Is Colocation a Good Option for Your Website’s Hosting?  - blog post image

Is Colocation a Good Option for Your Website’s Hosting?

Colocation hosting is an especially good option for upcoming businesses who would like to enjoy the benefits of an efficient IT department without having to pay for it.

Most large companies make use of an internet infrastructure, featuring top-level domain names, that is dependent on their privately-owned web servers. That is, these companies are their own web hosts and are not dependent on any outside parties to host their websites. This is usually accomplished with the use of a dedicated server that the company has 100% control over. A qualified team of IT professionals are often responsible for the management of the company’s website and servers. The resources required to accomplish such a feat is something smaller companies cannot usually afford.

Small businesses usually opt for other effective options such as cloud-based web hosting from trusted establishments like Free Parking, VPS, or colocation. Why is colocation a good option for hosting a busy website? Let’s find out by first understanding what colocation is.

What is colocation?

Colocation makes it possible for a website owner to place their server machine in a location that’s being shared with someone else. Not only is physical storage space being shared, you are also sharing bandwidth. Colocation typically attracts a higher cost than some other standard forms of web hosting such as VPS. Once the server machine has been assembled and set up, it will be transported to the colocation provider’s location where it will operate from.

This means that you, the owner of the server, will not be in physical possession of it and can even opt to not be personally responsible for all the hassles involved with maintaining it.

Another option would be to rent a physical server from the colocation provider instead of buying one. Once your server machine is in situ with the colocation provider, the company will provide you with bandwidth, an IP and power. Simply put, you own the hardware and can use it as you please, while someone else takes care of the maintenance for you.

Co-located web hosting

Advantages of colocation

  • One of the most commonly enjoyed advantages of colocation is the amount of bandwidth that’s available to the website owner. The lowest price you can pay for limited bandwidth from a web hosting company will get you far higher bandwidth speeds from a single server placed in a colocation facility. Colocation will also improve redundancy for your network connections.
  • A dedicated server can be a great way to host your website, but caring for the physical server is quite a chore. Even if you have the right IT team, you still need to provide the right housing with a fully equipped server room. Colocation facilities can take care of all the housing needs for your server at a lesser cost and with better power outage protection. For example, if your office suffers a power outage, your server will go offline if you don’t have any backup power supply available. This means your customers will not be able to access your site and you’ll be losing money. A colocation provider will use power generators that are more than capable of keeping your servers going without interruption in the event of an outage.
  • You own the server machinery and this gives you the power to upgrade it or downgrade it as you see fit. If you want a faster server machine, you can simply visit the colocation provider and make the necessary changes. You don’t have to wait on a hosting service provider.  
  • You can update or change server software to best suit the needs of your website—you have complete control. 
  • In the event that you need to change office location, you don’t have to worry about how to transport your server machine, or disconnecting it and affecting website performance during a move because the server can remain functioning at the colocation facility. 
  • Additional security is available for your server machine when it is situated with a colocation provider. The server machine is stored and maintained in a secure room that’s built to keep the server working at optimal capacity. 
  • Colocation providers can help maintain and manage your server machine in your absence so you don’t have to make frequent trips to the premises. Even better, they will provide this service at less cost than it would take to finance an IT department of your own.

Colocation’s disadvantages

  • Colocation providers are not very common and can be hard to find. It’s always better to sign up with a colocation provider that isn’t too far from your office’s location so you can easily drop by to perform updates or maintenance. However, unless you live in a major city, you might find it hard to locate a colocation provider in your vicinity. 
  • Colocation can cost more than basic web hosting options, especially because you have to maintain and manage the server yourself. When an upgrade is needed, you have to purchase the hardware or software and install it. 
  • You can only physically access your server machine during the colocation provider’s working hours. 
  • If your offices relocate to a far-off location, you will likely have to move your physical servers to a colocation provider closer to your new premises. Alternatively, you could leave them where they are and sign up for a maintenance contract which puts the colocation provider in charge of taking care of your server machine.

Is colocation right for you?

The correct answer to this question is dependent on your personal preferences as well as the needs of your business. If you are running a small site or a blog with below-average traffic, you might be better off opting for a web hosting service. But if you need better, faster, more reliable hosting for your business or other internet endeavour, colocation is a good option that provides fantastic value for money.

Content provided by James Cummings from DailyPosts

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