Managed cloud hosting is on the rise, but finding a provider that gets it right can be tough.
Managing a cloud service demands more effort than typical hosting. When the provider does it correctly, the benefits are incredible. You get lightning-fast servers with top-notch security—and they need less resources to boot. On the other end of the spectrum – if a provider cuts corners, everything falls apart.
The stakes are high, and you have to make a choice.
To help you do this, we tested numerous companies and reduced the list down to the seven best managed cloud hosting providers. Read on to find out who made the cut.
Rackspace is a pioneer in managed cloud hosting and one of the top innovators in the field. It is probably the best-known name in cloud management.
Here’s what it does differently.
What Sets Rackspace Apart
Rackspace’s offer is probably the most extensive one out there. It has so many unique features, it would be tough to list them all in one place. Here are the most important bits.
Rackspace has an advanced monitoring tool that gives you a bird’s eye view of your infrastructure. It tracks servers both internally and from several remote locations. You can easily set up monitoring and choose which parameters to track.
You can review the collected data on-demand, or the system can alert you when necessary. The support can help you configure everything if you’re new to the cloud.
Rackspace managed cloud comes with various add-on services.
Business Intelligence and CRM services can boost your business. Both services can help you tailor your business model to your customers and point to any flaws in your approach.
Rackspace also resells Exchange and Office 365 email tools. You can also use or resell its own email hosting. The latter is handy if you want to be a hosting reseller and throw in custom email hosting into your offer.
Those are just a few of the services in the mix. You’re best off checking out the full offer on its website. The offer is extensive, so you’ll probably find whatever solution you need for your website.
Rackspace managed cloud comes with nigh impenetrable security, resource optimizations, migrations to the cloud, and more.
The exact features vary, depending on your cloud computing provider.
For instance, if you go with AWS, you get a custom control panel, management and reporting tools, and cost optimization, among other things.
Rackspace also ensures compliance with standards like PCI DSS and HIPAA.
One exciting feature is the Multi-Cloud—it lets you store data across multiple cloud infrastructures. You can use both AWS and Azure with a single account.
Users with a single website will probably find little use for this. If you are dealing with a complex project, though, it can be handy.
Rackspace also offers cool professional services. These include workshops that help you learn the ropes of how to get the most out of the cloud.
The list of features goes on and on. The best way to find out if you can get precisely what you need is to set up a call with the Rackspace team.
As one of the top managed cloud providers, Rackspace has probably the most extensive list of partners. Here you can find, among others, all the leading cloud computing companies—AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, and Oracle.
Or if you your cloud company of choice is a smaller one, chances are Rackspace has partnered with it as well.
Rackspace’s team has over 3000 engineers working on making the cloud available to everyone. Among themselves, they have just about every relevant certificate. It’s safe to say they can design what you need.
The frontline support is responsive and takes time to understand how to best resolve your issue.
If you’re more of a DIY user, the knowledge base is extensive. You can use the guides to get started with the cloud hosting plans.
Rackspace offers pricing tables and a price calculator to help you figure out the cost of various services. The prices do depend on the specific service you need, so you can negotiate everything.
Rackspace tacks on a $50 monthly service fee to all plans. This is mostly negligible if you need a high-end solution. It’s significant if you want to run one small website, though.
The pricing is fair, though only a good fit for bigger websites. Though, let’s face it – if you’re using managed cloud hosting, you are probably running a fairly resource-hungry operation anyway.
Rackspace is one of the best managed cloud hosting providers. It’s fantastic for most users who need that kind of service.
Cloudways is among the most popular managed cloud services. Its core plans are geared towards medium-sized websites (although it has enterprise-grade solutions as well).
Here’s what’s in its offer.
What Sets Cloudways Apart
Cloudways specializes in straightforward solutions for CMS users. Expect an array of features that help you set up and run apps like Magento on the cloud.
Cloudways’ technical staff monitors the managed cloud servers 24/7 for any malware or other issues.
A piece of software called CloudwaysBot does that automatically. It can identify any issues slowing down your website’s performance—and give you tips on how to speed up your website.
To make this even more practical, you can choose where to have those tips show up. You can even get notifications through Slack.
If you want to personally track your website, Cloudways has a real-time monitoring tool. You can see 16 different metrics from the dashboard.
Aside from the CloudwaysBot, you get a variety of custom integrations.
The Cloudways API makes things easier for PHP developers. You can deploy containerized PHP applications, so you don’t have to launch a virtual machine for each one.
Cloudways integrates discounted Rackspace email plans for $1/month.
You can also get a variety of addons like premium support, advanced DNS management service, and custom application upgrades.
