Choosing A Colocation Provider

Web hosting businesses (which may include yours) usually start small. However, as you grow, investments in hardware and others also grow by leaps and bounds. As online business trends go, colocation becomes a viable alternative.

Outsourcing one’s entire operations to an offsite data facility of another company takes one hard punch of decision-making. Of course, this kind of decision should not be done without the usual preparatory probes and questions.

Costs

As in everything else, the first consideration in any business transaction is costs or the prices of the services or goods. Nobody wants to overpay but the old adage of “you get what you pay for” still holds true.

In effect, your search in terms of costs should focus on quality instead of the “advantage” of a cheap price. The low investment outlay might be countered in poor service or some such aspects. It could result in expensive (from your company’s standpoint) downtimes cause by poor facilities or services from your colocation partner.

Support

With web hosting, support availability is critical in a colocation setup. This is one very important aspect in your choice of a colocation partner.

Most colocation companies offer support 24 hours a day everyday by way of phone and emails. Others offer help in live chat sessions and support tickets. However, there is a need for a fast turn-around time because problems can happen just as fast in trying to connect or set up the server.

Redundancy

In a business that deals with very critical data and information exchange, it is essential that the facilities must be redundant. This means that power, connectivity and cooling systems must have backups and extra sets for use during emergency situations.

The colocation facility must have power backups in case of power failure (extra generators and UPS units). It must have extra connectivity systems in case of hardware crashes. Ventilation and cooling systems must be backed up by another working system to take place in case of emergencies.

Guarantees

Is there some kind of a money back guarantee with your colocation provider? Because of competition, some companies offer several perks and other deal-sweeteners.

At the very least, there are those who offer a 30-day money back guarantee to prove their confidence in their product. This might lessen some of your frustrations once you are dissatisfied with their service and decide to change hosts.

Waiting time

The old saw “time is money” still holds true with colocation and more so because yours is in the web hosting business. Avoid any colocation host that requires you to wait for more than a week to get your server running.

If a company takes an inordinate time to get your company connected online, this same kind of service might be duplicated in those critical times when you need their support.

Your choice

There are factors to consider in deciding to go into colocation hosting, and these are all specific to your present situation. If your finances are limited, a dedicated server will do for the moment.

If you are sure of colocation hosting is best for your company, make sure you evaluate your prospective colocation providers as thoroughly as you can. The life of your company depends on it.

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