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Use Managed Hosting for Robust Connectivity

Published on 10 May 13
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Connectivity is key to the success of modern IT infrastructures, since it is essential for providing access to many of the hosted services which organizations use throughout the year.

It needs to be both resilient and flexible, delivering a robust level of service that is not plagued by outages or considered to be a bottleneck. But the problem for most companies is that achieving this degree of comprehensiveness is difficult to achieve internally.

The alternative is to seek the aid of a third party hosting provider and there are of course different levels of service available in this market, which gives firms the ability to pick and choose from packages which vary in how much support they offer.

Managed hosting is ideal for companies that are seeking robust levels of connectivity, since it hands most of the responsibility for monitoring, maintenance and resilience over to the provider.

This is exactly what the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) decided to do, so it may be a good idea to examine how this choice of IT service was advantageous here.

Robust Connectivity

Each year, in excess of 24 million passengers pass through the four airports controlled by MAG, which means that its hosted services generally have to deal with many times this number of queries.

Its customers expect to be able to check up on flight information, find out about parking services and receive updates on the state of travel networks before they fly in or out of the airports.

This is far easier to achieve if all sites are hosted by one provider, since it means that the individual airports and subsidiary businesses controlled by the group are not under pressure to organise their own hosting solutions internally.

MAG spokesperson Aaron Bazler points out that in the past it was indeed necessary for all hosting to be handled on-site, although with the emergence of affordable managed hosting solutions it was not long before the decision was made to move to a remote, managed platform.

The robustness and resilience of managed hosting is assured, because the provider will be charged with delivering round-the-clock monitoring for its products. This not only means that the internal server hardware will be checked for faults and fallacies, but that the network connectivity which allows external access to the hosted services is up to scratch from one minute to the next.

The same levels of management and monitoring could not be achieved by most organizations, which is why managed hosting is a promising choice.
Flexibility and Scalability

This idea of robust connectivity not only involves the pure uptime of a particular service, but also whether or not it is able to meet the demands placed upon it by users.

Although the high levels of traffic which MAG's sites receive are obviously significant, there is very much a cycle of peaks and troughs in activity depending on the time of day and indeed the period of the year.

Inquiries and customer interactions obviously boom during the summer months when the British are looking to take a trip overseas during the school holidays, which means that there has to be enough bandwidth on tap to make sure that the hosted services operate smoothly for all those looking to harness them.

Meanwhile in the off-peak periods the same visitor numbers are simply not going to be seen. Were MAG to be relying on in-house hosting at this point it would find that its infrastructure was too large, costing them cash to keep it running even though its capacity was rarely being tested.

Thankfully there is an impressive degree of flexibility and scalability to managed hosting which means that companies can invest in this type of platform and only pay for the bandwidth that they require at a given time.

When traffic is going to spike, bandwidth can be scaled to accommodate the flood of visitors. Then when quieter times arrive, it can be contracted back to a smaller and more affordable level which is suitable for the situation in hand.
Reaping the Benefits

MAG outlines a number of ways in which adopting a managed hosting service has proved to be beneficial for its various businesses.

As well as being able to save money after passing hosting responsibilities to a third party, the organization has actually been able to pass on some of the benefits to its customers through discounts offered to those who book their trips online.

The reliability of the connectivity to managed hosting services has endowed the group with confidence in its various online offerings. Mission-critical apps and data are now far less likely to suffer from outages, which in turn makes the group's businesses considerably more agile; an important asset in a competitive marketplace.

Mr Bazler points out that in the past MAG had to make do with an in-house hosting solution which had a number of points of weakness that could result in total system failure if even one were to be compromised.

Now with a managed hosting provider at its disposal, such issues have become a thing of the past, with redundancy and backup measures better able to offer continuity and robustness.

A less tangible benefit, but an important one nonetheless, is the enhancement of MAG's reputation with its customers.

Airport users have come to expect a certain level of service from the companies that provide for them during their travels and with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, people now have the means to access information, book tickets and even use online check-in solutions while on the move.

Because the airports operated by MAG are all taken care of by the same managed hosting solution, these expectations are met and so frequent flyers and annual holidaymakers are more likely to keep rolling up to the terminals in the future.

In an always-on digital world there is little room for even the most minor of hiccups. This factor can end up putting too much pressure on a company that has to deal with hosting duties on-site.

This makes the adoption of managed hosting a great way for firms of all sizes to improve the robustness of their connectivity infrastructure without having to make significant investments.

This article is supplied by Jamie Garner, who works for Daisy Group, a leading provider of managed hosting and telecommunications solutions.

