Comprehensive Guide to Cloud Service Provider Vs Managed Service Provider

  • Published on : December 9, 2023

  • Read Time : 12 min

  • Views : 4.7k


Did you know cloud service providers vs managed service providers are the two key players in managing IT infrastructure and driving digital growth?

Businesses evaluate cloud service providers and managed service providers for executing IT operations. They check the benefits of cloud and managed IT services to strike the perfect balance between their IT infrastructure and technology demands.

Over a decade, the cloud-managed service providers have continuously innovated and driven strategy that accelerates their technology routes. Additionally, increased demand for scalability and reliability will further drive demand for cloud-managed services. This enables enterprises to scale up their productivity with customized cloud service offerings for infrastructure.

Cloud-managed service providers give services on a pay-as-you-go model, where services are charged for acquisition. This way, companies can save huge costs and provide flexibility to their customers.

The concerns of small and big enterprises about IT costs have significantly reduced, which gives rise to the cloud services demand in the future.


While cloud service providers and managed service providers both provide influential services. These cater to meet different requirements and have diverse role in the industry.

Let’s dive deeper into cloud service providers vs. managed service providers and understand how to choose a trusty cloud service provider or managed service provider.

What is a Cloud Service Provider (CSP)?

Cloud Service Provider specifies in delivering cloud-based services and providing the benefits of highly scalable and on-demand cloud resources. These cloud services include:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft Azure are Trusted Cloud Service Providers.

  • The cloud service providers follow private or hybrid cloud models or public cloud infrastructure.
  • CSPs also offer unique, vendor-specific services that leverage their infrastructure and expertise, further expanding the capabilities and versatility of cloud computing for their clients.
  • Additionally, they own and maintain the underlying physical infrastructure. The physical infrastructure includes servers, data centers, and networking equipment, which form the foundation of cloud offerings.

Key Features of CSPs

1. Scalability
CSPs offer scalable, on-demand cloud resources, allowing businesses to easily adjust their computing resources as needed.

2. Pricing Model
CSPs follow a pay-as-you-go pricing model or subscription-based pricing method. Customers only need to pay for the services or space they have used.

3. Cloud Infrastructure
Cloud service providers own and manage the physical infrastructure, including servers, storage, and networking equipment, to deliver cloud services.

4. Vendor-Specific Services
Many CSPs offer unique services and products specific to their platforms, such as AWS Lambda, Azure SQL Database, or Google Kubernetes Engine.

5. Use Cases
Most suitable for businesses looking to deploy web applications, migrate to the cloud, scale resources, and leverage cloud-based solutions. And, the cloud-based solutions include storage, databases and virtual servers.

What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

Managed Service Providers help organizations do IT management and support services. They maintain and optimize their technology infrastructure. Unlike cloud service providers, MSPs typically do not own the physical infrastructure but are focused on managing and enhancing their clients’ existing IT ecosystems.

Managed IT Service Provider offers a comprehensive suite of services:

  • Network management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data backup
  • Disaster recovery
  • End-user technical support

What Are AWS Managed Service Providers?

AWS Managed Service Providers (MSPs) play a key role in helping organizations successfully deploy Amazon Web Services (AWS). They are an exceptional group of AWS partners who have demonstrated expertise in managing and optimizing AWS communities for their customers.

While traditional MSPs may offer a variety of IT services, AWS MSPs focus primarily on the AWS cloud environment. They help customers develop, deploy and manage cloud infrastructure and applications.

While traditional MSPs may offer a variety of IT services, AWS MSPs focus primarily on the AWS cloud environment. They help customers develop, deploy and manage cloud infrastructure and applications.

The managed service providers often work under service-level agreements (SLAs) with fixed monthly fees. It ensures predictable costs and allows businesses to concentrate on their core operations while experts manage their technology stack.

  • MSPs are known for their vendor-agnostic approach.
  • MSPs can manage a wide range of technologies and platforms based on their client’s specific needs
  • This makes managed service providers an ideal choice for businesses with diverse IT environments. Top of Form

Key Features of MSPs

1. IT Infrastructure Management
MSPs specialize in managing and maintaining their clients’ existing IT infrastructure. Servers, networks, endpoints, and cloud resources come under this category.

2. Scalability
While MSPs ensure the scalability and reliability of their client’s infrastructure, the level of scalability may be limited by the client’s hardware and technology choices.

3. Pricing Model
MSPs often use a service-level agreement (SLA) approach with fixed monthly fees for their managed services. This provides predictability in costs, simplifying budgeting for businesses.

4. Use Cases
The managed service providers are best suited for organizations that want to outsource IT operations, support and maintenance. This allows companies to focus on their core operations while specialists take care of their IT needs.

5. Vendor Agnosticism
MSPs are often vendor-agnostic. They can manage a variety of technologies and platforms based on their client’s specific requirements. This flexibility is a significant advantage for businesses with diverse technology ecosystems.

Now, let’s dive deeper into the similarities, differences, and factors to consider while choosing cloud service providers vs managed service providers.

What Is The Difference Between Cloud Service Providers and Managed Service Providers?

Cloud service providers offer cloud-based services like software, infrastructure, and platforms. They manage the physical infrastructure. Managed service providers focus on managing and supporting IT services like network, cybersecurity, and data backup without owning infrastructure. Choose based on your IT needs!

