Colocation Pros & Cons

Colocation is now one hot buzzword in the web hosting industry. For some who have been into the setup, it simply means ease, less maintenance, and more control over their web servers.

The storage of your system in a well-maintained facility and which you have access to greater transfers and smoother operations are big plus factors in convenience. The amenities provided by colocation centers would have been very expensive if done in-house.

As in all things, of course, there is always an upside and a downside to the colocation setup.

Advantages

On top of the list of colocation advantages is the lowered cost of bandwidth and other related resources. This gives a large potential bandwidth at a price determined by the actual amount used.

Moreover, because of the redundant systems (including those of security) and multiple backbones, internet connections are incredibly fast.

In colocation setups, you own your hardware and software components. (Installing and upgrading your own software is not available in conventional web hosts.)

Colocation hosting also provides better protection against power outages. These are guaranteed with backup generators, power sources, and internet backbones.

Security protection

This same provision is also true in terms of security and internet connection. Other enhancements include fire detection and suppression systems, backup cooling, physical surveillance, and multiple backbone connections.

There is greater flexibility afforded by colocation providers that surpasses both dedicated servers and managed hosting. As a client, you can choose your own servers, your hardware, software and other configurations that suit your system best.

Disadvantages

On the other hand, the biggest downside to colocation is perhaps the unavailability of colocation centers that is both reliable and one that suit your needs. If you have the staff, you would want the facility to be nearer your business to reduce travel time.

At present, colocation centers are mostly located in larger urban areas near major network hubs.

Expensive

Compared to managed hosting, colocation is more expensive. This is because of the costs in purchasing (or leasing) of software and hardware components alongside with the actual rent of space. There could be extra fees for maintenance.

Compared to leasing a dedicated server from a web host, colocation needs a much larger capital investment. Again, this is because of hardware and software costs coupled with that of actual space rentals.

From a respected IT magazine, reports have it that today’s monthly costs of low-end quality servers range from around $4,000, and $9,000 for those with mid-grade hardware. With half a rack of space, there is an additional fee of between $500 and $700.

For purchases of routers, switches and other vital network components, you may need to fork over around $2,000 for low-end models. Lastly, you need to have a network interface card, an element mostly overlooked when deciding on a colocation setup.

Of course, all these do not yet include your staff’s wages, insurance, hardware depreciation or backup equipments.

Suggestions

Like any other business moves, you are not supposed to decide whether or not you will use colocation until after you have evaluated first your personal requirements. From a practical point of view, you must cover all the bases before you decide your move.

Colocation, like any other alternative in business, will always have its good and not-so-good points. It is only through your own assessment would you know the correct choice.

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