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Definition: managed services

An umbrella term for third-party monitoring and maintaining of computers, networks and software. The actual equipment may be in-house or at the third-party's facilities, but the "managed" implies an ongoing effort; for example, making sure the equipment is running at a certain quality level or keeping the software up-to-date.

For example, an ISP that hosts a website typically offers managed services. If the Web server goes down, the ISP would be responsible for restoring it. In contrast, a colocation agreement with an ISP would house the Web servers, but the ISP would not be responsible for its maintenance and repair. See MSP, managed solution, colocation and Web hosting.