Managed IT Services: Which Variant Will Make Your Life Easier?
The advantages of managed IT services such as SaaS, PaaS, or even IaaS are all presented around the transnational providers’ portfolios. But what do you actually get for something that costs you a bundle every month?
The term “managed services” is closely connected with the IT sector. Moreover, it is sometimes confused with IT outsourcing, which is not exactly correct. Although managed services and IT outsourcing both have some common characteristics, the final product is different.
When undertaking any kind of outsourcing, you probably do not do it daily. However, outsourcing is great when you have to deal with a problem your in-house team cannot resolve or when your employee is on vacation.
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Many companies decide to outsource IT tasks to a third party when building a whole new cluster or any other complex solution. This closer, more frequent cooperation is similar to managed services.
Managed IT services bring you the comfort of full-time general task delegation to a third party. A managed services provider will then ensure hardware maintenance is undertaken, there is smooth application running, and any security updates and patches are installed, depending on the service level required, or more precisely, the managed service variant needed.
Available Variants of Managed IT Services
When looking at managed service specifications, there is often an IaaS categorised as a version of managed services. But what is IaaS? Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is basically when a provider rents any part of their computing resources to a customer, such as a VPS, cloud hosting, or dedicated server.
The management level applies to the responsibility for hardware maintenance. It is an essential kind of service, where customers install whatever software they want and, at the same time, they are responsible for its updates and the security of the operating system.
For those who want to outsource these duties, a managed service that includes operating system administration is possible. Depending on the customer’s specific use case, it is commonly known as a managed server, managed cluster, or managed Kubernetes.
Overview: What Does the Provider Ensure?
|Runtime?Runtime is an environment for running applications written in different programming languages. It also contains libraries and tools that make developers’ work easier.
|Middleware?Middleware connect operating system and the software that developers use to ensure proper input/output communication.
Another variety of managed services is PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), which is widely popular with software developers who do not want to deal with the design of tools, APIs, and applications, together with the infrastructure and operating system. PaaS services are simply ready to use, making the development easier and more effective. However, they are typically more expensive than IaaS as well. On the other hand, when calculating the time saved by developers, PaaS often comes out as a viable solution that eventually reduces costs.
Finally, SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) may be considered the most comfortable and worry-free solution. SaaS users rent software running in the cloud for a regular fee and access it remotely, usually via a web interface.
The provider is responsible for the hardware, operating system, security, updates, and general software maintenance. A typical example is the consumption of accounting software.
For instance, in the case of on-premises operation, the software must be installed on the company’s server or the account department’s employees’ computers. In addition, the infrastructure needs to be secured properly since most of the data is sensitive.
Furthermore, a hardware failure should be guaranteed not to affect data consistency. In this case, out-of-date software versions negatively affect the functionality and may not comply with legislative aspects. Again, all of this can be handled by SaaS providers.
As always, there is some kind of “however”. However, to have every single software the company uses provided in SaaS form, the costs will grow exponentially. In addition, control over the companies’ data is never entirely in your hands.
Benefits of Managed Services
Managed services are inherently more expensive, and administration costs may grow up to hundreds of thousands per month, especially in the case of designing and managing clusters of tens of nodes. So why are companies choosing them?
Compensate the lack of knowledge – Every business is technological nowadays regardless of sector. Therefore, companies that do not primarily operate in the IT sector only employ a few IT staff members to keep everything up and running. However, their skills are limited to certain areas, which is why it is beneficial to draw on somebody else’s experience.
Access to a wide range of technologies – Staying up to date with the development of available tools and software can be overwhelming, especially for those busy innovating their own products. Therefore, third parties can offer you different ways to handle a fluctuating workload.
High security and 24/7/365 monitoring – Having the servers and software under control at all times requires the presence of an employee. For that reason, several of them must be available to cover all the required shifts. If outages are not addressed immediately, it can cost a company a significant amount of valuable data, a good reputation, and as a result, money.
Cost savings – Despite the higher price of managed services, it is still more cost-effective than regularly paying wages to employees who do not often have the extensive knowledge required. Therefore, companies are eventually forced to outsource more complicated operations to a third party, which means more spending.
The Drawbacks of Managed Services
Until now, it may seem like managed services are all sunshine and lollipops. But even a managed IT variant has its own disadvantages:
- Compatibility of business and infrastructure – Third parties will never have as much insight into the customer’s business as the customers themselves. Therefore, building a strong and long-term relationship is necessary to make the partnership work well.
- Flexibility – Managed services only make sense if the external IT team is available 24/7/365. Otherwise, it is only right to consider whether administration outsourcing is worthwhile. Alternatively, having internal staff available regularly could potentially be a better choice.
- Cost – As mentioned above, it is good to calculate both the managed and non-managed variants. In many cases, a company can really save money on managed services. However, managed IT may represent an unnecessarily high additional cost for some companies.
The Idea of MasterDC Managed Services
Managed IT services differ from provider to provider not only in the price but also in the scope of work and level of know-how. Especially with global providers, it is necessary to cope with specific tiering conditions, meaning some parts of your business IT cannot be managed. In addition, there are many limitations in terms of technology.
For these reasons, consider the option of medium or small local providers. Their conditions are usually not that strict, they can adapt to specific needs, and they generally focus on tailored solutions. Some designs may take longer since local providers do not have extensive hardware in stock. However, the final solution is worth the wait; hence it fits the business needs. Moreover, the provider gets to know the whole infrastructure.
Central Europe, especially the Czech Republic, is a highly recommended place to host and consume managed IT services, as foreign companies value the maturity of the legal system, political stability, infrastructure, education system, and data security.
When comparing offerings from multinational cloud providers, you will find that obtaining the cloud from local, smaller companies may not be as beneficial. However, what is worthwhile is the cloud (or any other service) in a managed variant – for the flexibility, individual online or offline consultations, 24/7 support, and immediate maintenance. At least that is what MasterDC offers its customers; there is a wide range of managed options – from single servers to managed backups or firewalls only, whole clusters, infrastructures, or even solutions hosted at AWS.