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Managed service provider explanation

A provider of managed services is usually a company that you use to provide a number of hosted IT services for you. These can rang from Internet access and email, through to managed DNS and database applications.

You may not realise this, but your enterprise telecoms and internet links are already supplied by a managed services provider; in much the same way as you buy gas, electricity or water.

Why do I want a managed service provider?

The service provider takes as much or as little of the IT management away from your company as you need, allowing you to continue running your business. This is especially appealing to non-IT based enterprises, who would rather things like their email and internet access be dealt with by specialists.

Examples of managed services

Managed hosting is a good example of a managed service; it is essentially a dedicated server that is complimented by a full suite of maintenance, technical support, and monitoring services. This is different from dedicated Web hosting which although customers are provided with their own servers, they are still responsible for most of the administrative and maintenance duties.

Unmanaged services, conversely, give the customer complete remote server administration freedom and capability. However a large amount of time and technical expertise is required, as you are ultimately responsible for the management of the server not the managed hosting provider. For this reason, unmanaged servers and other services are only recommended for individuals and companies with extensive server or IT administration resources or expertise.

Managed service provider conclusion

A managed service provider can alleviate the IT strain on your company and ensure that specialist expertise is available should anything go wrong. In addition there are staffing cost savings to be made and regulatory IT issues become the problem of the managed services company.

by: Rob Green

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