Cloudways covers the managed cloud hosting basics with automatic backups, several layers of security, and free website migrations.
The hosting is designed for running PHP-based CMSs like WordPress and Magento. It’s also geared towards custom PHP apps.
Apart from the standard caching technologies like Memcached, Varnish, and Redis, Cloudways offers custom caching for WordPress and Magento. The caching tools work with CloudwaysCDN for optimum content delivery speeds.
You manage everything from a custom control panel. It offers a host of functions, including a bunch of developer tools. You can also give users different levels of clearance, which is handy for collaborating on bigger projects.
The offer is extensive. Cloudways’ cloud-based hosting provides a fantastic environment for CMS lovers and PHP enthusiasts.
Cloudways is partnered with AWS, Google Cloud, Linode, Vultr, and DigitalOcean. All five are popular cloud computing providers, so you have a wide choice of infrastructure.
You use the pay-as-you-go model, so you only pay for the resources you use. You can scale resources up or down in seconds with no additional fees.
Keep in mind that scaling up is easy, but you have to clone the server if you want to scale down vertically. This is a straightforward process, but it’s best to ask the support for help if it’s your first attempt.
Cloudways’ support is decent.
The frontline live chat support has been outsourced. Agents can go through basic troubleshooting with you, but any advanced issues need to go through email ticketing.
One thing to note is the basic support is limited to issues with the default server infrastructure and configuration. Premium support can customize the configuration of your cloud hosting server or help you with themes, plugins, databases, etc.
The basic support is enough for most users. You might want to upgrade if you’re working on a larger project or need additional assistance.
There are plenty of misconceptions about Cloudways’ pricing model.
You can only pay as you go. Meaning you spend a certain amount of resources and get charged at the end of the month.
The price depends on the resources you spend and your cloud computing provider. So, going for AWS costs more than, let’s say, DigitalOcean.
The fees are generally double the price of hosting without management. Unless you’re working on a massive project, this is cheaper than hiring a team to manage everything.
One thing is that going directly to a cloud hosting company like AWS lets you reserve server resources at massive discounts. This makes it incredibly affordable if you prepay for lots of resources.
This is not possible with Cloudways—you can only pay as you go. This is alright for medium-sized websites, but not ideal for enterprise-level hosting.
Keep in mind offsite backups are $0.033 per Gb of data. It’s affordable, but it can pile up if you do multiple backups a day.
Premium support is costly. The two plans are $100/$500 or 10% of your monthly hosting fee, whichever is larger.
Getting to several thousand per month in hosting costs is highly unlikely for most users. If it does happen, though, upgrading to an enterprise-level service might save you money.
Cloudways has an excellent platform for PHP developers or users running CMSs. It’s the go-to provider for managed Magento, Joomla, or WordPress cloud hosting.
WebAir has been providing hosting and hosting-related services for well over 20 years. Its cloud management is one of the latest additions to its portfolio.
The company claims its next-gen solutions are suitable for everyone. Let’s put the claim to the test.
What Sets WebAir Apart
WebAir boasts it has a ton of powerful, state-of-the-art features. Its offer has many features that can be appealing to larger organizations.
WebAir has 24/7 monitoring tools. You can view your application’s performance across all layers of server infrastructure.
The technical staff can set up custom alerts for your managed cloud server. The monitoring tool, then, will alert the cloud engineers about any potential issues, allowing them to react in a timely fashion.
WebAir offers a variety of addons.
You can get security features like managed DDoS monitoring, managed firewall, and ransomware recovery.
A custom CDN addon ensures better speeds.
You can also get an email inbox, additional cloud storage, and database management.
WebAir offers hosting on a public cloud, or it can build you a managed private cloud on its own infrastructure. You can also combine the two.
You get managed auto-scaling, load balancers, a bunch of security features, and managed backups.
WebAir also optimizes the environment for popular ecommerce platforms like Magento and WooCommerce. It implements custom caching for these apps, ensuring top speeds.
WebAir also ensures PCI, HIPAA, and GDPR compliance.
It’s also SSAE18 SOC2 Type 2 certified. A lot goes into this certification, but it essentially guarantees the reliability of the service.
Those are the key features of WebAir’s managed cloud solutions. You can find a lot more in its offer, though.
Apart from its own platform, WebAir also manages hosting on Microsoft Azure and AWS. WebAir team might be able to help you with other platforms, but these are the official partners.
If you opt for Microsoft Azure, WebAir has extensive measures in place that virtually segregate you from other users using the public cloud environment. It gives some peace of mind if you’re worried about security of public cloud providers.