Comparison Between CSPs and MSPs


1. Core Services

About CSP
CSPs primarily provide cloud infrastructure and services. In addition to providing cloud infrastructure and services, CSPs also provide other services. CSPs deliver the building blocks for creating and running applications in the cloud.

About MSP
In contrast, Managed Service Providers provide a broader range of IT services. While they may leverage cloud services from CSPs, their primary focus is on IT management and support services. This includes tasks such as network management, cybersecurity, data backup, disaster recovery planning, and providing technical support to end-users.

What to Consider?
Your choice between CSPs and MSPs largely depends on your immediate needs. If your primary requirement is acquiring cloud resources or specific cloud-based services, CSPs are the way to go. Conversely, if you need comprehensive IT management and support, MSPs offer a holistic solution.

2. Infrastructure Ownership

About CSP
Cloud service providers own and manage the physical infrastructure, including the data centers, servers, and networking equipment that host their cloud resources They invest heavily in the maintenance and expansion of these data centers to ensure scalability and confidence.

About MSP
Infrastructure managers often do not own the infrastructure they manage. Instead, they manage and maintain their customers’ existing IT infrastructure, which can include on-premises servers, networking equipment and endpoints.

What to Consider?
Depending on how you want to run your business, you can choose a CSP or MSP. If you prefer to offload your infrastructure management to an MSP, else you should pick cloud service provider for scalable cloud-based solutions.

3. Customer Focus

About CSP
Cloud service providers have a broad customer base. They try to meet the diverse needs of individuals, startups, and small or big enterprises. The cloud hosting service providers provide their cloud services to those individuals and businesses who are looking to host applications, data, and services in the cloud environment.

About MSPs
Project managers typically target businesses that want to outsource management of their IT infrastructure. This approach enables these businesses to streamline operations and increase IT productivity without having to directly manage their technology collection.

What to Consider?
CSPs are customer-agnostic, serving a variety of customers. MSPs, on the other hand, are more business-focused, focusing on organizations looking for complete IT solutions.

4. Scope of Service

About CSP
CSPs are specialists in providing cloud infrastructure and services. Their offerings include virtual machines, storage, databases, and software applications. CSPs are needed for cloud computing projects.

About MSP
MSPs provide a broader spectrum of IT services. Their service catalog includes network management, cybersecurity, data backup, disaster recovery, and end-user support. MSPs offer comprehensive solutions to manage and optimize their clients’ existing IT infrastructure.

What to Consider?
Your choice between a CSP and an MSP depends on whether you need specific cloud features or a complete IT solution. If you need a single location for IT management and support, MSPs are the right choice.

5. Scalability

About CSP
Cloud service providers offer inherent scalability. Their on-demand cloud resources enable businesses to quickly scale up and down in response to fluctuating work and demand. This dynamic scaling is one of the most important advantages of CSPs.

About MSP
Managed Service Providers ensure the scalability of their clients’ existing infrastructure. However, the level of scalability may be constrained by the client’s hardware and technology choices.

What to Consider?
If your business demands frequent scalability or fluctuates in resource needs, CSPs offer a more agile solution. For consistent management and support, MSPs provide stability and predictability.

6. Pricing Model

About CSP
CSPs typically use a pay-as-you-go or subscription-based pricing model, where they charge users based on their customers’ resources. This can be cost-effective for projects with different resource requirements.

About MSP
Managed Service Providers often adopt a service-level agreement (SLA) approach with fixed monthly fees for their managed services. This provides cost predictability and simplifies budgeting for businesses.

What to Consider?
Your choice depends on your budgeting preferences and resource utilization. If cost predictability is crucial, MSPs may be more suitable.


Selecting between cloud service providers and managed services depends on your organization’s specific needs, features, and priorities.

By carefully weighing the pros and cons of each option and considering potential donors, you can make an informed decision that best supports your organization’s objectives.

If you’ve decided which cloud service to avail of after understanding cloud service provider vs managed service provider, it’s time to consult with a leading cloud service company like Codiant!

We provide access to seamless cloud transformation with our cloud and managed services. Your success is our commitment. Hire us.

Ready to Enhance Your IT Infrastructure? Consult with Codiant for Seamless Cloud Transformation!


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between cloud CSP and MSP?

  • CSP (Cloud Service Provider) offers cloud computing services like infrastructure, platforms, and software over the internet.
  • MSP (Managed Service Provider) manages and maintains IT services and infrastructure on behalf of clients.
  • Key differences:
    • CSPs focus on providing cloud resources and services.
    • MSPs offer management, monitoring, and support for IT systems (cloud or on-premises).

  • Cloud services refer to on-demand computing resources (e.g., storage, computing power, databases) delivered over the internet.
  • Managed services involve outsourcing the management and maintenance of IT systems/infrastructure to a third-party provider.
  • Together, they offer a comprehensive solution:
    • Cloud services provide the underlying resources.
    • Managed services ensure these resources are optimized, secured, and well-maintained.

  • Cloud managed services involve a provider managing and maintaining cloud resources on behalf of a client.
  • Cloud hosted services refer to applications or systems hosted and run on a cloud provider’s infrastructure.
  • Key differences:
    • Cloud managed services focus on the management and support of cloud resources.
    • Cloud hosted services concentrate on hosting and running applications in the cloud.

The two main types of cloud services are:

  1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
    • Provides virtualized computing resources (servers, storage, networking)
    • Examples: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform
  2. Software as a Service (SaaS)
    • Delivers software applications over the internet
    • Examples: Microsoft Office 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce

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