AWS Fully-Managed vs. Self-Managed Services Comparison - V2 Cloud

AWS Fully-Managed vs. Self-Managed Services Comparison


The cloud market is continuously expanding as more businesses are making a swift move to cloud-native frameworks. Among all the key competitors in the global cloud market, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is known for its robust, highly reliable, and well-secured cloud computing framework.

AWS cloud services alone comprised 33% of the global market share in Q1 2022 due to AWS’s high-value products. These promising figures reflect the importance of AWS cloud services that revolutionized how organizations deploy and access their business-critical applications & data. While choosing AWS services, businesses can choose from AWS fully-managed services vs. unmanaged.

In a nutshell, fully managed services like Amazon RDS & Amazon DynamoDB offer a seamless and streamlined approach to managing your resources on the cloud as AWS handles and manages all the routine administration, maintenance, and upgrades. The security in AWS is a shared responsibility as clients have to ensure the implementation of integrated security measures to extend the efficacy of infrastructure security & compliance. Unmanaged services provide the flexibility to manage your virtual machines (VMs) and operating systems (OS).

This blog post will help you explore the differences between AWS fully-managed services vs. unmanaged services to find the exemplary service tailored to your needs. Let’s discuss this in detail.


AWS Fully-Managed Services

AWS fully-managed services are Amazon’s cloud computing provisions. AWS handles the entire infrastructure and manages the required resources to deliver reliable service. AWS manages the servers, storage, OS, databases, and other critical resources fundamental to service infrastructure. It enables client organizations to focus on their core business processes and applications without worrying about management and configuration. Whereas security is a shared responsibility of AWS and client organizations. It means your responsibilities to manage the infrastructure security vary based on your subscription choice and associated regulations. At the same time, AWS’s “shared responsibility" model offers greater flexibility and control over deployment.

In some instances, you can configure AWS managed service and be able to define underlying EC2 instances. An Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) instance is a virtual server to deploy applications on the AWS cloud. For instance, in AWS RDS (Relational Database Services), you can configure and define EC2 specifications while launching a new database instance.

There is a commonly understood myth that managed services entirely handicapped the users by completely restricting control. Although you can’t manage underlying resources such as VMs and OS, you can still control the resource itself. For instance, users can practice comprehensive control over their database instances using the DB Parameter Group.


Target Organizations

Enterprises of all scales, specifically SMBs with a tight IT budget and enterprise-scale organizations looking to gain operational efficiency, can leverage AWS fully managed services. It allows organizations to focus on core business activities, embrace agility, and reduce time to market. Relying on AWS-managed IT support services includes infrastructure management, configurations, shared security, data backups, and operations. AWS fully-managed services follow strict compliance with industry regulations to ensure strict scrutiny and security of the infrastructure.


Pricing Structure

AWS fully-managed services pricing is based on a pay-as-you-go model. The pricing involves billing customers only the allocated resources and the number of active users. With the AWS pricing calculator, you can find the accurate estimate for fully managed services per your required resources and number of templates.


AWS Self-Managed Services

AWS unmanaged or self-managed services refer to an Amazon cloud service where the customer is liable for managing all aspects of the service, including provisioning, configuration, security, upsizing & downsizing of resources, and upgrading the underlying infrastructure and deployed applications. It involves choosing the suitable EC2 instance and running all required services, managing Kubernetes clusters, or configuring a custom DB instance on the virtual machines. It requires a professional IT team or outsourcing to services providers having in-depth technical knowledge and industry experience to manage and maintain the entire infrastructure.

The client organization is responsible for ensuring infrastructure security, maintaining the OS, resources, & applications, scheduling data backups, and formulating disaster recovery plans. It involves configuring and maintaining high availability, fault tolerance, and strict monitoring to respond to unexpected errors, bugs, or cyber threats.


Target Organizations

The AWS self-managed services’ target segment is usually enterprise-grade organizations with a dedicated team of IT professionals, cybersecurity experts, and cloud developers. The AWS self-managed services come with rich control over the entire cloud framework and high flexibility, allowing businesses to customize and fine-tune their infrastructure to address their particular needs. The in-house IT teams are responsible for configuring and monitoring VMs, OS, and tech stack to align resources with their specialized requirements.

When considering AWS Fully Managed vs. Self Managed Services, it’s important to note that opting for fully managed services means you can rely on a dedicated team of experts who handle the day-to-day management of your cloud infrastructure, allowing your own team to focus on strategic initiatives and innovation.


Pricing Structure

You can explore a range of services, including serverless computing, training and deploying Machine Learning instances, container orchestration, scalable storage, processing, applications deployment & provisioning, etc. You can also find your estimate with the AWS pricing calculator for your required self-managed services.


