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The term "Managed Hosting" describes the provision of a ready to use IT stack including hardware and infrastructure software for the deployment of applications. Providers house the infrastructure in central data centres accessed by customers over the internet. In the past this has usually been on the basis of hardware servers dedicated to individual customers, however the increasing use of virtualisation has allowed managed hosting providers to reduce costs by sharing infrastructure between customers, creating the earliest versions of what the industry now refers to as compute clouds. Computing platforms provisioned and managed by specialists provide higher service levels, greater ease of secure access and more manageable costs than many organisations are able to achieve internally.
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