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Let’s Compare: Managed vs. Unmanaged Dedicated Server

Let’s Compare: Managed vs. Unmanaged Dedicated Server


Servers perform the very important function of managing websites so that data is stored and accessible by authorized users. Without servers, it would be virtually impossible for many businesses to attain the online visibility and credibility they have today, which has led to massive growth and development of their business ventures.

These site users and owners have the option of choosing from different kinds of servers to suit their specific individual and business needs. They usually go for either the Cloud VPS servers, the private virtual servers, or the dedicated servers, each suited to meet various needs. Website owners generally prepare to use dedicated servers because they are known to be more flexible, reliable, and secure than other servers.

Site owners who decide to use dedicated servers are left with another dilemma. They need to choose whether they would go for managed or unmanaged dedicated servers. Dedicated servers are private servers that are specifically reserved for performing particular tasks. Dedicated servers are usually a rental service given by a web hosting company.

These web hosting companies could either offer you managed dedicated servers hosting or unmanaged dedicated servers hosting, depending on what you choose. It is important to consider a lot of options before finalizing, as your website’s performance is dependent to a great extent on the type of dedicated server you choose and how well your choice is suited to meet your website needs.

Unmanaged Dedicated Servers.

When we say that a dedicated server is unmanaged, we mean that your web hosting service providers deliver the dedicated server to you along with the necessary accompanying hardware, and nothing more. It is a web hosting plan with limited additional services accompanying it.

When you subscribe to the unmanaged dedicated servers plan, you are limiting the responsibilities of the web hosting company to only providing you with the quality dedicated computer server and hardware along with the network. Sometimes, they install operating systems too.

Once they make sure that the hardware and other equipment are functioning properly, their job is done and yours starts. You are responsible for the management of the server and the hardware. This means that the installation of software applications, security, scripts, control panel, operating system, fixing of network issues, and every other management function is your responsibility.

For these reasons, it’s important to note that you should use unmanaged dedicated servers if you have some technical knowledge yourself or if you are comfortable with managing your servers yourself.

Managed Dedicated Servers.

Managed dedicated servers can be said to be the direct opposite of unmanaged dedicated servers. They are for site owners who do not want to deal with the additional task of managing their servers at regular intervals. Unlike the unmanaged dedicated servers, the web hosting services take responsibility for not just the provision of the server, network, and hardware but the installation and management of the servers. The only aspect they may not take responsibility for is the management of customized software.

The following are some of the management functions expected of the web hosting service providers:

  1. Hardware monitoring. This is one of the numerous management services offered by web hosting services. By monitoring the functionality of the server hardware, malfunctioning in the hardware would be noticed easily and would be fixed before it causes any downtime.
  2. Automated Backups. Data is automatically backed up so that they are still accessible and can be retrieved if there happens to be a loss of files
  3. Support Services. The web hosting service providers are always available even on demand, to support the user through any difficulties they may encounter while operating the server.
  4. Monitoring of Server Performance. Just like hardware monitoring, the general performance of the server is monitored so that the user is notified early of any impending problem. This makes it easy for the cause of the problem to be determined and fixed before it becomes too late
  5. security checks. Regular security checks and upgrades are done to prevent unauthorized access to data.

Differences between Managed and Unmanaged Servers.

The differences between a managed dedicated server and an unmanaged dedicated server are clear. For clarity sakes, however, we’d be outlining them below:

  • management Responsibility; This is the most obvious difference between the two servers. Managed servers are so-called because it is the responsibility of the web hosting service to take care of the management of the servers even after they have been delivered. Unmanaged dedicated servers, on the
  • other hand, require the site owners to manage the servers after they are provided. The web hosting service providers in the case of unmanaged dedicated servers have their responsibilities restricted to only making sure that quality servers, hardware, and other equipment are made accessible to their clients.
  • cost; As would be expected, managed servers are more expensive than unmanaged servers as website owners who subscribed to the managed servers plan have to pay for the web hosting service providers managing them. From another angle, unmanaged servers could end up being expensive in the long run due to the cost of repairs after poor management. However, in the initial stages, managed dedicated servers are usually more expensive.
  • convenience. Many people choose managed dedicated servers above unmanaged ones for the sale of convenience. Owing to a website and trying to keep up with business activities to keep it running is stressful enough. Having to add the responsibility of managing dedicated servers could end up being overwhelming and frustrating. Again, managing a server would require a lot of technical know-how, and expertise. It’s really just a lot of work. Meanwhile, with managed servers, all the server management trouble is left for the web hosting service providers to handle. They provide all the support needed and can be called upon at any time if the server hardware or software were to develop a problem.


Choosing a dedicated server to serve your website needs alone is not enough. You have to take it a step further by having to determine if your business needs a managed dedicated server or an unmanaged one. As already established, the major difference between managed dedicated servers and unmanaged dedicated servers depends on whom the management responsibility falls on.

Many website owners make the mistake of thinking that managed dedicated servers are always better than unmanaged ones. While it is true that managed dedicated servers offer convenience for their users, it would amount to a waste of money if, for example, the business already has the material resources, manpower, and technological know-how to maintain the servers already. Website owners should analyze their needs carefully so as to determine if their businesses support cost effectiveness above lower maintenance risks and vice-versa.