AWS Fully-Managed Services vs. Self-Managed Services Comparison Table

Key Differences AWS Fully-Managed Services AWS Unmanaged Services
    • AWS manages & monitors infrastructure, applications, and databases.

    • The customer manages and monitors their infrastructure, applications, and databases.

    • 24/7 AWS-managed IT support services for all sorts of queries or issues.

    • Customer support is available but limited to issues related to the resources provided or partially managed by AWS.

    • Limited flexibility as the customer has limited control over the infrastructure.

    • High level of flexibility as the customer has complete control over the infrastructure.

    • AWS Managed Services are more costly as they come as a fully managed solution and comprehensive AWS-managed IT support services.

    • AWS Unmanaged Services is a more budget-friendly option but requires a highly skilled and dedicated in-house IT team.

    • AWS’s shared responsibility model spares the burden of client organizations to fully manage security and industry compliances.

    • The customer is responsible for all security-related aspects, data backups, and disaster recovery plans.

    • AWS Managed Services can automatically upsize or downsize to meet evolving customer demands.

    • The customer has to scale storage manually, processing power, and other resources per their needs.

AWS Managed Services vs. Self-Managed Services – Which Works Best For Your Business?

Choosing the right option from AWS fully-managed vs. unmanaged services is vital for businesses of all scales. Whether managed or unmanaged services work best for you depends on your specific needs and resources.

If you are a small or mid-sized business (SMB) that lacks an in-house IT team and technical resources, opting for AWS fully-managed services is recommended. It allows you to focus on core business areas without getting into the nitty-gritty of managing and configuring the cloud infrastructure. However, managed services can be more expensive than unmanaged services, and you may have less control over your infrastructure.

Whereas for enterprise-grade organizations with in-house IT teams and more complex IT needs, AWS unmanaged or self-managed services can give them rich control over VM instances, applications, and OS. However, unmanaged services require more effort and expertise to manage, and you may need to take care of tasks such as backups, monitoring, and patching yourself.


Frequently Asked Questions about AWS Managed Services

What specific criteria should a business evaluate to determine if fully-managed or self-managed services better meet their needs?

To determine if fully-managed or self-managed services better meet their needs, businesses should evaluate their internal IT capabilities, budget constraints, and specific requirements for control and customization. Consideration should also be given to the strategic importance of the service, compliance requirements, and the need for scalability and reliability.

Balancing these factors can guide the decision toward the service model that aligns best with the business’s operational priorities and goals.

How do the security responsibilities differ between AWS fully-managed and self-managed services?

In AWS fully-managed services, AWS assumes a larger portion of the security responsibilities, particularly around the infrastructure’s operational aspects. This includes hardware, software, networking, and facilities security.

Conversely, with self-managed services, the customer’s responsibility for security and compliance is significantly higher, encompassing not only data and access management but also the configuration and management of the underlying infrastructure and applications. This distinction is crucial for businesses to understand to align with their internal capabilities and compliance requirements.


Can businesses switch between fully-managed and self-managed services if their needs change, and how would this transition impact operations?

Businesses can switch between fully-managed and self-managed services as their needs evolve. The transition’s impact on operations depends on factors like the complexity of the services, the in-house team’s expertise, and the preparedness for change management.

Shifting from fully-managed to self-managed services might require upskilling staff or hiring experts while moving the other way could reduce the operational burden but necessitate adjustments in control and customization. Planning and support during the transition are essential for minimizing disruptions.


V2 Cloud Can Help!

Yes, AWS and its WorkSpaces are no longer the best choice due to their complexity and high costs. In comparison, V2 Cloud is an Amazon WorkSpaces alternative that specializes in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and remote desktop solutions. It can help organizations by providing a secure, scalable, and easy-to-use platform for accessing virtual desktops and applications from anywhere, on any device. Most importantly, V2 Cloud combines the benefits of both AWS managed and unmanaged services, while avoiding the drawbacks of each.

It provides a fully managed infrastructure, taking care of maintenance, security, backups, and other tasks with no need of any expertise or in-depth IT training. This means that organizations don’t have to worry about managing the underlying infrastructure, freeing up time and resources for other tasks. On the other hand, V2 Cloud also provides a high degree of control and flexibility over virtual desktops and applications.

Organizations can customize their environments and install their own software, without having to worry about compatibility issues or restrictions. The users can scale up or down based on the organization’s needs, without having to worry about hardware or infrastructure limitations.

If you want to find the best of both worlds with high flexibility & control, enterprise-grade infrastructure security, and reliable cloud services, explore V2 Cloud today.

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