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Should you let someone else manage?

Outsourcing the management and monitoring of your mission-critical Internet operations is becoming a popular option.

When considering transferring your network to a co-location provider, contemplate managed services options too.

Outsourcing the management and monitoring of your mission-critical Internet operations is becoming a popular option for maintaining a stable networking environment. While traditional co-location services cover the basic network and data center infrastructure and may offer physical security, a new breed of providers is emerging. They broaden the amount of services available. Managed services are rapidly becoming known in the industry as methods of not just monitoring features found in co-location offerings, but also adding the management of network and system security, application infrastructure, storage devices, and servers.

The complexity of infrastructure coupled with the uncertainties of ever-changing relationships with telcos, Internet service providers (ISPs), and rapidly changing technologies often render it difficult for businesses to make the best choices. In short, companies are spending a great deal of time negotiating satisfactory contracts and maintaining their physical and application infrastructure and personnel.

Many carriers are responding to this problem in the marketplace by offering a full stable of managed services. In short, the business of managed services entails leveraging the provider's knowledge and expertise to alleviate your company of the day-to-day hassles that come with in-house host management. They assume responsibility of maintaining their clients' physical and application infrastructure.

To find out if a managed service provider is the right choice for your company ask a few questions:

  • Does my company run applications as part of its infrastructure?
  • Is my network and system security a priority and if so, what needs must be met that are not offered by a simple co-locator?
  • Is my company's internal staff up to the job or would it be better off to outsource the management of several network features?
  • How much money is spent monthly on internal management and is outsourcing it a more economically sound solution?

The answers to these questions will set you in the right direction for determining whether or not your company could benefit from a managed services provider.

Barrie Sosinsky (barries@killerapps.com)is president of consulting company Sosinsky and Associates (Medfield MA). He has written extensively on a variety of computer topics. His company specializes in custom software (database and Web related), training and technical documentation.

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