WebAir’s support is quick and to the point.
The email system is particularly well-designed. It has a comprehensive layout, and you can quickly review progress on each ticket. It’s a godsend for users who need lots of help with larger websites.
A few users did complain the chat support is occasionally unavailable. There’s little objective data to support this, but it’s something to be aware of when choosing a provider.
As managed cloud providers usually do, WebAir negotiates the price with each user.
The services are sort of high-end, so WebAir is only suitable for hosting larger websites. It’s too much for smaller static websites.
Based on various sources, the service is affordable for the features you get. You need to discuss it with the provider and see if it fits into your budget, though.
With all the relevant certifications and excellent features, WebAir has among the best managed cloud hosting for larger websites, especially online stores.
Media Temple provides a wide variety of services, including managed AWS hosting. Its goal is to provide a personalized service that’s also affordable.
Let’s see how it goes about doing this.
What Sets Media Temple Apart
Media Temple’s goal is to help brands grow on the cloud, and its offer reflects this.
Media Temple lets you monitor the managed cloud server. You can also view a history of issues and their resolution.
The technical team monitors resource usage, as well as server software and database processes. The staff proactively fixes problems before they can affect your project.
Media Temple offers a CDN and WAF package. For a relatively low price, you get security features, comprehensive speed optimization software, and a CDN with SSL support.
You can also get a G Suite plan for emailing.
Media Temple includes a complimentary migration service. This is only free with some websites, though. Check with the support before you get cloud services from it.
Media Temple Features
You negotiate most managed application hosting features with WebAir’s team. The staff will suggest the setup that’s best for your needs.
For instance, Media Temple has ecommerce specialists onboard. They can help you set up a PCI-compliant store.
Media Temple also targets developers. You can use numerous features that help get your own code onto the cloud.
The company also encourages resellers. Reselling managed AWS hosting gets you benefits like discounts, priority support, and free portfolio hosting.
Media Temple Partners
AWS is the only cloud hosting provider Media Temple manages. AWS is the leading cloud computing provider, so most users will go for this option anyway.
Media Temple Support
Media Temple focuses on providing a personal support experience.
It assigns all clients a customer success manager. The manager’s duty is to personally help optimize your cloud environment as well as help your brand.
The manager needs to be aware of any brand-related activity, like marketing campaigns. In such cases, the manager helps prepare your servers for the influx of traffic.
The cloud success manager takes you through AWS training. You can learn your own way around the cloud.
They also go through frequent review sessions with you. This tells you what to expect from the cloud hosting company and helps plan your expenses.
Combine the personal service with help from many AWS engineers, and you get one of the best support teams in the industry.
Media Temple Pricing
You should talk to sales for the exact price of your solution.
The price of additional services is on the Media Temple website. They are mostly affordable. For instance, the full security pack for one website is $19/month.
Media Temple has a solid managed AWS service. If you want personal support for your website and your brand, it can provide it.
Cloudnexa specializes in cloud-based hosting for medium-sized businesses and government organizations. It also offers features useful to WordPress users.
This is what’s in its offer.
What Sets Cloudnexa Apart
Cloudnexa’s offer includes a bunch of features that make transferring to the cloud fast and smooth. Once there, you can enjoy its feature-rich platform.
Cloudnexa has partnered up with Logz.io to provide monitoring. The Logz.io analytics tool uses machine learning to track and analyze server activity with great precision. It has a proven track record in detecting problems that get past most monitoring tools.
The service is paid, though.
If you don’t want a free option, Cloudnexa’s managed cloud servers support easy Amazon CloudWatch integration. CloudWatch is a decent monitoring tool as well.
Cloudnexa integrates many quality third-party services into its platform.
To name a few, it offers CloudEndure disaster recovery and migrations, Dynatrace business intelligence, Eyemagine marketing, and multiple security services.
You get everything a medium-sized business might need from a cloud hosting provider.
Cloudnexa offers tight security and backups across the board.
It has developed a solution called vNOC. vNOC integrates the cloud infrastructure with a variety of services like audits, advisory services, cloud architecture design, and website migrations.
In short, the Cloudnexa team helps you deploy, optimize, and manage the environment according to your needs.
Cloudnexa has also developed solutions for quick deployment of cloud environments. For instance, vNOC can quickly set up WordPress on an AWS server instance.
The provider can also help you with PCI and HIPAA compliance.
Cloudnexa allows reselling vNOC services. That way, hosting providers can easily offer managed cloud hosting to their clients.
Cloudnexa is a Microsoft Azure partner, but its primary focus is AWS. AWS management is where it really shines.
