Colocation is just one of the many services that most cloud hosting providers offer and it’s an option that’s not always very well evaluated by small and medium enterprises. Most businesses divide their computing options into two: domestic, in-house hosting or go for a full cloud package. However, it doesn’t need to be the case: colocation is the third option.
What is Colocation?
In short, colocation is locating a physical server in someone else’s rack. This means you can share all the benefits of their infrastructure; massive bandwidth, power supply, IP addresses and, very often, there’s a maintenance package included. Your business still has full access to whatever software or files are on your server, you just access it through a standard internet connection.
Saving with Colocation
The reason many businesses choose to colocate is that the cost is usually significantly less than setting up the required infrastructure yourself. In particular, businesses who run out of old or listed offices like to colocate or those in areas where the bandwidth is far from adequate. Colocation centres in the heart of London or even overseas have no such problems.
Own your own Servers
Many businesses are wary of signing up to cloud packages because they dislike the idea of relinquishing their information to someone else. Though this concern isn’t necessarily a major problem, some businesses just like to own their own servers. Your own servers will also be recognised as an asset on your balance sheet where a cloud computing contract might not be; this can be a technical decision for some businesses.
Is Colocation for Me?
Colocation is usually aimed at smaller businesses looking to occupy between a quarter of a server rack and a full rack; this is normally equivalent to between a terabyte and five terabytes of bandwidth. Anything below that usually works out cheaper to simply cloud source and for businesses above that the decision becomes a little more complex and it becomes a toss up between suffering the costs of improving your infrastructure or opting for the usually cheaper option of a complete cloud package.
Colocation is one of those innovations that isn’t always easy to understand, but it works on the very simple principles of the division of labour: if your computer systems aren’t up to the task, let someone else with more expertise and better economies of scale save you the hassle.
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