Managed hosting is a dedicated server that is accompanied by a full suite of technical support, maintenance and monitoring services. This differs from dedicated Web hosting, where customers are provided with their own servers but are still responsible for virtually all administrative and maintenance duties.
Managed hosting are meant for those websites that are designed to host busy e-commerce sites and dynamic, database driven Web pages. Perfect for organizations that dont have the time or capital to invest in server administration.
MANAGED SERVER = DEDICATED SERVER + COMPLETE SUPPORT TO SERVER ADMINISTRATION
A managed server will come equipped with all the features of a dedicated server, plus instead of leaving most of the administrative tasks to the customer, a managed provider will typically handle that as well.
Many companies will often assign you a dedicated service representative who will cater only to you and a handful of other accounts. This support also comes in the form of proprietary control panel technology that enables the inexperienced administrator to easily set up and maintain sites on a server. This is achieved through an intuitive and user friendly point and click method rather than by typing complicated commands at a prompt line.
Hosting companies offer a supplementary suite of features and services that related to managed hosting, including application and database management, high-availability services and load balancing. These hosting companies will back up their services with performance guarantees and Service Level Agreements.
Unmanaged services, on the other hand, give the customer complete remote server administration capability and freedom. The downside to this is that unmanaged servers require a large amount of time and technical expertise, as the customer is ultimately responsible for the instillation and management of the server - not the Web host. For this reason, unmanaged servers are only recommended for individuals and companies with extensive server administration resources or expertise, as well as a significant amount of time available to take care of the server.
Conclusion on managed hosting
If you're unsure about which service to choose, give serious consideration to choosing a managed server. While taking the managed route is more expensive, it is also much more reassuring for the inexperienced administrator. Remember, you can always downgrade your account to an unmanaged service later, once you've acquired some expertise in server administration. Though once you opt for the personal attention you will receive through a managed host, you might think twice of turning into an unmanaged service later on.
Nitin Jain - author for http://www.webhostingdiary.com. To find what web hosting is all about visit http://www.webhostingdiary.com.