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Managed vs. Unmanaged Cloud Hosting: Which Option is Right for You?

  By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

Many businesses today are turning to cloud-based services for financial as well as strategic reasons. After making the initial decision to shift to the cloud, organizations are faced with an array of choices. One of which is whether to use public, private or hybrid cloud. But first, IT decision makers need to decide whether Platform-as a service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS (News - Alert)) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is the cloud service that will offer the most benefits. Finally, organizations will need to decide whether they want to go with a managed or unmanaged cloud hosting solution.

Once your business decides to deploy cloud computing, your service provider can continue to monitor, regulate and support all software activity, according to The Hosting News. The difference between managed and unmanaged hosting is essentially a matter of how much and what kind of support the host provides. Below is a definition of both options:

Managed cloud hosting is typically a longer-term arrangement, and the user normally subscribes to some form of hybrid cloud deployment. With a managed solution, the host offers support and service for nearly the whole hosting package. The service provider offers availability and redundancy for applications without the vendor lock-in often associated with IT outsourcing.

Unmanaged cloud hosting still provides the same core services you have come to expect from cloud computing, but you also get unrestricted access to your server and any installation of software or other tools you need. What you will not get is support for the customizations and third-party software that you install. The OS and any default configuration will be supported, but anything you add is your own responsibility.

While both of these cloud options have their advantages, the difference depends on how your company needs to use the services and how much flexibility versus support you need from the provider.

Datapipe, for example, provides a customized “backbone” for your cloud hosting solution, according to agreed-upon, pre-determined specifications. The company offers hardware from HP, 3PAR, and Isilon and can provide other infrastructure alternatives upon request, including cloud-based solutions that offer flexibility. In addition, Datapipe provides software from Microsoft, Red Hat (News - Alert), VMware, Oracle and many other vendors. In terms of cost, Datapipe offers a unique pricing model designed to make it easy to meet budget needs, while planning strategically for future expansion.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

Technology Marketing Corporation

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