WebRTC Expert Feature

July 08, 2021

What's the Difference Between Managed and Unmanaged VPS Hosting?

When first hosting your company’s website, maintaining your own dedicated server is not the most cost-effective way to start. But while a shared server may be cheaper and easier to use, it’s missing too many of the useful features a business needs that a dedicated server has. Many businesses find themselves wanting the best aspects of both these kinds of servers, which is where a VPS comes in.

A VPS (Virtual Private Server) allows you to create a dedicated virtual server within the space of a physical server. Essentially, your server will be a separate virtual server alongside others just like it within the same physical server. The main advantages of such a set-up, when compared to dedicated and shared servers, are that:

1)     The server can be made private from the admins of the other virtual servers on the same physical server, and an admin can access it without requiring access to the other virtual servers on the same machine.

2)     The VPS has its own IP address, root access, and administrative functions, just like a dedicated server. This allows for customization and its own separate security.

3)     You’ll have greater cost-effectiveness when compared to buying a dedicated server by saving money on the hosting space that you don’t need all the time.

4)     A VPS can expand its resources easily using instant provisioning, allowing it to accommodate more hosting as needed when usage spikes.

All this is to say that a VPS combines the best aspects of both dedicated and shared servers. You’ll have the security, access, and control of a dedicated server while also having the cost-effective ability to use more server space on an as-needed basis.

Next, we’ll have to decide whether a managed VPS or an unmanaged VPS is better suited to your needs.

In brief, while a managed VPS is more expensive and less customizable than an unmanaged VPS, it’s the best option for smaller businesses and start-ups who don’t have the IT expertise to manage the servers themselves.

An unmanaged VPS is more cost-effective and can be a better fit to the business’s needs, but only if you have the expertise and support ready to customize, secure and maintain it.

The best way to think of it is as choosing between a hands-on and a hands-off approach. The managed option puts the care in the hands of your managed VPS hosting provider, allowing you to focus on the rest of the business. An unmanaged VPS lets you steer the ship, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re more likely to crash than find more effective ways to get to where you’re going.

There’s also the focus of your business to consider. If you’re a newer company, you’ll probably be focused on getting yourself established in the market. Dealing with server issues and customizations is better suited for more established businesses that know their customers and are ready to dedicate the time to make their servers more efficient.

While it might seem more cost-effective to go for an unmanaged VPS to start, this might not be the best option. To correctly manage such a server yourself, you’ll need your own team of experts to manage and maintain the content. Once a company is big enough, this makes more sense than paying a premium for a lot of managed VPS space, but not for a smaller company.

To sum up, although it can be tempting to start with the cheaper option, a managed VPS tends to be the safer bet for a newer company. You’ll sleep well at night knowing your data is secure and well-managed without the headache of hiring and maintaining your own team. However, once a company is more established, an unmanaged VPS can make more sense.

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