What is colocation hosting?
Colocation Hosting is a practice that consists of hosting private servers in a third-party data center. In other words, instead of keeping internal servers in their offices or in a private data center, businesses outsource their server hardware to a colocation data center.
This way, they reap the benefits of colocation hosting services such as server cooling systems, reliable power, hardware and software maintenance, data back-up, climate and energy control as well as increased Internet bandwidth. Colocation facilities are often operated by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), which generally have their own fiber optic lines, thereby guaranteeing the permanent availability of the network.
Businesses leverage colocation services in order to ensure secure and reliable Internet connectivity and space for their data, applications and websites. Generally, hosting companies offer onsite support and additional managed network service to reinforce their security and connectivity.
There are two types of colocation hosting:
Unmanaged Colocation Hosting
As the name suggests, when you opt for this type of hosting, server administration and technical support are not covered. You are responsible for software and hardware administration. This option is less expensive because you only pay for rack space, bandwidth and the power supply you need. If your business chooses to use unmanaged colocation hosting services, you should choose a hosting provider that is located closer to your company’s office because if a server fails due to a hardware issue, you will have to fix it.
Managed Colocation Hosting
When you opt for managed colocation hosting, it doesn’t matter where the hosting provider is located. If there’s a hardware failure, the colocation facility takes care of fixing the issue. Depending on your colocation hosting agreement, some providers will also manage your databases, operating system and applications. Your business also has access to other services such as back-up management, storage and much more.
How does colocation hosting work?
Businesses that use colocation hosting have to purchase their own software and hardware. In order to establish a colocation hosting agreement, you must have your own physical server. You are not renting a server from the hosting colocation facility, they are simply leasing you a space within their data center and providing you with additional services. You therefore have to transport your server to the provider’s center.
With colocation services, you rent a space within the data center to have physical access to your server and you keep the ownership and control of your hardware and software configurations. You can determine the terms of the agreement based on your businesses’ specific needs (bandwidth, rack space, etc.).
The hosting facility is responsible for handling the network, power and server housing. It also maintains an optimal environment in order to maximize efficiency. On the other hand, you are responsible for configuring and setting up your server. You also have physical access control in case you have to replace your server.
What are the advantages of colocation hosting?
If you’re looking for a hosting solution, there are many different options available for your business. Colocation hosting is especially popular for companies that want to expand their IT department internally without having to pay the costs of a Managed Service Provider (MSP).
As mentioned, a colocation hosting provider doesn't just rent you a physical space in a data center, it also offers you additional colocation services such as: