Moving to the Cloud? DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING

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1 Moving to the Cloud? DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING 12 Factors To Consider And Why You Should Be Looking for a Managed Hosting Provider For Your Site or Application as You Move to the Cloud

2 Your site or application is a critical driver for your organization's growth. How will you deploy it? Traditionally, it's been done within your in-house infrastructure but increasingly has been outsourced to an expert third-party hosting provider a Managed Hosting provider. Total Product Marketing compares on-premise or do-it-yourself hosting with Managed Hosting and concludes that you're better off working with a Managed Hosting provider. Read on to see if you agree.

3 WHAT IS DIY HOSTING? Deploying IT equipment that stores content and runs applications connecting to the Internet either at your business location or through off-site colocation with a third party data center operator. YOU WHAT IS MANAGED HOSTING? An advanced type of hosting that incorporates greater support and service levels, and offloads many of your management duties to the service provider. YOU have access to the data center, network, servers and other devices through remote management tools. Purchase and own all the gear. BUT at the same time there is an army of trained hosting specialists ready to handle tasks ranging from: Set up a secure facility. Deployment Maintenance Monitoring Security Procure the connectivity. Data Storage Disaster Recovery Capacity Management Technical Support Manage everything top to bottom. ALSO AVAILABLE are advanced services like: Install all the software. Vulnerability Scans Intrusion Detection Load Balancing Data Backups DDoS Attack Mitigation Firewalls DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING PAGE 03

4 UPFRONT COSTS Whether on-premise or through colocation doing it yourself means supplying your own hardware. This includes not just servers but also networking equipment such as routers, switching devices, firewalls, load balancers and storage. FACTOR #1 $ HARDWARE 0 and the IT REFRESH CYCLE NO UPFRONT COSTS Moving to a hosting model turns capital expenditure into operating expenditure. There is no up-front procurement or maintenance cost. $ This is not just expensive, it is also not a one-time expenditure. There is a life cycle for IT equipment approximately five years but shortening. $ The infrastructure, bandwidth, maintenance and services are reduced to a single monthly fee. You don t have to worry about the equipment at all. Organizations incur significant costs maintaining and then refreshing this gear once it becomes obsolete. Managed hosters constantly maintain and update their hardware and services to keep their customer base. TOTAL PRODUT MARKETING DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING PAGE 04

5 FACTOR #2 Data CENTERS While having your data on-premise provides control and proximity, building and maintaining a data center is often too costly for most small to mid-sized organizations. Outsourcing to a third-party data center operator takes most of the work out of the equation. Many guarantee around-the-clock security and surveillance, multiple connectivity options and backups. Going it alone might allow you to use your current office space to house your IT equipment, but it may also require additional setup and maintenance of the building where the data center is located. It will also likely require additional training for those managing the data center. Instead of building a data center based on your estimated data center needs and building a new one when you outgrow them, IT resources and services can easily be bought from managed hosts when needed. Without the attention of expert staff, data centers could be prone to physical security breaches, outages, and damage to equipment due to overheating and other environmental issues. Managed hosts can often provide services at a lower price by taking advantage of economies of scale and special relationships with IT equipment providers. The managed host handles the time and cost of R&D, building and periodic data center upgrades. TOTAL PRODUT MARKETING DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING PAGE 05

6 FACTOR #3 You own your own physical hardware. You buy and provision servers to scale up. SCALING INFRASTRUCTURE and upfront COSTS Offers flexibility of multiple scenarios and scalability to the customer. Having dedicated, in-house infrastructure ensures that resources are not shared with other businesses that may need to scale up at the same time as them, potentially causing a run on shared resources. Managed hosting often uses cloud technology that drives more efficient resource use than traditional computing, allowing many organizations to share IT infrastructure without strangling resources. With all resources in-house, you re more able to know your scaling limits. To scale down, you can turn them off what s not being used to save on operating expenses, but keep in mind that you had to pay up-front for that equipment. If resources aren t managed as a private cloud environment, staff may need to be involved in manual scaling processes that can be difficult and tedious. Instead of having to make large capital expenditures on new hardware to deal with your applications peak traffic, managed hosting provides predictable monthly billing from the operating budget, and often pay-per-use billing for periods of higher usage. Managed hosts can efficiently scale your application so that it uses only the resources needed. You don t pay up-front on servers to handle a few brief periods of peak traffic. TOTAL PRODUT MARKETING DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING PAGE 06

