At a glance, most managed server services look nearly identical. They all offer the same basic functionality and serve the same essential purpose. However, as we look closer; it becomes clear that these providers may actually offer completely different experiences. In order for a business to select the best managed server service for their specific situation, there are several key facts which must be considered.
May Not Include 100% Maintenance
It is important to pay specific attention to the level of maintenance provided to the managed servers. Some providers will only maintain the hardware and operating system while ignoring any additional software or applications installed on the server. If a business plan on installing a large number of third-party applications, signing up with a managed server service provider who provides additional daily maintenance will be a better solution in the long run because they will not only protect the hardware and operating system, but everything else as well.
May Not Include 100% Problem Resolution
A key reason businesses turn to managed servers is because they want to leverage highly skilled professionals to handle problem resolution. Unfortunately, some providers do not offer 100% problem resolution. They will only provide problem resolution if the issue is tied directly to the hardware or operating system. If a problem is caused by third-party applications, they will leave it up to the business to solve the problem themselves. This isn’t true of all service providers, so it is important to pay close attention to the service level agreement to see what level of problem resolution is guaranteed.
May Not Provide Comprehensive Data Protection and Disaster Recovery
Similar to problem resolution, some managed server providers will not provide comprehensive data protection and disaster recovery. They will only backup certain types of data, which means business sensitive data may be lost. It is imperative businesses identify exactly what Data needs to be backed up so that they choose a provider who will meet their needs. Nothing is worse than having a server crash, only to discover mission-critical data was lost.
Cost Effectiveness Based Upon Multiple Variables
A key factor businesses often overlook when comparing managed servers against other alternatives is cost-effectiveness. While total cost is always considered, the overall level of cost effectiveness compared to the services provided is not always taken into consideration. For example, it may be less expensive to purchase and maintain everything in-house; however it may not provide the most cost-effective solution over the long-term.
Training, Practices, and Procedures Must Be in Writing
The final fact about managed servers which is often overlooked is how the provider approaches the training, maintenance practices, and daily procedures. Every provider will willingly say that they have implemented a variety of safeguards and training programs to ensure their clients get the best service possible. Unfortunately, if specific practices and procedures are not in writing, there is no way for the client to hold the provider responsible.
The use of managed servers will continue to grow as businesses outsource a bulk of their IT needs. There is no doubt manage servers provide a variety of benefits and can play multiple roles throughout a business. At the same time, there are certain potentially detrimental facets of this type of service which are often overlooked.
- License: Image author owned
- License: Image author owned
Anton Gonzales writes articles about colocation and data centers in the Austin area. He believes Data Center managed services is a wise choice for many businesses. Anton believes companies should always think about their future growth and security needs. The Austin Data Center he recommends can be found at http://www.datafoundry.com/data-centers