Unmanaged VPS: Is it Right for Your Business?

Paul Korzeniowski · Jan 2, 2024 · 5 minute read

If you’re tech-savvy, know exactly what you want from your cloud services provider, and first-class performance is important to you, then unmanaged VPS might be what you’re looking for. 

However, if you are running your own ship and there’s a lot on your plate, managed VPS is probably the right option for you. 

Companies come in different shapes and sizes and so do hosted Virtual Private Servers (VPS). Cloud services providers generally offer two kinds of VPS services: managed and unmanaged. 

The differences lie in how much of the configuration and management work the customer takes on and what the cloud provider is responsible for. So, let’s take a closer look at these two popular options.

First, what is a VPS? Servers are expensive pieces of equipment. A VPS uses virtualization technology to make more efficient use of its resources. Imagine cutting a big cake into smaller slices – each slice is a VPS and can be utilized independently. In our example, each customer receives its own slice. The servers are then configured as either managed or unmanaged solutions. This way, you get more use out of the whole cake (server).

Why Opt for a Managed VPS? 

A managed VPS is like a furnished home. The client receives not only the building but also everything that they need to live comfortably in the space. They can just walk in, unpack their things, and the house becomes their new home. In server terms, this means that the cloud provider performs the initial system configuration, upgrades, security, and support, to provide all the requirements for the client’s business operations.

Why would organizations choose this option? Managing a server can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive job for smaller companies or those without technical knowledge. With a managed VPS, the hosting provider takes care of routine maintenance tasks and updates. This arrangement allows the customer to allocate its technical resources to other projects and not be responsible for backend infrastructure management.

Gain Scalability

 As a company grows, its computer needs expand. Managed VPS providers create infrastructure that easily scales. Oftentimes, the customer only has to make a few simple mouse clicks or swipes on their smartphone to add resources.

Prioritize Time Management

Managing a VPS requires technical knowledge of server administration, system security, and device performance optimization. Many companies lack deep technical knowledge. They can offload those responsibilities to the managed VPS hosting company, who have a team of experts who handle such tasks with 24/7 coverage.

Improve Reliability

Building computer infrastructure with 99.5% uptime is challenging. Managed providers focus solely on addressing such issues. Consequently, they typically employ sophisticated, cutting-edge redundancy measures that ensure high availability and minimize downtime.

Such capabilities are crucial to many enterprises because all enterprises now rely heavily on their computer infrastructure to operate. If your server goes down, the business essentially stops in its tracks.

To sum up, managed VPSs are well suited to organizations with a small technology staff or business line developers whose main focus is on making applications more functional.

However, managed services come with a few caveats. The company relies on the cloud provider to customize their server system. Also, they include more functionality and therefore cost more money than unmanaged services.

Why Choose Unmanaged VPS?

An unmanaged VPS server is like an unfurnished house. The basic structure is there but the customer has to decorate and provide furniture and other amenities. In server terms, the customer receives the minimum infrastructure. They are responsible for getting the system up and running and performing tasks like deploying scripts and adding security solutions. What kind of company is right for this option?

Unique Processing Requirements

Unmanaged VPS hosting provides carte blanche flexibility. The customer has complete control over what is installed on the server. They are not locked into the standard solutions that cloud service providers offer in their managed services basket. A business may have unusual applications they need to deploy or uncommon or changeable processing needs. They may rely heavily on video content and need fast, high powered systems.

Technology Focus

This type of client lives on technology’s leading edge and is comfortable with the Do It Yourself approach. They may run sophisticated financial algorithms and want to fine tune their hardware so it operates at peak efficiency for their workloads.  

Lower Costs

The principle of “you get what you pay for” holds true, and in this instance, spending less may result in obtaining more value. Since unmanaged systems have no add-ons, they cost significantly less than managed services. Consequently, companies with tight budgets may opt for this choice.

Customized System Security

Financial services, government, and other industries sometimes have strict security requirements. These organizations may feel more comfortable putting the checks in place themselves rather than letting a third party make those decisions. Consequently, they opt for unmanaged services and add more security checks than other organizations.   

Unmanaged VPS hosting enables a company to configure their server in any way they choose. These services appeal to corporations with experienced technology professionals. Businesses that have unique workload needs also find it appealing.


Corporations need compute resources to support their business. Many are becoming interested in cloud hosting because of the benefits that it offers, but it presents them with a decision: a managed or an unmanaged option? Firms that want to spend as little time as possible maintaining the infrastructure opt for managed services. Those companies with significant technical depth find unmanaged services appealing. In the end, it’s about making the choice that suits your hosting needs and aligns with your digital goals. 

Paul Korzeniowski
Paul Korzeniowski

Paul Korzeniowski is a B2B content producer, market analyst and leading voice in the high tech community. He has dissected technology and business issues for more than two decades. Paul served on the staffs of Computerworld, Network World, and Internet Week. He has written for leading suppliers like Microsoft, Intel, and VMware, and startups like Bedrock Systems and Launchables. His work has appeared in numerous business publications, including Fortune, LinkedIn, Entrepreneur, Investors Business Daily, and InformationWeek.