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We're currently hosting a number of sites on a self-managed dedicated server.

Some companies, however, offer a managed dedicated server hosting service. They offer:

  • Roughly the same server spec
  • Ticketing system support
  • Managed daily backups
  • Virtual firewall (but with a limit of 10 IP addresses allowed through at any one time)

Now, this managed hosting is at extra expense - somewhere in the region of $500 per month, and the limit on the number of IP addresses they'll manage on the firewall is also a real pain.

My thinking is it would be better and cheaper to

  • Stay with the same host since the dedicated box is fine
  • Get an Amazon AWS account and use their server to manage backups; there are a number of good tools that can be used to automate the process
  • Configure iptables so that I have complete control of the firewall

I want to know

  • Is a managed virtual firewall likely to be more secure than me configuring iptables?
  • Whether, in your opinion, it's best to let someone else take care of backups?
  • If, from your experience, there's anything else i'm missing that warrants using managed hosting over a DIY service?

I think there is some reluctance to not having managed hosting since a managed host in effect takes responsibility for your server, whereas any hardware or security issues with a server that we manage would mean we are forced to hold our hands up when a client site goes down.

That said, I personally don't think a managed host does that much in the day to day running of your server (backups are automatic, OS updates are carried out with ease, etc.).

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 13 '11 at 0:49

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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Your first two questions are difficult to answer because you ask if we think you are better at handling certain tasks compared to other professionals. We don't know that answer.

The third question is answerable, it's money vs time. If you have enough down time in your business to manage the server then there is a potential monetary upside to doing it yourself. If you have to take time out of doing whatever it is you do to make money to manage the server, then you probably won't put in the effort to make sure it stays secure with proper backups.

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