Recently, Thoughtsoncloud.com published a very interesting blog by Mike McGuire, Senior IT Architect for IBM SmartCloud Enterprise, which talks about choosing between managed and unmanaged IaaS. According to Mike, Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) typically comes in one of two forms: managed or unmanaged. Obviously, some providers also offer something in between. Usually, a provider will tend to specialize in one, although some providers can offer both. For instance, the IBM Cloud Managed Services IaaS offering specializes in managed servers, but can also offer unmanaged servers as well.
Further, Mike helps our readers to understand the key differences between the two.
Features that we will commonly find with a managed cloud server:
- Operating system deployment and management
- Monitoring (and action in the event of an incident)
- Backup and restore services
- Disaster recovery and storage services
- Limited access to the operating system, or controlled access
- Operating system-based service level agreements (SLAs)
Features that we will commonly find with an unmanaged cloud server:
- Operating system deployment
- Complete control of the operating system
- Hypervisor or infrastructure-only SLAs
“This list is not exhaustive, nor does it accurately describe every cloud provider—cloud providers will generally provide a combination,” explains Mike in his blog. “Some unmanaged cloud providers can also offer access to backup and restore services, or access to local patch and software repositories. Some managed cloud providers will allow full access to the operating system; some will provide a limited subset.”
He further explains; both solutions have their advantages. The key is to understand what our use cases and requirements are for the service that we wish to consume. Some clients select unmanaged servers, apply a basic security configuration (antivirus and patching) solution of their own and then use the servers for rapidly deploying development and proof of concept environments. I encourage you to read the full blog and learn more about the managed and unmanaged IaaS. And do leave a comment below or connect with Mike on Twitter @MikeJMcGuire to share what you see as the benefits of each solution. Also, do not forget to join the conversation @IBMcloud and @IBMSDE.