles the sticky parts of your private server. If something goes wrong in the middle of the night, the host can help. If a member of your team needs technical support, the host is helping you out. If there is a data breach or some other catastrophic scenario, there’s a good chance that the host is on the hook for solving the problem.

Managed VPS plans are designed to take the heavy lifting off your leadership team and off your IT staff. Chances are that if you’re just shifting to a VPS server, your organization is small and suffering growing pains. With few people wearing multiple hats, the last things those folks need to do is worry about coding or network security. 

Having an agreement with your host can ease the burden. Depending on the level of management services being offered, your host will be expected to take care of server maintenance and initial setup. You might compare this plan to autopilot in a plane–your team will have access to dashboards and analytics but the plane mostly flies itself. One caution to bear in mind–managed VPS solutions are often more expensive due to the hands-on nature of the relationship between host and client.

How Is It Different from an Unmanaged VPS?

Of course, this might not be a scenario you want or need. If your company is larger and has the bandwidth to handle heavy IT processes, an unmanaged VPS plan might be the better fit. Unmanaged plans are the equivalent of flying the plane yourself. While the tools will be the same for both types of hosting plans, unmanaged clients should expect to do it themselves. From setup to patches and other critical elements, the host provides the server.

What Exactly Does VPS Management Involve?

Up to this point, we’ve looked at the two types of management options for VPS. If you’re new to this, you’re probably wondering: “What is my host managing or not managing for me?”

Let’s take a quick look at the five main things that have to be managed in a VPS plan–no matter who happens to be flying the plane.

Upgrades–While your team will need to communicate with their team to be sure that enough space and data are available for any new software, managed VPS providers are responsible for ongoing upgrades to the server and the existing software packages.

Server Patches–Similarly, managed VPS providers are responsible for correcting any real or potential faults in their networks. Publishers will release fixes to vulnerabilities and whoever is in charge of your network security will be responsible for verifying, installing, and addressing any update issues that may occur.

Server Backups–Most managed VPS hosts will coordinate a time to complete regular server backups with your company. While there’s no hard and fast rule about backups, many organizations will have nightly, weekly, or monthly backups of all data to an outside server. 

While VPS hosts are in the business of keeping you online and productive, there will occasionally be downtimes. There will sometimes be server failures. Maintaining regular backups prevents catastrophic data loss.

Technical Support–Managed VPS providers are invested in making sure that clients feel supported throughout the duration of their service contract. As such, they will maintain customer service and technical support hours. When determining which provider and the level of service being agreed upon, pay close attention to the technical support offerings. If there isn’t something in writing, it isn’t in your plan.

Server Analytics–One of the complicated parts of any VPS plan is how to manage usage. Managed plans will require some level of observation from the host. While any client can actively view a dashboard and make adjustments to speed or usage of data, managed VPS plans are more hands-off for clients. The host will do their best to help your team optimize the VPS for speed, performance, and ease of use. If you’re not sold on why your team needs a VPS solution just yet, consider the following statistic.

According to Verizon, 43% of data breaches that occured as of 2019 happened to small businesses.

That’s nearly half of all small businesses and that’s just too many.

Ready to Select a VPS Host? Consider Solar VPS!

Now that you understand a bit more about the differences between a managed and an unmanaged VPS hosting plan, it’s time to more forward. The team at Solar VPS has been helping clients from all sectors build private networks to meet their needs. Whether your team uses Linux, Windows, iOS, or a mixture, we can build a custom solution to meet your needs. No matter how managed or unmanaged you want your plan to be, look no further than our experts. Don’t delay–contact us today!

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