Managed vs. Unmanaged Cloud |  liquid network

Managed vs. Unmanaged Cloud | liquid network

These past few years have seen unprecedented changes in the way business data is handled around the world. COVID-19 was certainly a disruptor. It instigated a rapid change in data architectures that fostered hybrid and remote work situations. But it was not the only cause of this change. Rather, the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns made a change that was already becoming much more urgent. Almost everyone knew that the need for more flexible and secure servers would eventually arise. The pandemic finally turned into today.

Learn the differences between managed and unmanaged (or traditional) private cloud, learn the pros and cons of each, and explore some of the factors to consider when choosing the right type of server infrastructure for your organization.

What is a managed private cloud?

A managed private cloud is a clustered server environment where the hosting company also supports the physical hardware in addition to the premises. The benefits here are clear: you have a dedicated team of fully trained hardware and software engineers available 24 hours a day (depending on your SLA) to implement, change, maintain and/or upgrade your cloud solutions. You know you have the best possible people on hand to manage server issues, and you don’t have to pay them full time. The provider can spread the cost across all of your managed server customers and send you an agreed, predictable monthly bill.

What is an unmanaged private cloud?

A traditional or unmanaged private cloud is an owner-managed hosting environment. The service provider makes a private cloud environment available to you and pretty much leaves it up to you. Your responsibility is to keep the physical server in good working order and keep the power and data lines connected. Everything you put on the server, software updates, backups, etc., should be handled by a team on your end.

The only real benefit of this type of hosting environment is that it’s usually less expensive than a private managed server… Unless you count the cost of paying your own sysadmin and team. Sometimes, that adds up to being more expensive.

How is a managed private cloud different from a traditional private cloud implementation?

Money shouldn’t be the only consideration when comparing managed vs. unmanaged private cloud solutions. Rather, you should also consider reliability and the benefits of having fast, essentially instantaneous access to truly expert support. If everything goes perfectly year-round, an unmanaged cloud solution could cost less than a managed cloud solution. But when was the last year that you can remember that nothing went wrong with your servers?

What are the benefits of using managed private cloud?

In the end, what you’ll notice most about using a managed private cloud solution is the incredible reliability you’ll receive. After all, server administrators know that preventing a server from experiencing problems is much easier for them than cleaning up after a problem. When you add the cost control aspects of your SLA, reduced risk to your business operations, and access to near-instantaneous scale of server resources you’ll enjoy, you’ll never look back on unmanaged solutions again.

Pros and cons of both cloud types, based on real-world experiences with each

From a boots-on-the-ground perspective, the managed private cloud vs. unmanaged cloud debate is even simpler. An unmanaged remote server means having your own IT team on hand. It also means you have the constant administrative stress of keeping that team agile enough to keep costs down but robust enough to quickly and thoroughly handle problems before they reduce your profits.

Too lean, and downtime kills your profitability. Too robust, and salaries and administrative concerns do the same.

In the end, a managed service provider can afford to keep a large, highly-skilled, up-to-date team up and running constantly because they have enough servers to keep a top-tier team productively busy.

What should you consider when deciding what type of cloud infrastructure is right for your organization’s needs?

First of all, you need to consider the scale. How many servers do you need? The lower your data usage, the more cost-effective it is to keep an in-house sysadmin and online IT team for that server.

Next, consider how much control you really need. If you’re not comfortable letting a third-party provider install applications on your server, you may not want a managed solution.

Customer support is also an issue – an unmanaged server leaves everything in your hands. A managed solution can handle both technology and customer support for you.

final thoughts

Deciding between managed private cloud and unmanaged private cloud solutions is not always easy. Most companies will be able to make a clear case for one solution or the other, but some will inevitably find themselves on the fence. If that’s the case for you, contact Liquid Web today for a custom solution that meets all your needs.

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