Dedicated servers are servers devoted to specific tasks. They’re used organizationally to split tasks into well-defined roles for administrative and IT purposes. There are two basic species of dedicated servers operationally- Managed and unmanaged. Managed servers are monitored and serviced on a regular basis. Unmanaged servers aren’t, and that’s where the problems start.

Unmanaged Servers- An Overview

Servers are the workhorses of the digital world. They’re so much a part of business that they’re treated like the furniture, something people use but don’t give much notice. Unmanaged servers are also considered to be the cheap option.

Servers are the circulatory system of business information. If they crash, so does the business. IT experts are regularly appalled by the lack of general knowledge some businesses have of their most important commercial equipment. Business can be lost, data trashed, and work totally disrupted when servers go offline. The downtime alone is horrendously expensive, anything but “cheap”.

Then there’s the cyber-crime situation. Unmanaged servers, which are usually only protected to the extent anyone could be bothered to upgrade their protection, are particularly vulnerable. Dedicated servers, like those handling business information and transactions, are prime targets. Again, not “cheap”, by any stretch of the imagination.

So – Do you need managed dedicated servers? Yes, you do!

The Dedicated Servers is by definition an important part of any business. You can quickly gauge how important by just checking out what sort of information the server is handling. Many businesses operate a suite of dedicated servers, including secure transactions, etc.

If you consider the value of any one of these servers going down for an hour or a few hours, you can actually measure the cost to your business in real terms to a reasonable risk analysis level. Server management really is a type of “risk management” to a very large extent.

Managed servers receive these services from their managers:

  • Monitoring– This is a combination of operational checking and “fire brigade” service.
  • Event reporting– The managing firm will report any events which may impact on the server’s operations. This can be anything from an attempted hack to a full-scale Denial of Service attack, or server issues.
  • Operating System updates– Critically important, and often includes security upgrades, server software patches and other important operations.
  • Security– Anti virus and related scans. Absolutely vital to the operation of secure servers, and in some cases to the entire business network.
  • Firewalls– Used to keep out harmful or disruptive software which can affect server and business operations.
  • Administration– Another essential service, which may involve anything from spam eradication on the email server to dealing with bugs or problems affecting operations.
  • Server backup– If the server goes down, it can be up and running again almost instantly with the right backup.

The average cost of the full server management packages is around $500 a month as a good ballpark figure. Compare this sort of cost to the tens of thousands of dollars which can be lost per day in a serious server problem, and it’s pretty good value.

Yes, your business does need managed dedicated servers. The alternative isn’t worth the risk.

Guest Post By: Tom Mallet is an Australian freelance writer and journalist. He writes extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US. He’s published more than 500 articles about various topics, including Domain Names.