The idea of managed hosting is not one that is restricted to a particular hosting platform, rather it is a package of additional support features that you receive with whichever set up you have.The term managed hosting is not therefore mutually exclusive to other hosting terms which themselves designate the platform that you can purchase. Typically a managed hosting package will include a dedicated server but it can also be combined with any server type whether it be virtual private and shared hosting, colocation or cloud hosting. Each different platform offers a trade off between price and performance, stability, security and flexibility.Types of Managed Hosting PlatformDedicated Hosting, the usual set up within a managed hosting service, involves renting an entire physical server from a hosting provider/data center which is solely used to house your site (for example). Consequently your site is protected against the knock on effects of issues and activities on any third party sites hosted by the same provider. It also results in less competition for resource such as disk space and bandwidth (and so allows your site to achieve better performance), and is easily scale-able to meet the needs of the client.Shared Hosting is when a single server – hardware, operating system and software – is used for more than one client or website. Due to economies of scale it will be cheaper than dedicated hosting but a) far riskier as a failure on another website may have an effect on or take down yours too and b) worse on performance levels (particularly in response to high traffic volumes) as your site will compete for resources such as bandwidth.Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a type of shared server that is more secure and can be individually configured (to some extent) because it has a separate software partition, with it’s own operating system, for each client/web site. It is therefore less susceptible to software issues spreading from one site to another but may still be at risk from resulting hardware failures on the shared server. Sites on VPS will still compete for hardware resource and there may be some limitations preventing full configuration.Cloud Hosting is also a form of shared hosting but instead of sharing a single server the website is stored across a vast network of servers so that a failure on one server or one part of the network will have little effect on the availability of your site. Cloud Hosting can offer almost instantaneous scaleability and performance improvements as and when needed but some of the security concerns of shared hosting remain.Colocation involves clients (businesses usually) installing their own server hardware into data center facilities. They can then take advantage of the data center’s infrastructure which offers security and a controlled ambient environment to provide higher levels of availability and reduce the risks of hardware failures. In addition, colocating provides the infrastructure for businesses to improve performance, with for example, the higher bandwidth that many data centers supply as they often sit on the internet backbone. Managed colocation can allow you to retain greater control over the configuration of your installation but still benefit from the above advantages and the support and back up of the service provider.Managed hosting is not only ideal for any client who does not have their own expertise within their organisation to manage their hosting platform but also in situations where the consequences of downtime can be severe and/or the pressures put on the website and its infrastructure can be significant and fluctuating. The support that such a package offers allows a quick response to performance issues and provides the best advice on how to meet your business objectives and needs.