Cloudnexa requires each employee to become an associate-level AWS Certified Solutions Architect. Getting the certifications requires about a year of experience designing solutions for AWS.
In essence, when you call support, you’ll know you’re talking to someone who knows their way around managed application hosting.
The support team is one of the most proficient in the game.
The vNOC price scales with the resources you get. It’s about 10-18% of the AWS costs, which is rather affordable.
The addons you get can add quite a bit to the price, though, so be careful.
Cloudnexa does offer a price calculator, but it’s just for a rough estimate. The support can give you the exact price.
Cloudnexa‘s pricing is optimal for medium businesses, but a bit much for typical consumers.
Cloudnexa offers a lucrative, affordable opportunity for medium businesses and resellers to get onto the cloud. If you fit into any of those categories, this is among the best cloud hosting in 2019.
Codero is a managed cloud services provider, focused on high-end solutions for larger businesses. Its more notable clients include Delta Airlines and NBC news.
The company claims there’s no problem it can’t solve. Let’s see if that still rings true by the end of this review.
What Sets Codero Apart
Codero redefines powerful. If you need a high-end solution, here it is.
Codero uses Zabbix to monitor the servers, system, and resource spending. Zabbix is an effective monitoring tool—no complaints there.
Codero also integrates StatusCake for monitoring uptime and website speed. StatusCake is a welcome addition to the service to an already good service.
Codero offers several useful integrations for developers. One example is Docker, which helps deploy and run apps. It can do wonders for ecommerce, especially when combined with its hybrid managed cloud hosting.
Codero also integrates Office 365 Suite instead of regular email hosting.
You can also get an enterprise-grade disaster recovery service and backups, ensuring maximum availability.
Codero goes to great extent to tailor each solution to individual users.
One thing you get with all services is tight security. Codero also configures each managed cloud server to perfection.
Codero claims its cost optimization saves you 18% to 36% on managed AWS services. 36% is a bit optimistic, it does help reduce spending for larger websites.
You can also get everything you need for ecommerce. Besides speed optimization tools, Codero can help you with PCI compliance.
All in all, you get an efficient custom environment.
Codero provides management for AWS and Microsoft Azure. You can combine these with its own private cloud, a dedicated service, or an on-premises managed private cloud.
Codero’s support is fast and available around the clock.
Codero brags about its support big time. It states its experienced engineers give you one-on-one attention whenever you need it.
It makes fair points. Expert support is there from the first presales interaction to solving the most complex of problems.
You have to request a quote from Codero. Its services are fairly high-end, though, so it’s best if you want to focus on growth.
Codero provides one of the best managed cloud hosting environments. If you need a high-end service tailored specifically to you, you can get it here.
7. Scale Dynamix
Scale Dynamix is a relatively young managed cloud services provider. Still, it does fine work with its current clients.
Here’s what it offers.
What Sets Scale Dynamix Apart
The plans are a marvel for CMS users. Scale Dynamix offers a bunch of solutions useful for running PHP-based apps and shopping carts.
Scale Dynamix uses Elasticsearch.
Elasticsearch has a variety of features, including resource monitoring—which it does well.
Monitoring your website is straightforward enough, and Elasticsearch offers other functions too. One of the more advanced ones, for instance, is using machine learning to analyze your data and predict future trends. It can help your predict your hosting spending in advance, and allow you to plan ahead with confidence. You can get great value if you get the hang of all the features.
Apart from Elasticsearch, Scale Dynamix offers a variety of other integrations.
You get an enterprise-grade firewall, a CDN, Git and CI automation, and various other developer tools.
The plans on the higher end also integrate automatic scaling management. It’s odd Scale Dynamix reserves this for more expensive cloud hosting plans, though.
Scale Dynamix Features
Scale Dynamix offers speed optimization, managed security, and zero downtime website migrations.
The platform is geared towards Magento, WordPress, and WooCommerce websites. You get custom caching tools and automatic updates for these platforms.
Scale Dynamix also has measures in place to ensure maximum availability with these apps. If you need compliance with PCI or any other standard, it can help you achieve it.
You also get custom image optimization. Ecommerce websites tend to be image-heavy so this is useful.
Scale Dynamix is shaping into one of the top managed cloud providers for PHP-based apps.
Scale Dynamix Partners
Scale Dynamix is fairly flexible here. It is officially partnered with AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and DigitalOcean.
Scale Dynamix Support
Scale Dynamix doesn’t use the multi-tier support structure. Instead, all agents are fully trained professionals.
Since Scale Dynamix is still a small provider, this works well. You can get help from a certified cloud expert reasonably quickly.
