Colocation is the main alternative for small companies that do not have the resources or the time to have both private servers and the IT team needed to maintain them. Essentially, colocation is when a small companies owns a server and takes it to a web hosting company’s location. Upon arriving at the location, the server will be plugged into the rack and will have access to the rack’s bandwidth. An IP address will be provided for the server. The main difference between server colocation and normal web hosting is that the server is owned by the client, rather than the hosting company.
Advantages of Colocation
- Cost of Bandwidth
The biggest advantage that is associated with colocation is that the cost of bandwidth is lower. Colocation tends to cost slightly more than regular website leasing, but usually colocation centers have much greater bandwidth and better redundancy with regards to connections to the network.
- Better Outage Protection
Colocation centers have power generators in the case that the power goes out, whereas companies that host servers in their offices do not often have those generators. A company that uses a colocation center’s services is paying for those generators and the peace of mind that they provide. There is a very low likelihood that a company’s website will fail in the case of a pwoer outage.
- More Control Over the Server
Should changes need to be made to the server, such as an upgrade, the client that owns the server can make those changes immediately and not have to wait for the provider to take action. The same principle applies to the software that the system is running. If the software should stop meeting the needs of the client, it can be changed or upgraded without delay.
- No Need to Move the Server
Should a company change locations, there is no need to move the server. The website will be able to remain fully operational throughout the move.
- Additional Security
The environment in which the server is stored at a colocation center is often much more secure than the environment it would be in if it were stored at a client’s headquarters.
- No IT Team Needed
When a client pays for a server to be stored at a colocation center, he or she is also has the choice to pay for the server to be maintained. If the client chooses to do so, the need for a private IT team is removed, saving the client money.
Disadvantages of Colocation
- Hard to Find
Colocation centers are not as common as normal website hosting companies. It is important to find on nearby so that it can be easily upgraded or reconfigured as needed. The easiest place to find colocation centers is near large cities.
- More Expensive
Colocation is unquestionably more expensive than website hosting, especially since the maintenance services need to be paid for separately, or maintenance needs to be performed by the client on a regular basis.
- Limited Physical Access
Because the server is not on the physical premises of the company, it is more difficult to access. Should the server need to be maintained, a representative from the client company will need to travel to the colocation center during its business hours, which can be inconvenient for many companies.
- Pay for Maintenance
If the company should move too far away from the colocation center, it will either have to move the server or pay for maintenance to be performed.