7 EVEN FACTOR #4 EVEN Location OF DATA DIY hosting might seem to be a better option when the location of your infrastructure is mandated by legal decree. A managed host can guarantee that your data abides with regulations surrounding the location and handling of data. They could even be a local expert. For instance, the European Union data protection directive stipulates that an organization s sensitive data must be located within the EU rather than being outsourced to some other location. Third party hosting companies can take advantage of scale to open up multiple locations around the world. They can guarantee the location of your data and get you set up in a foreign market at a fraction of the DIY cost. To do business in these countries means you must have a physical presence there and by doing it yourself you have the ability to control the location. But the problem is not every organization has the resources to build out an office or data center in another country. It is also tough to get the requisite scale to justify the business case. A managed host may also provide managed services like disaster recovery and business continuity from a remote site. This could, in fact, be required by your industry, but also enable your business to get up-and-running faster following an unexpected incident. TOTAL PRODUT MARKETING DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING PAGE 07

8 CONTROL DIY hosting often seems like the simplest choice for many businesses that may already have servers. It gives them a great deal of control and the expenditure on equipment such as servers is already a sunk cost that doesn t have to be paid for month after month. FACTOR #5 OPPORTUNITY COSTS and sunk COSTS FLEXIBILITY A third-party, on the other hand, can easily provision new servers and storage to support your application when requirements dictate and then you can scale back when it doesn t need support. Dealing with peak loads becomes a challenge when it comes time for DIY hosting to scale and buying new infrastructure. A third party essentially gives you access to a greater pool of resources, turning hefty capital expenditures into more predictable operating expenditures. TOTAL PRODUT MARKETING DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING PAGE 08

9 EVEN In a true DIY hosting environment, your support is in-house, which can be for better or worse. FACTOR #6 Getting HELP WHEN NEEDED In a hosting scenario someone with full administrative control over the server is available around the clock. EVEN When there s a problem, rather than wait for a support ticket to get addressed, you know exactly who is going to fix it and when they ll be available. 24/7 chat support and ticket systems enables efficiency and avoids confusion. Instead of relying on availability of in-house IT staff, tickets are routed to people who are able to act. IT managers often like DIY hosting because they know physically where their infrastructure is. If they can see it, they can count on it, and if there is a problem they know exactly where to go. And while this affords some mental assurance, there are disadvantages. Instead of hiring around-the-clock, expert staff for server rooms, managed hosts already have expert staff who have the knowledge and experience that comes from dealing with IT hosting issues on a daily basis and are able to respond to queries at any given time. TOTAL PRODUT MARKETING DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING PAGE 09

10 FACTOR #7 DISASTERS and BACKUPS In a DIY hosting environment, when disaster strikes whether it s a natural disaster or equipment failure - it s up to you to have a backup strategy to make sure your business doesn t miss a beat. In the case of a disaster, having servers in a different physical location can mean the difference between a database being unavailable and a database being gone for good. It s advisable to make daily backups a regular part of your routine. Storing them on a separate server would assure the data is not lost if drives fail, but having off-site backup and continuity plans provide added protection in the case of fires, floods, and other threats. Building complex disaster recovery deployments requires an understanding of a business critical data and applications, but it also requires storage resources, scale and geographic diversity, that many organizations simply do not have. TOTAL PRODUT MARKETING DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING PAGE 10

