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Your agency has just committed to a cloud transition. Makes sense. This year more government organizations are turning to the cloud to more efficiently operate, better serve the public, and reduce operating costs. But what happens next?

The first question you’ll have to answer is whether you’re prepared to take on the responsibility of cloud hosting from A to Z, or whether a fully managed hosting arrangement is better for your organization and mission. To help you make that decision, we’ve compiled the pros and cons of each approach.

Understanding Self-Managed Cloud Hosting

If you have a qualified and experienced in-house team of technical professionals, self-managed cloud hosting might be a good fit for your organization. Comparing apples to apples (and not factoring in your team’s employment costs), a self-managed cloud server will cost less to get started and maintain. It will also allow your organization total control in setup and security configurations. There are some downsides to consider, too. First, the positives.

Why some organizations choose self-managed cloud hosting:

  • There is no difference in hardware between fully managed and self-managed hosting servers.
  • Your organization will have flexibility in infrastructure, server management, monitoring, and ongoing maintenance.
  • You can install any software you choose, rather than relying on pre-approved or vetted applications.
  • Your team will have complete control over who can access your information and systems, and will be able to set the levels of security protecting your data.
  • If you need to change or reconfigure your server or systems, there is no need to rely on a third party.
  • The cost to manage cloud hosting internally is generally less than paying for managed hosting.

Points to consider:

  • You’ll need dedicated staff of technical experts that are well versed in integrating all self-service cloud components (networking, storage, compute, load balancing, etc.) to build your new infrastructure in the cloud. Enabling these cloud components to work together can be a very challenging task.
  • Your in-house team will be responsible for every single aspect of the cloud hosting environment, including security, disaster recovery, incident response and data backup measures. In the event of an incident, your team will need to be available around-the-clock.
  • Updates, installations, and upgrades are up to your team to complete regularly and thoroughly.
  • You will need a cloud expert to understand granular pricing structure for each cloud component used and ensure that there are cost control measures in place to fit the intended budget. When mis-understood and mis-configured, the self-service cloud costs can easily result in double or even triple the planned monthly spend.
  • There might be a risk of getting in over your head as the organization grows, security requirements change or cloud hosting needs scale.

For total control on a tighter budget, self-managed cloud hosting might be right for your organization, but what about fully managed cloud service?

The Pros and Cons of Fully Managed Cloud Service

Your data and systems are in expert hands with fully managed cloud hosting. Certified support personnel fully manage the underlying cloud and security infrastructure, while all cloud resources – including network bandwidth, vCPU, disk, and memory resources – are provisioned and managed efficiently and with rapid elasticity. Fully managed cloud hosting has many benefits.

Why fully managed cloud hosting is an appealing option:

  • A comprehensive and experienced team oversees your cloud resources and their performance 24/7.
  • Your in-house team can focus on mission deliverables, without worrying about the management, monitoring, or maintenance of your cloud environment.
  • Hardware and software are routinely updated and strengthened against adversary attacks.
  • Security is at the forefront of fully managed service, with continuous scanning and instant troubleshooting of vulnerabilities, malware, spyware, or suspicious behavior.
  • Backups and redundancies with failover protocols ensure your data is always accessible – even in the event of site or system failure.
  • Fully managed cloud hosting is highly scalable.
  • Tech support and technical assistance is always just a phone call or email away.
  • Many services are offered at a fixed rate resulting in easier cost management and prevention of any unwelcome cost overruns.

Points to consider:

  • Your fully managed cloud hosting provider might have rigid security parameters that won’t allow you to configure or customize the hosted environment any way you wish (which is great if you are targeting to follow best practices)
  • Performance, cost, quality of support, and service availability can vary between cloud providers – you’ll be responsible for selecting the right provider for your needs.

For organizations with less experience managing secure government cloud hosting environments and who want the peace of mind that comes from having an experienced all-inclusive cloud management team on your side, then fully managed cloud hosting may be the right option for you.

Still need help deciding between self-managed and fully managed cloud service? Ask an expert at GovDataHosting. GovDataHosting is the preferred choice for comprehensive government cloud hosting solutions. Explore our fully managed cloud infographic to learn more!

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