Self-Host vs Managed

I’d like to start a short discussion about this actually.

I self-host a significant amount of the tools I use in my daily workflow. My opinion is that if it’s on the critical path to getting my job done, I want full control over it and I should know how to use it and maintain it.

However, there are also other things that aren’t-as-critical-but-still-important that I CBA with self-hosting.

I even have multi-use VMs either using docker + reverse-proxying + Virtual-hosting but in the grand scheme of things, my time is better spent focusing on the work I need to do rather than handling maintenance or debugging when some update happens and it breaks one of my automation.

So what’s the threshold for you? How do you decide to use the managed vs self-hosted/managed option?

1 Like

All comes down to cost for me.

I dont do anything for commercial gain and I just like to tinker with things. So if something costs a lot of money to buy managed then i’ll try and find the lowest cost way of achieving the same goal… which is more often than involves using open source stuff which is usually self hosted. It also gives you the added benefit of getting to know what you’re working with.

I think if I was working on things for commercial purposes, I would probably be more likely to buy managed services for the basics that are “set and forget” so I could free up more time for developing etc.


Comes down to cost & headache level for me. Lot of stuff I self host on lower end vps or local servers that I either want to learn / do or that would cost too much otherwise. On the other side of things, I COULD run a mail server for my own & friends domain (and have in the past as well as while working in the industry obviously) but the headache factor is such that I quite happily pay Jar for mxroute and run away laughing from all those headaches :stuck_out_tongue:


Do I have time for that? The answer is usually “no”, and yet I do otherwise :sweat_smile:

Ideally you should weight in the amount of time it takes to fully automate your workflow and decide beforehand a hard limit of “whoops” you’re ready to put up with before calling it quit, unless you secretly enjoy to fix broken stuff every man has his fetishes, don’t judge
If it’s actually for your profession and not for hobby or learning, a sensible approach would be to address the core of your business/development first and then consider self-hosting or otherwise breaking down single elements of your toolchains only if there’s a reasonable expectation that such an approach can give you a qualitative advantage or a sensible saving somewhere down the road

Both have their own uses. Despite owning a datacenter and rack fulls of servers, some of which are “management vm hosts” i could run anything off, we still do use 3rd party hosting, apps etc.

Good example is that it’s a good idea to have some segments of your business (or stuff you do!) in another network entirely in case your primary location has an issue of one kind or another.

Also use a lot of cheap 3rd party VMs to distribute load and for above reasons, but for me the lines become very blurred of what is self hosted, what is managed. Just typing this i realized my distinction was that of when handling everything starting from hardware :smiley: and i can only think of couple things we use 3rd party fully managed at this point, and things slowly gravitate towards self hosting as we outgrow 3rd party managed stuff.

Same. I let Jar handle my daily email needs, and self-host my email archive on a server on my LAN. Best of both worlds.


self hosted email i would be very wary on outgoing, hotmail, google, yahoo etc. likes to shadow ban domains - so at the very least use larger host outgoing SMTP servers to get all the basics right. With higher volume they have tougher time to shadow ban you.

How do i know? … Well, that sh#¤# hit us hard on the wallet when we changed our outgoing SMTP servers for years on end. We are shadow banned because our business was used on a doctorate thesis (or something of the sort), thus in corporate firewalls for the past 5-6 years …