Colocation is a type of hosting service that consists of housing your servers in an external server room – you lease the space and manage your own equipment. Colocation hosting providers host their clients’ servers and charge a corresponding amount for that service.
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Types of Colocation Services
There are two different types of colocation hosting options. You can choose between a full service, where the provider will handle everything for you, or a partial service, which gives you more freedom but also requires more time and effort on your part. If you know about managed and unmanaged hosting for VPS or dedicated hosting, this is almost an identic distinction.
Full-service colocation hosting can be expensive, but it’s the most convenient option. The provider will set up your server room, manage it, perform maintenance and repairs when necessary, provide technical support, and more.
Partial service is cheaper but requires some work on your part as well. You’ll need to install all equipment yourself, including servers, storage devices, and networking equipment (routers, switches, etc.). The provider will provide you with space and electricity, but you’ll have to do all the rest yourself. Partial service colocation hosting is the most common type of hosting in the market today.
Benefits of Colocation Hosting
- Control. You have full control over your server which means you can do whatever you want with it. You can install any software you want and make changes at any time. Which hardware you use, and how you maintain it, is fully your responsibility. This is very useful for web developers who need to set up their own websites or run custom applications on their servers, as they might like to have everything under their control.
- Security. Colocation hosting is more secure than renting a dedicated server from a provider because you have no one else in your facility who has access to your equipment. You have no neighbors, that is, you don’t share your server with no other site owners like you would in the case of VPS, and you have all the necessary equipment, to provide uninterrupted and safe operation of your website.
- Reduced maintenance costs. You pay only for the space and the maintenance equipment, don’t need to pay for extra bandwidth or resources. If you have a very large website that gets too much traffic, your hosting provider might charge you for more bandwidth or RAM. But with colocation hosting, you only pay for the space and power that your server uses.
- Scalability. Colocation hosting allows you to scale up or down as needed. If your site has traffic spikes during certain times of the year or if you have a lot of visitors when you launch a new product, you can rent more space and add more servers. If your site isn’t getting much traffic, you can scale down and save money on hosting costs.
- Time and cost savings. If compared to an in-house hosting solution, collocated hosting provides you with a great deal of time and cost savings. The whole infrastructure – including the special buildings and rooms with all their necessary complementary equipment, like cooling towers and backup power sources – are already in place. All you have to do is buy a server (and maybe hire an expert to set it up).
- Flexibility. You can move your server to another facility at any time, which makes it easier for you to grow. If one data center is too small for your needs or the company that owns it goes out of business, you can simply move your server to another one.
- Variety of locations. If the target audience of your business is not directly in the area your head office is located, but rather in another country, you can select a data center in that country to provide the customers there with better page load speed and increase your site’s SEO rankings.
Drawbacks of Colocated Servers
- Higher start-up costs compared to rented hosting solutions. Colocated servers are more expensive than shared or dedicated servers, as you have to pay for the space and electricity used by your server as well as for the equipment itself. If you run a large site with heavy traffic that requires a lot of power and cooling, this can add up quickly. With this in mind, a colocated server is a more reasonable solution if you run a large-scale business.
- Distance to the colocated server. If you require your employees to perform any operations on your colocated hardware at some point, they will need to travel there – and that can be costly and time-consuming. If you want to make your colocation data center more accessible, search for something nearby.
Colocation is a great solution for a variety of businesses. If you don’t want to spend resources on a powerful in-house server with all necessary cooling equipment, uninterrupted power supply, etc., but still want maximum control over your hosting equipment, then server colocation might be the best way to go. But if don’t need the whole amount of resources provided by a colocated server, or just want more flexibility, without the need of taking care of your own equipment, it might be more reasonable to rent a server. We wish you to make the best choice for your project, thank you for your attention, and take care!
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