What is Colocation and Why Is It Important?
Reducing IT costs yet also having enough resources to get the job done is what colocation is all about. This option is designed for smaller businesses that need the type of IT department that typically only large corporations have. Big businesses have the budget to pay for hosting their own web services, but small businesses must often make do with much less in terms of web design and server capacity. Server Central colocation services allow business of all sizes and IT ability to afford to have this same level of technological expertise and storage space.
How Colocation Works
Rather than building an independent server storage facility, colocation makes it possible to put each individual server on a rack with other independent servers, sharing both bandwidth and the facility itself. Compared to basic types of web hosting, colocation does cost more, but it also costs less than hiring full time personnel to manage one’s own servers. Colocation allows companies to setup their server to their own specifications, and then the machine itself is dropped off at the colocation center. For companies that do not have enough in the budget to purchase a server, they can rent machines from the colocation facility. Once everything is installed, the business simply accesses their server online as they would any other hosting provider.
Here are a few of the most notable advantages to switching to a colocation server:
- Affordable bandwidth – Colocation makes gaining access to a large bandwidth much more affordable compared to paying for a business DSL or T1 line.
- Protection – As a purpose-built data storage and IT center, a colocation facility offers much better protection in terms of outage backup. They also have top-notch security to prevent intruders that may wish to tamper with data.
- Machine and software ownership – Companies that install their own hardware have the ability to switch the server if it becomes too slow. There is no more waiting for a service provider to upgrade outdated equipment.
- Travel – When a business moves, it has the option of leaving the server at the colocation center and keeping the severer running through a maintenance plan.
- Professional maintenance – An additional feature of a colocation center is the option to have an expert IT specialist manage the server systems for business that do not have trained personnel for the task.
There are a few disadvantages to going with colocation:
- Location – Colocation servers may be hard to find close to a business especially if the location is remote.
- Price – Compared to traditional web hosting services, colocation is more expensive.
- Access – If changes must be made to the server that is held in the colocation facility, a business must go to the center to fix any problems.
- Travel – Businesses that move away from where their server is being kept must either take their server with them or invest in a maintenance contract through the colocation provider.
- Fluctuating data usage – Most colocation facilities charge a monthly rate based on the amount of data a server handles. If one month has a spike in traffic, the bill will be higher which may be frustrating for businesses on a tight budget.
The Future of Web Hosting
Whether a business decides to switch to a colocation service or not depends on its own situation, needs, and budget. Very small businesses or website probably do not need to switch, but online-based retailers, high-traffic blogs, or other similar companies may want to consider making the transition.