VPS hosting has transformed recently from the quite expensive technology to a totally affordable one. Its security, performance and reliability advantages are widely known among webmasters, managers and online business owners alike. They become especially obvious, when you are going to host many websites with different properties on a single hosting account. Usually, business owners see it as a way to get almost dedicated-server-like benefits with much less expenses. That’s why more and more small and mid-sized businesses choose VPS as their primary hosting solution. Though there is one more challenge they have to face – select if their plan will be self-managed or fully managed by their provider. I’d like to highlight main advantages and disadvantages of both, so you could understand what suits you better.
Fully Managed VPS
Provider-managed VPS hosting can be slightly different depending on your provider, though basically they offer about the same. The reason, why this way is taken, is usually quite simple – the lack of professional knowledge and experience in running your own server. Management activities include: server maintenance, managing software updates, system monitoring, data protection, security and so on. So, first of all, with fully-managed VPS you can be sure, that you will enjoy ultimate uptime, since server monitoring and technical support is 24/7 in most cases.
The monitoring is performed on the fly and checks the system for potential vulnerabilities, malware, suspicious traffic and overall security risks. Traffic spikes are monitored constantly as well, so your resources can be burst to a needed level. Updates and patches do not require your attention too, since they’re installed as soon as possible. The other important thing that is performed within fully-managed hosting environment, is the constant backup planning. The provider is not only making backups of your databases, web servers and applications, but also is able to restore them quite fast.
There are some drawbacks, of course. Fully managed VPS is more expensive than the self-managed one. You are getting limited control over your environment, that can be quite frustrating, since only the provider chooses what hardware and software is installed. If you are going to make some crucial changes, you’ll have to make a support request and this will take some of your time.
Self-managed VPS means, that your provider is responsible only for the physical server and its availability. All the other technical things mentioned above are on your shoulders, so you’ll need to be a pro in this field or hire one or few that will be responsible for managing your hosting environment. Though it looks quite challenging at first glance, it is actually not that complicated, so finding a professional administrator won’t be a big issue. Actually, self-managed VPS is almost the same thing as a dedicated server, with all its flexibility and customization possibilities.
This means, that you’ll be able to install any software you like, and no one could get access to your information, except the authorized personnel. You can manage your security system to any level of protection as well. The performance is also depends on you, but if you’re skillful enough, your environment will work even faster than on fully managed hosting.
In my case, I use Hostigation as my VPS. They have great service and great rates starting at $4 a month. If you are looking for an unmanaged VPS, I highly recommend looking into my host over at hostigation.com (Affiliate link)
Choosing the Right One
When choosing between fully managed and self-managed VPS hosting solutions you have to keep several things in mind. First of all, think about your budget – fully managed VPS annual cost can be quite damaging for a growing company. It might be more wise to think about self-managed one, especially if you have personal experience in this field or know a good system administrator, since this will more productive. On the other hand, you have to think if you have enough time to manage the server, or whether it’s better to leave this task to your provider. The last thing to remember, is whether you need to install and configure some specific applications.. If this is an issue, self-managed hosting can be the most viable option to choose.
Do you have some additional pros and cons to share? Don’t hesitate to comment below.