Managed Hosting – What are they managing?
Are you being lulled into believing you are on a managed server when you rent your server from the likes of Rackspace.com and other data centers stating they are offering managed servers?
What does it really mean when a data center provider states they offer managed servers?
Most of the time, especially when the statement is coming from a company that owns multiple data centers, “managed servers” means the servers are managed when you ask for management within the limits of their terms of service.
What this means to business owners is when the managed server provider provisions a server for you, the server is insecure, the operating system is insecure, any installed server applications are insecure, the server and its applications are most likely not PCI compliant, and what’s set up is only what you put down on the order form.
Business owners and managers may be in for a rude awakening when they find out their server or sites on their server have been hacked; then when they ask their provider about it, find out that hardening the server was not included, or they only did an initial server hardening but no follow up to keep the server hardened.
Server management falls into two categories: proactive and reactive.
Proactive management typically means the provider actively works on the server on a regular basis without needing a support ticket or request from the customer
The proactive managed server will most likely be hardened, kept secured with updates applied within a reasonable time frame as updates come out, have logs reviewed daily, security reviewed daily, and so on.
Reactive management typically means the provider does absolutely nothing unless the customer puts in a support ticket asking for help; and then only helps within the terms of service of the provider.
If you want peace of mind for your hosting experience, you want proactive management.
If you are not sure what your proactively manages or does not manage, ask them.
Ask them what they proactively do at what frequency through what period of time. Get specific with questions such as when is a server hardened? How often are operating system updates checked and applied? How often are logs reviewed? What are your procedures for notifying me if I have a near full hard drive partition? If you notice one of my sites being aggressively attacked? If you see an error from one of my sites in an error log? … and so on.
Dynamic Net, Inc. is a full managed hosting provider of proactive managed dedicated servers, proactive managed vps servers, proactive managed shared hosting, and proactive managed reseller hosting.
Contact us if you have questions on our proactive managed hosting services.