Connectivity is key to the success of modern IT infrastructures, since it is essential for providing access to many of the hosted services which organizations use throughout the year.

It needs to be both resilient and flexible, delivering a robust level of service that is not plagued by outages or considered to be a bottleneck. But the problem for most companies is that achieving this degree of comprehensiveness is difficult to achieve internally.

The alternative is to seek the aid of a third party hosting provider and there are of course different levels of service available in this market, which gives firms the ability to pick and choose from packages which vary in how much support they offer.

Managed hosting is ideal for companies that are seeking robust levels of connectivity, since it hands most of the responsibility for monitoring, maintenance and resilience over to the provider.

This is exactly what the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) decided to do, so it may be a good idea to examine how this choice of IT service was advantageous here.

Robust Connectivity

Each year, in excess of 24 million passengers pass through the four airports controlled by MAG, which means that its hosted services generally have to deal with many times this number of queries.

Its customers expect to be able to check up on flight information, find out about parking services and receive updates on the state of travel networks before they fly in or out of the airports.

This is far easier to achieve if all sites are hosted by one provider, since it means that the individual airports and subsidiary businesses controlled by the group are not under pressure to organise their own hosting solutions internally.

MAG spokesperson Aaron Bazler points out that in the past it was indeed necessary for all hosting to be handled on-site, although with the emergence of affordable managed hosting solutions it was not long before the decision was made to move to a remote, managed platform.

The robustness and resilience of managed hosting is assured, because the provider will be charged with delivering round-the-clock monitoring for its products. This not only means that the internal server hardware will be checked for faults and fallacies, but that the network connectivity which allows external access to the hosted services is up to scratch from one minute to the next.

The same levels of management and monitoring could not be achieved by most organizations, which is why managed hosting is a promising choice.

Flexibility and Scalability

This idea of robust connectivity not only involves the pure uptime of a particular service, but also whether or not it is able to meet the demands placed upon it by users.

Although the high levels of traffic which MAG's sites receive are obviously significant, there is very much a cycle of peaks and troughs in activity depending on the time of day and indeed the period of the year.

Inquiries and customer interactions obviously boom during the summer months when the British are looking to take a trip overseas during the school holidays, which means that there has to be enough bandwidth on tap to make sure that the hosted services operate smoothly for all those looking to harness them.

Meanwhile in the off-peak periods the same visitor numbers are simply not going to be seen. Were MAG to be relying on in-house hosting at this point it would find that its infrastructure was too large, costing them cash to keep it running even though its capacity was rarely being tested.

Thankfully there is an impressive degree of flexibility and scalability to managed hosting which means that companies can invest in this type of platform and only pay for the bandwidth that they require at a given time.

When traffic is going to spike, bandwidth can be scaled to accommodate the flood of visitors. Then when quieter times arrive, it can be contracted back to a smaller and more affordable level which is suitable for the situation in hand.

Reaping the Benefits

MAG outlines a number of ways in which adopting a managed hosting service has proved to be beneficial for its various businesses.

As well as being able to save money after passing hosting responsibilities to a third party, the organization has actually been able to pass on some of the benefits to its customers through discounts offered to those who book their trips online.

The reliability of the connectivity to managed hosting services has endowed the group with confidence in its various online offerings. Mission-critical apps and data are now far less likely to suffer from outages, which in turn makes the group's businesses considerably more agile; an important asset in a competitive marketplace.

Mr Bazler points out that in the past MAG had to make do with an in-house hosting solution which had a number of points of weakness that could result in total system failure if even one were to be compromised.

Now with a managed hosting provider at its disposal, such issues have become a thing of the past, with redundancy and backup measures better able to offer continuity and robustness.

A less tangible benefit, but an important one nonetheless, is the enhancement of MAG's reputation with its customers.

Airport users have come to expect a certain level of service from the companies that provide for them during their travels and with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, people now have the means to access information, book tickets and even use online check-in solutions while on the move.

Because the airports operated by MAG are all taken care of by the same managed hosting solution, these expectations are met and so frequent flyers and annual holidaymakers are more likely to keep rolling up to the terminals in the future.

In an always-on digital world there is little room for even the most minor of hiccups. This factor can end up putting too much pressure on a company that has to deal with hosting duties on-site.

This makes the adoption of managed hosting a great way for firms of all sizes to improve the robustness of their connectivity infrastructure without having to make significant investments.

This article is supplied by Jamie Garner, who works for Daisy Group, a leading provider of managed hosting and telecommunications solutions.

This blog is listed under Server & Storage Management Community

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