Scale Dynamix Pricing
Scale Dynamix has three plans. The cheapest one is $499/month, plus the cloud computing cost. This comes with management of up to 9 virtual servers.
The price is pretty steep for the average user. It’s best to use Scale Dynamix if you already have significant hosting expenses.
Scale Dynamix is an excellent cloud hosting company. If you run a demanding Magento or WooCommerce store, or complex WordPress sites, it’s for you.
8. Our Process – How We Analyzed and Ranked the Best Managed Hosts
A lot went into reviewing managed cloud hosting here, at WebsiteHostingReview. However, you essentially just need the answer to one thing—does the provider do its job well? Here’s how I made sure it did.
- Check out the offer—No two providers are the same. They offer different features and different levels of management. Some of them will inevitably be a better fit.
- Check reputation—If a hosting provider does something, be it right or wrong, somebody is bound to comment. Doing a background check on the provider is the best way to point the investigation in the right direction from the get-go.
- Test the platform—Taking the hosting platform for a spin is the only sure-fire way to know if the provider makes good on its promises.
- Talk to the support—Reliable technical support is an absolute essential for managed cloud services. We contacted the support team with a few tough questions to make sure they had cloud hosting experts onboard.
- Check the SLA—There’s plenty of honest hosting companies out there, but there are few that do rely on shady tactics. Such companies bet that you won’t realize what you’re signing up for. We found out what was behind any suspicious or ambiguous clauses in the providers’ documentation.
- Take the price into account—As with all services, the price mostly depends on your budget. Still, there are always overpriced providers to avoid. The most expensive provider is rarely the best one out there.
That info and more went into the best managed cloud hosting reviews above.
9. What Is Managed Cloud Hosting?
More and more users are adopting cloud hosting for its affordability, scalability, and reliability. If you’re here, you’ve likely at least heard the term cloud hosting before. I’ll save you the long spiel about its benefits.
With unmanaged cloud hosting, the provider manages the physical servers and maintains the virtual environment. Once you gain access to the virtual server, though, it’s your responsibility. You might get some small degree of support, but you’re mostly on your own.
This is fine if you know how to manage a virtual server or if you have a team of cloud engineers behind you. Let’s face it, though—most people would never pay that much money—and they don’t need to.
I’m sure you can tell where this is going. With managed cloud solutions, the provider manages the platform for you. The management often includes:
- Setting up and patching the server stack
- Database administration
- Automatic backups
- 24/7/365 support
- Security and compliance management
It lets you take advantage of all cloud hosting benefits without spending months or years learning your way around the cloud. It makes cloud hosting more accessible for most organizations and even private users.
The tradeoff is that you lose a bit of flexibility. You have to negotiate any changes to the server management with the provider.
Managed cloud hosting is also more expensive, since you need to pay for both the resources and the management. Unless you run a vast enterprise, though, this will probably end up cheaper than paying for in-house developers to run everything.
These solutions take the benefits of cloud infrastructure and make it available to non-technical users. If you are interested, check out the best managed cloud hosting providers above.
That covers the best managed cloud companies. The providers all have rather responsive support teams, so you can quickly contact them and discuss the best solution for you in more detail.
Q: What is an Oracle managed cloud?
A: Oracle Managed Cloud Services are cloud computing services. These include both IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) solutions. You can check out the full offer on Oracle’s website.
Q: Is Rackspace IaaS or PaaS?
A: Rackspace’s offers both IaaS and PaaS, depending on the service you go for.
I’ve discussed its managed cloud hosting plans above, but you can see all its solutions on the company website.
Q: What is a public cloud provider?
A: Public cloud is a type of cloud computing service where many users use a cloud computing provider’s infrastructure. It has the benefits of a low entry cost, insane scalability, and usually implements the pay-as-you-go pricing model.
Users with sensitive data might opt for private or hybrid cloud. For instance, CIA had AWS build its private cloud.
Public cloud is way more popular, though, especially if you want to get cloud services for hosting. It’s just more convenient for most users.
Q: Is AWS a managed service provider?
A: It is not. Various providers offer AWS management services. You get all the benefits of AWS, but somebody handles the platform for you.
If you’re interested in managed AWS hosting, you’ll find some of the top providers in the reviews above.
Q: What is Cloudways?
A: Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting provider. Instead of having its own cloud infrastructure, it lets you choose from five cloud computing services—AWS, Google Cloud, DigitalOcean, Linode, and Vultr.
Cloudways manages the servers for you and is one of the top providers in its niche. You can learn more about its offer in its review above.