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Key Features of Managed Hosting

Jun 11, 2008
What is managed hosting? It is one of the services provided by a managed services provider.
A managed services provider is a company that is hired by another company to handle the management of its services. In brief, it is a company that handles all outsourced services on a monthly basis and as a result, the managed services provider is also paid on a month-to-month basis. Many of the services it then provides are done via the Internet and cover various tasks, which include:

* Information technology services
* Backing up of remote data
* Desktop monitoring
* Security monitoring
* Technical assistance

A managed services provider will often also manage a company's Web hosting and handle the maintenance of its Web sites.

But it is important to note that the most common function of the managed services provider is managed hosting. The provider offers IT services that would normally be taken care of by existing or additional staff onsite. Since this eliminates the need for in-house staff, the provider is responsible for backing up any data on the client company's Web site and any data that might be left by customers visiting the Web site. This is to protect the business in the event that the Web site crashes something no Web site is completely safe from. It can only benefit the business to study the customer data, as it allows the company to stay in touch with the customers.

Not only does the managed services provider back up the data, but it also constantly monitors the Web site in the event that any hackers try to break in, what would be known as a security breach. These breaches are dangerous, as sensitive data may be stolen and therefore may compromise the company. In the event of such a security breach, the provider can tackle the issue on the spot, as well as being available to provide any technical support the business might need or to help the customer with any Web hosting issues that might arise.

If there is no longer any IT staff onsite, then it is clear that the managed services provider must also be responsible for a wide variety of tasks the nonexistent staff would otherwise have provided. Such tasks run the gamut, including managing remote access, monitoring the network, managing the network, scanning for any vulnerabilities in the system (including in the firewall that guards it), securing the e-mail and messaging (if used) systems, tracking any incidents, whether internal or external and managing the servers.

Although this sounds like a pricey venture, it is actually beneficial to the business. Not only do outsourcing information technology-related tasks, such as managed hosting, ease the burden on the business, it also works out to be cheaper in the long run than hiring a circle of full-time employees to do the same work. For some small companies, the IT tasks are just another hat the regular employees must perform as necessary, forcing them to ignore their actual jobs in times of crisis. But by using a managed services provider, this is no longer a concern and prevents overworking staff members.
About the Author
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who writes for a number of UK businesses. For Business Internet Services and Managed and Shared Hosting, he recommends Iconnyx.
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