Colocation, or “colo” for short, is the act of placing servers in professional datacenters and letting them operate from within these DCs. These servers may be owned by the colo customer or leased from the datacenter. Because today’s DCs have such extensive and advanced resources, this makes a lot more sense to many webmasters and network administrators than managing their own servers in-house.
So Who Uses Colocation or Colocation Services?
Colocation has become a very important part of the hosting industry. At this point, more and more small- to mid-sized businesses are choosing colocation (along with colo services) to manage their websites, email and applications. That’s because colo is a cost-effective way to get the benefit of the industry’s most reliable hosting without even coming close to the price of investing in one’s own infrastructure, maintenance and management. Any business who relies heavily on its website or app must be able to count on its hosting. With so much on the line, colocation is the only logical choice.
Benefits of Colocation
There are many benefits to choosing colocation because modern datacenters have much to offer that few organizations can afford – especially if one considers the additional benefit of premium colocation services. Some of these benefits include (but are not limited to):
- State of the art infrastructure
- Reliable power source
- Predictable expense
- Ability to scale quickly
- Reduced latency
- Dedicated staff members
- Higher bandwidth (many DCs are using a Fiber connection)
- Round-the-clock security
What Additional Services Are Available?
Many datacenters do provide additional services to their colocation customers. This may include server monitoring, hardware maintenance & upgrades, environmental control, power source management and even additional security. When it comes to investing in infrastructure, the safest bet is always the one that offers the greatest peace of mind. While colocation customers may not be able to physically manage their own servers or racks themselves on a regular basis depending on location, they can still subscribe to basic colocation services that will help ensure the longevity of their investment.
Colocation vs. Shared Hosting: Making the Choice
There is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a hosting plan. Colocation does offer far more stability than managed hosting, but the price tag can get quite hefty – particularly when additional services are added into the mix. Any business whose needs can be met by a traditional shared hosting plan may lean towards that option as long as there is no expectation for outgrowing that host’s capability. Of course, these plans have their restrictions. For businesses that need a bit more flexibility, or perhaps have greater needs, there is simply no choice to be made. Colocation is the only sensible answer.