What is colocation?
Colocation is a hosting option for small businesses who want to enjoy the features of a large IT department minus the expensive cost. This is similar to dedicated hosting but with one exception. In dedicated hosting, companies rent servers as well as the infrastructure needed to house and maintain them. However, in colocation hosting, companies own their own hardware, but are aiming to increase its usefulness by renting server space in a data center, which provides many benefits. Once you have a machine set up, you take it physically to the location of the colocation provider. That company then provides an IP, bandwidth and power to your server. This generally costs more than standard web hosting but definitely less than the amount that you will pay for having your own IT department.
Advantages of colocation
- Cost of bandwidth – the biggest advantage of colocation is the cost of bandwidth. Colocation facility provides higher bandwidth speed and better redundancy for the network connections.
- Better outage protection – colocation facilities have better outage protection compared to backup generation. You do not need to worry about natural calamities or other cause of power outage because these facilities provide better outage protection that can keep your site running without interruptions.
- You own the server software – you don’t have to rely on your hosting provider to install a software or tools you want to use; you can just do it on your own.
- Additional security to your machines – there is no need to hire a 24/7 security guard or IT personnel to secure your machines because the colocation facility offers a strict and secured environment for your server.
- Live monitoring of equipment – you will surely feel secured to know that IT professionals are monitoring your equipment constantly to ensure that it is performing optimally.
- Advanced climate control systems – maintaining perfect temperature and humidity requirements for servers to operate optimally can be quite tricky and somewhat expensive. Well, in availing colocation hosting, this can be removed from your worries. The facility has environment with perfect temperature and humidity for your server.
Disadvantages of colocation
- Colocation is more expensive than basic web hosting – compared to basic web hosting, colocation is admittedly more expensive. This is because you need to purchase or lease the equipment that you need for your system.
- Physical access to your server can be difficult – if the colocation hosting site is a bit far from your office location then physical access to your server can be a challenge.
- Fluctuating monthly costs – lastly, monthly expenses or fees could vary significantly as it is proportional to the volume of traffic between your servers and the internet. So a huge increase in traffic means you will be paying higher monthly fee to cover the excess bandwidth that you used.
Should you give it a try?
If you own a personal blog, then colocation hosting might be too much for you. However, if you are running an e-commerce site with massive web traffic or you’re planning to have a large web presence then this is ideal for you. You do not need to hire IT personnel or set up a big IT department but still, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits we discussed.