11 FACTOR #8 SPECIALIZATION In your business, you are specialized in your core offerings, giving you insight into the connection between your IT and core business. A managed host s trained staff use their experience and expertise to provide a solution to your IT problem. It s not always easy to get good managed hosting technicians who are able to identify and understand problems as they arise and come up with creative solutions to meet your business requirements. Managed hosting staff are trained specifically to manage a complex IT environment. They deal with various technical issues day-in day-out, have seen multiple scenarios and have run repeated trials. This makes them equipped to solve problems quickly, know what tools are the most effective for solving specific problems, and proactively prevent further issues. You may be able to trust yourself and your staff that they will try their hardest to quickly respond to any issues that arise and understand how critical it is that problems get resolved. Furthermore, managed hosts often offer Service-Level Agreements that guarantee high levels of service are met. And when they do not meet the stipulations, compensation is paid. TOTAL PRODUT MARKETING DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING PAGE 11

12 FACTOR #9 KEEPING up with INNOVATION If you re considering DIY hosting, you likely have an infatuation with innovative technologies that drive business forward. Hosting technologies are exactly that. The platform that a managed host provides is constantly updated with new servers and networking infrastructure to provide your application speed and performance. Having excellent web hosting is just like any other part of your business in the sense that it requires a serious commitment to remaining on the cutting edge. In hosting, this means spending time learning new technologies (often through mistakes), buying the latest equipment, and developing new and better techniques. As the demands of critical applications and user expectations continue to grow year after year, managed hosts work hard to keep up with the trends or else customers will move to other hosts. Competition ensures that managed hosts stay on the leading edge of the innovation curve. Anyone remotely familiar with computing is aware of the rapid leaps forward, epitomized by Moore's law that the number of transistors on integrated circuits will double approximately every two years. Our expectations of applications have also been evolving towards greater speed and responsiveness which can cost individual companies a lot of money to stay ahead of. Unlike most DIY hosts, a managed host is able to buy equipment in bulk or make special arrangements with equipment suppliers. And they are also likely to make good product decisions because it s in their area of expertise and research. And, again, this burden of time and money is taken on by the host because it gives them a competitive advantage in a highly competitive market. TOTAL PRODUT MARKETING DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING PAGE 12

13 If your IT needs are fairly basic and stable or if feel that you re already meeting your current IT infrastructure goals, then you might be able to use your own, on-site systems efficiently. FACTOR #10 Finding EFFICIENCIES EVERYWHERE Having a highly trained IT staff handle your hosting infrastructure frees you and your staff to concentrate on your core business. A DIY host must take into account the potential that their IT requirements may grow in ways that their infrastructure and staff cannot handle. $ The cost of providing training, hiring new staff to run the hosting infrastructure, or even paying them to stay late to deal with a particular bug is offloaded to professionals, making IT costs more predictable as well as cost-effective. They must also factor in the efficiencies they may be missing out on when it comes to speed, scalability, flexibility, support, and other capabilities offered via managed hosting. Also, because a managed hoster owns the hardware, network and data center, it can efficiently provide resources and services to scale to exactly what you need. TOTAL PRODUT MARKETING DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING PAGE 13

14 There are businesses that are prepared to host their own infrastructure and services, but it s often a tough road. FACTOR #11 MANAGED INFRASTRUCTURE and MANAGED SERVICES For most businesses, the overall management and maintenance provided by managed hosting is of higher quality and less costly than managing infrastructure internally. The cost and complexity of managing your applications and their hosting can be avoided with managed infrastructure, which offers the size, scale, and expertise that most private businesses cannot approach. Those up for the challenge would be wise to compare their DIY hosting with a solution comprising managed infrastructure and managed services. This will help benchmark the services provided and make sure they re doing what s right for their organization. It also allows a business to focus its efforts not on its IT infrastructure, but on what makes it unique among its competitors: its core business. With a service provider taking care of your infrastructure, you may be able to offload some managed services to them such as: Application-aware network services that optimize application delivery. Peering that makes crucial exchanges of network traffic; managed security services that keep your sensitive data and customer data secure. Managed storage and backup services which help ensure you have the capacity to store and safeguard your critical business assets. TOTAL PRODUT MARKETING DIY VS. MANAGED HOSTING PAGE 14

15 Total Product Marketing provides Marketing and Design Services to Cloud, Hosting and Technology Companies Copyright 2014 Total Product Marketing. All Rights Reserved.

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