What is Managed Hosting?

by Bryan Litchford, VP, Private Cloud, Rackspace Technology

What is managed hosting


Organizations weighing whether and how to move their IT infrastructure to cloud hosting are faced with a dizzying array of options. One of those is managed hosting, also referred to as managed dedicated hosting, dedicated servers or single tenant hosting.

All of those names refer to an IT service model in which a customer leases hardware — data and storage servers and network equipment — from a managed service provider, like Rackspace Technology®. The hardware is dedicated to just that customer, hence the “single tenant” moniker, giving the customer access to the full performance capabilities of the hardware.

As a single tenant, customers have total control over their hardware, applications, operating systems (OS) and security. The managed part means the managed service provider (MSP) handles the administration, management and support of the infrastructure, which is housed in a datacenter owned by the provider, as opposed to on-site at a customer’s location.

Some companies prefer to lease datacenter space and hardware from a provider, then manage it themselves. This practice is referred to as hosting or unmanaged hosting. But more often today, as technology continues its rapid innovation, many organizations are finding that outsourcing day-to-day infrastructure and hardware vendor management to an MSP is of higher value to their business than managing it themselves.

Our 2022 Multicloud Annual Research Report confirms the notion that the corporate data center is facing extinction. We surveyed 1,420 technology decision-makers in April 2022, including more than 400 CIOs and CTOs.

Business leaders appear to be putting their money on the table again, with the companies we surveyed saying that they will invest in public or private cloud containers (48%), serverless computing (44%) and edge technologies (38%).

Forward-thinking companies are combining cloud computing with emerging technologies — AI, machine learning, containers and serverless. When we asked how the cloud supports innovation, business leaders responded:

  • 49%     Cloud improves customer experience and ease of use
  • 44%     Cloud enables faster testing and deployment of new products and services
  • 37%     Offers limitless compute and storage
  • 35%     Expands their range of products/services
  • 33%     Provides the ability to scale up and down on demand

Interestingly, 56% of respondents can’t imagine owning a data center in five years, lending credibility to the idea that cloud is here to stay — and growing. To learn more, check out our “Multicloud Annual Research Report 2022”.

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Why Choose Managed Hosting?

Managed hosting is a logical first step for many companies looking to move to the cloud. Common use cases for managed hosting include web application hosting, datacenter extension and consolidation, legacy and custom application hosting, high-performance computing, data storage and analytics, data backup and disaster recovery.

Managed hosting is also a good fit for organizations with stringent regulatory or security requirements, such as those in the healthcare and financial services industries. For these companies, it’s important to make sure their MSP offers single-tenant solutions that extend beyond the compute layer down to the storage and networking layers as well, to ensure environments are never shared with others.

Our customer, Konesh Soluciones®,  helps clients manage tax risk and complexity, and is authorized by the Mexican Tax Administration Service (SAT) to assist clients throughout Mexico with the secure preparation and transmission of electronic tax documents. During the pandemic, Rackspace Technology provided Konesh Soluciones with access to resources and expertise in security, databases, networks, operating systems and infrastructure and helped it implement a home office platform. The company successfully implemented data protection control rules, technically known as DLP, using a Microsoft platform, which is managed by Rackspace Technology.

Managed Hosting on Bare Metal Servers

Of course, service offerings differ by company. However, most service providers break up their services into six management layers. These service layers help to define what is managed by the customer versus what the provider will own. You can see these six management layers in the diagram below.

Managed hosting on bare metal servers (private cloud) provides support for OS and application infrastructure, while an unmanaged hosting service does not. In the last few years, many managed hosting vendors have increased their spheres of support to include application management. For example, Rackspace Technology provides application support for SAP, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server, among many others. Our managed hosting on bare metal servers is a dedicated, secure environment that offers customized compute, storage and connectivity tailored to your unique business needs.

Go from operation to optimization with fully managed application services