We’ve been talking an awful lot about cyber security lately (partly because there have been so many good stories to share with you). So this week, we wanted to go back to our roots and talk about something different. If you’re a small or medium sized business, you’ve probably been advised at some point or another to opt for hosted IT services for your business. You might even use some cloud hosted programmes on a day to day basis. But there is a difference between cloud-based solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive and hosted solutions offered by IT service companies. Today, we want to tell you a bit about what the term ‘hosted services’ means, and what the benefits are to your business.
In a nutshell, hosted services are outsourced IT systems and functions. For most, this means that a hosting supplier will own the overly expensive bits of kit (like servers, software and other infrastructure), and their customers can rent them out for a small fee, instead of shelling out thousands to buy them themselves. Hosted services for business are broadly split into 3 categories:
Software as a Service (SaaS): Providing software or licenses to clients on a subscription basis from a centrally hosted platform. This is the model companies like Microsoft are moving towards for their software.
Platform as a Service (PaaS): A little more complicated, PaaS suppliers provide a platform for customers which allows them to develop, run and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Most commonly used by businesses, IaaS allows businesses to utilise the complete IT infrastructure of the hosting supplier, instead of buying the equipment for themselves. They are essentially renting the existing infrastructure out for their business needs.
Hosted IT services may be provided to customers in a dedicated space agreement, or a shared-service model. In a dedicated hosting environment, the server provider reserves the server, infrastructure and any other elements for each individual client. In a shared hosting scenario, services are provided to multiple clients from pooled resources and charged on a per-user basis.
The main advantage to hosted services for smaller and medium sized businesses is the cost saving. For many businesses, the level of infrastructure, support and software a hosted provider can provide simply wouldn’t be available independently. Acquiring, running and maintaining servers, for example, is an expensive endeavour – one that many businesses would be unable to afford. But with a hosted service businesses can have access to high-level equipment and platforms at a fraction of the price. Instead of being bought outright, the business simply rents the use of the equipment from the hosting company, usually for a small monthly fee. Not only that but hosted services provide access to a level of IT that can help smaller businesses grow efficiently, without any teething problems or extra expense. Utilising a hosted service opens up a whole new landscape for business owners. One that promotes rapid growth with a strong and robust infrastructure to support it.
At All your Computers, we offer a wide range of cloud and hosted services that have been tailored to suit SME needs and budget. We can handle everything from hosting your domain name and website to providing you with software licenses, creating a development platform or even renting space on one of our servers for operation and back up storage. For more information about our bespoke hosting services, just get in touch with us today.