Colocation is a web hosting solution often suited to businesses that want to maintain their own hardware but cut back on the costs associated with on-premise datacentres including utility bills and physical space. Colocation generally appeals to businesses that host their own customers and want to maintain their own preferred hardware specifications and platform. With Colocation, you are able to place your server(s) in a datacentre owned by a datacentre provider to take advantage of their connectivity and security infrastructure, including resilient power, air conditioning and generators.
Colocation offers you the ability to host your data and applications on your own server hardware, with the hardware housed remotely in your web hosting provider’s datacentre facilities. The provider manages the datacentre upkeep and the facilities are usually protected by multi-layered security. Colocation, in most business cases, is a more cost effective alternative to housing your servers on your own premises however; you will still need your own technically astute employee to manage the server remotely, although most Colocation providers include a given amount of so-called ‘remote-hands and eyes’ labour, for when you really do need someone in front of a machine.
In the case of Managed Hosting, your provider owns the hardware that your website and applications are hosted on, and they look after all the maintenance and updates on your behalf including patching and updates and monitoring of performance. Managed Hosting is an excellent option if you want to completely outsource the burden of managing and maintaining your own hardware. Managed Hosting often appeals to businesses that develop and/or maintain their own web applications, and require high-availability and expert technical support from their provider when it comes to the infrastructure.
The main advantage of Colocation over Managed Hosting is that with Colocation you have complete ownership, customisation and control over all elements of your server hardware. Colocation is much more hands on, giving you control of your own server upgrades as and when you choose – a must for those that are frequently changing and developing their own website(s).
The bottom line when it comes to Colocation is that YOU are in control. You control the server, thus you control the level of performance you get and you choose your software. What it comes down to really when considering Colocation as a web hosting option is, do you want and need to be in full control?
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